After Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for a special session in June to address conservative priorities killed in the Texas House, Gov. Greg Abbott is reiterating that only he can call a special session.
“That’s pretty goofy because everybody knows there’s only one person with the authority to call a special session, and that’s the governor,” Abbott said at a press conference in Fort Worth on Thursday.
“Not only am I the only one with the authority to call the special session, I get to decide when, and I get to decide what will be on that special session. And here’s what I would do if anybody tries to force this … it’s not gonna be like it has been in the past.”
Patrick made his request after the Texas House killed legislation to ban taxpayer-funded lobbying by cities and counties, protect girls’ sports, and tamp down on social media censorship.
In 2017, Abbott called a special session on 20 items. At the end of the session, fewer than half of them were meaningfully addressed.
This time, Abbott says he would take a different approach. Instead of putting multiple items on the call, he says he would put one item on the agenda at a time.
“It will be one item placed on the agenda. Not until they pass that item [would] we move on to another item,” he explained.
“If anybody tries to hold hostage this legislative session to force a special session, that person will be putting their members in the Senate or the House potentially into a special session for another two years for the next regular session,” said Abbott, adding that he would hold a special session to get items passed, “not just open up some debating society.”
Abbott also echoed his comments from yesterday, expressing hope that there is still time to get those priorities passed.
“What I do know is if the leaders in the Legislature will stop fighting with each other and start working together, we can get all of this across the finish line,” said Abbott.
In reality, the rules of the Legislature essentially preclude the body from addressing any of those issues before the session is over.
As reported by Fox 4, Patrick fired back at Abbott with that message.
“It’s not goofy to ask the Governor for a special session and he said this week ‘well, the two teams they can get together the last few days’. Well, the rules say on Tuesday in the House those bills were dead. They can’t be revived so the only way we can pass them is to request a special session,” said Patrick.