Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday called another special legislative session — his third attempt to push through a GOP voting bill that Democratic lawmakers tried to block by fleeing the state.
“I’ll call special session after special session to reform our broken bail system, uphold election integrity, & pass other items Texans demand & deserve,” Abbott tweeted after announcing the new 30-day session for Saturday, when the current special session is set to expire.
More than 50 state Democratic representatives fled Austin for Washington, D.C., last month, just as the GOP was advancing sweeping changes in elections during a special session. Under the Texas Constitution, the Legislature requires a quorum of two-thirds of lawmakers to be present to conduct state business in either chamber.
One of the Democrats, Rep. Gina Hinojosa, declined to spell out her caucus’ plans in a call with reporters, saying that might “disadvantage our position,” but added, “we will fight that with as much vigor as we have to this point.”
The runaway Democrats have used some of their time in Washington to lobby for a sweeping election overhaul bill dubbed the For the People Act, an amended version of which Republicans filibustered in the U.S. Senate. The Democrats argue the federal legislation is the only way they can fend off election limits Republicans are advancing at the state level.
Besides “election integrity,” other items on the agenda for the special session announced by Abbott on Thursday include measures on “critical race theory” and “social media censorship.”