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Abbott Announces Third Special Session

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Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday issued a proclamation announcing a third Special Legislative Session at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.

The proclamation identifies 5 agenda items for the third Special Session: redistricting, American Rescue Act appropriations, transgender student participation in UIL, state an local government mandating of COVID-19 vaccines and unlawful restraint of a dog.

Abbott Sept. 7, 2021, called for Legislators to address apportionment of the State of Texas into districts used to elect members of the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, the State Board of Education, and the United States House of Representatives.

“The Texas Legislature now has the opportunity to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the new census numbers,” Governor Abbott said Sept. 7 when officially calling for the session. “In addition to redistricting, there are still issues remaining that are critical to building a stronger and brighter future for all Texans.” 

Abbott wants the elected officials to also consider “legislation identical to Senate Bill 29 as passed by the Texas Senate in the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, disallowing a student from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student’s sex at birth.”

Up for debate is whether any state or local governmental entities in Texas can mandate that an individual receive a COVID-19 vaccine and, if so, what exemptions should apply to such mandate.

Abbott also calls on Legislators Legislation to consider Legislation “similar to Senate Bill 474 as passed by 87th Legislature, Regular Session, but that addresses the concerns expressed in the governor’s veto statement.” This specifically would address unlawful restraint of a dog and create a criminal offense regarding the matter. After being read on March 9, the proposed legislation was referred to the Criminal Justice committee, testimony was given in committee on April 13, and was received favorably without amendments by the Senate on April 15. It was read a second and third time and passed on April 21. SB 474 passed to the House on April 22, where it was read for the first time and referred to the House criminal jurisprudence committee. It was filed by the committee coordinator on May 12. The bill was laid out in lieu of companion House Bill 873 on May 13, when it was read a second and third time with an amendment failing. Overall, it passed on May 14, then went back to the Senate, who concurred with the House amendment on May 27, with both the House and Senate approving if on May 29, sending it to the Governor, who vetoed it on June 18.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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