With 3rd Special Session Complete, Governor and Lieutenant Governor Disagree on Need for 4th

October 28, 2021

Legislative News

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Using all 30 days allotted by the Texas Constitution, and still needing a late flurry of activity, the 87th Legislature passed most of Gov. Greg Abbott’s priorities and adjourned the third special session on Oct. 19.

Abbott praised lawmakers’ work, while Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted “more needs to be done,” a statement widely interpreted to be a call for yet another special session. An Abbott spokesperson quickly responded with a statement that included “there is no need for another special session at this time.” As the Texas Constitution grants only the Governor the authority to convene the Legislature in special session, it appears lawmakers can head home for their first extended break since coming to Austin in January.

Below is a list and brief description of the bills passed during the third special session. More information about those bills of particular relevance to county governance is detailed in separate articles.

  • House Bill 1 by Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi). Redraws districts for the Texas House of Representatives using 2020 Census data. (See separate article.)
  • House Bill 25 by Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring). Requires interscholastic athletic competitions be grouped by biological sex on birth certificates.
  • House Bill 133 by Rep. Jacey Jetton (R-Richmond). Expands list of those survivors of public servants killed in the line of duty eligible for higher education benefits.
  • Senate Bill 1 & Senate Joint Resolution 2 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). Increases the residential homestead ad valorem exemption. (See separate article.)
  • Senate Bill 4 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston). Redraws districts for the Texas Senate using 2020 Census data. (See separate article.)
  • Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (R-Brownsville). Creates an offense for unlawful dog restraint. (See separate article.)
  • Senate Bill 6 by Huffman. Redraws congressional districts using 2020 Census data. (See separate article.)
  • Senate Bill 7 by Huffman. Redraws State Board of Education districts using 2020 Census data.
  • Senate Bill 8 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound). Directs appropriation of American Rescue Plan Act funding sent to the State of Texas. (See separate article.)
  • Senate Bill 52 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe). Provides authority for issuance of tuition revenue bonds for specified higher education capital projects.

For more information about this article, please contact Pete Winckler.