After announcing a third special session with several key conservative priorities missing from the agenda, Gov. Greg Abbott is taking heat from some of his Republican opponents.
Earlier this week, Abbott issued a proclamation calling lawmakers back to the Capitol on September 20 for a special session with the following agenda items: legislative redistricting, prohibiting K-12 athletes from competing in sports of the opposite gender, appropriating federal coronavirus relief money, addressing local government vaccine mandates, and restrictions on dog tethering.
Reactions from Abbott’s challengers in the upcoming 2022 primary, however, have focused less on what is on the agenda and more on what is missing from it.
“There is still an obvious silence with gender mutilations, property tax relief, and other Republican priorities,” Texas humorist and media personality Chad Prather told Texas Scorecard. “When will our state government comply to doing the business of the people and prioritizing what the people want done? Greg Abbott is using the taxpayer dime to get noticed in a campaign season, but in fact, he’s running on a ‘how to not get re-elected” platform.”
“The best government is a smaller government that lets people make their own decisions and creates solutions to problems, not solutions in search of problems. We now have 666 new laws in Texas, with apparently a lot more coming. Pretending to be a super-conservative in an election year reeks of hypocrisy. So, here we go, another taxpayer-funded special session that does not address taxpayer priorities,” Prather added.
Also dissatisfied with Abbott’s abbreviated agenda, former State Sen. Don Huffines released his own lengthier set of priorities for the special session: abolishing abortion, property tax relief, border security, forensic election audits, requiring E-Verify, quorum reform, protecting women’s sports, prohibiting vaccine and mask mandates, pre-empting onerous local government business regulations, banning taxpayer-funded lobbying, school choice, ending in-state tuition for illegal aliens, ending automatic collection of labor union dues, monument protection, protecting the Texas electric grid, emergency powers reform, ending corporate welfare, and term limits.
“Texans elected Republicans to statewide office and sent strong Republican majorities to the Texas Legislature so they could pass Republican policy priorities into law. Sadly, many important issues for our state remain unaddressed,” said Huffines. “As Greg Abbott reconvenes the Texas Legislature, he must task them with passing additional conservative priorities.”
“Republican activists have been waiting for the Texas Legislature to pass legislation on these important issues for years, only to watch their lawmakers prioritize growing government and listening to lobbyists. It is time for the people’s priorities to take precedence once again. Any legislation the Texas Legislature fails to pass will be an emergency item under my administration,” he added.
Special sessions in Texas can only be called by the governor. They last up to 30 days at a time, and the only legislation allowed to be considered are items on subjects the governor puts on the agenda. Abbott may add items to the call until the special session’s conclusion.