Texas governor calls special session, leaves out constitutional carry
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 23:24
He says that if bills don't prevail this time it will be because of a lack of will by lawmakers.
Among the topics discussed were the differing priorities for the session, property tax reform, school choice, and the "bathroom bill".
Abbott had a twinkle in his eye on the last day of the regular session when he told an Austin gathering the time and topics of a special session "are exclusively up to the governor of the state of Texas".
The unfinished business seems an inevitable result of two powerful men - Abbott and Patrick - wrestling for control of the state's Republican party and positioning themselves for the governor's office when elections occur next year.
But that was before Abbott subtly rebuked Patrick, then delivered an ambitious special-session assignment of 20 bills to pass by August 17.
"Unfortunately, it was used as political fodder during the regular session", he said in announcing the special session.
Nineteen of the 20 items that Abbott is asking lawmakers to address could have waited for the 86th regular legislative session in January 2019.
Abbott also added a miscellany of his priorities to the call as well, like further measures to regulate abortion in the state, a panel to study the problem of maternal mortality in Texas, bills to crack down on mail-in ballot fraud, stronger caps on state and local government spending and a prohibition on public sector unions automatically deducting dues from member paychecks.
In a WBAP/820 AM interview, Abbott blamed "horrible management of the docket in both the House and the Senate".
Patrick, who has already declared that he is not interested in running for governor, has set himself up politically to do just that.
"Texas legislation on abortion is typically amplified because the state can be a beacon for restrictions nationwide", said Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research group.
Lawmakers said Wednesday they're unlikely to get to every issue before the end of a 30-day session that begins July 18. They need to come to Austin with their work hat on...