After numerous conservative priorities died in the Texas House on Tuesday evening, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to bring the Legislature back in June for a special session.
“Asking @GregAbbott_TX to call a June #SpecialSession today to pass #SB29 to save girls sports, #SB10 to end taxpayer funded lobbying and #SB12 to stop social media censorship. The TxHouse killed these conservative bills that majority of Texans in both parties support,” Patrick said in a post on Twitter.
Asking @GregAbbott_TX to call a June #SpecialSession today to pass #SB29 to save girls sports, #SB10 to end taxpayer funded lobbying and #SB12 to stop social media censorship. The TxHouse killed these conservative bills that majority of Texans in both parties support. #txlege
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) May 26, 2021
Though all three of those bills had already passed the Texas Senate in April, leadership in the Texas House worked to ensure their slow demise.
As the clock struck midnight on Tuesday evening, the bills were either postponed or placed on the calendar too late before the House’s deadline to pass bills, allowing Democrats to delay them to death.
Patrick has not yet indicated whether he would like to see other items killed in the House, such as legislation to ban child gender modification, on a special session call.
Though only the governor can call a 30-day special session, in which lawmakers are limited to only the subjects he decides, Patrick has ways to force the issue as lieutenant governor. The only bill the Legislature is constitutionally required to pass before leaving on May 31 is the state’s biennial budget. If Patrick decides not to bring up the final budget for a vote of approval, Abbott would be forced to call lawmakers back.
Note: After publication, the Texas Senate brought the budget up for a vote.
In 2017, Patrick accomplished a similar move after the Texas House similarly failed to pass a number of conservative priorities. In response, Patrick did not bring up a “must-pass” bill to continue the functions of a number of state agencies, which forced Abbott to call lawmakers back in July.
In response to Patrick’s most recent request, Abbott declined to say whether he would indeed call lawmakers back.
“Some are trying to end the game before the time clock has run out,” said Abbott. “There’s still time remaining for the House and Senate to work together to get important conservative legislation to my desk. Members in both chambers need to be spending every minute of every day to accomplish that mission.”
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West told Texas Scorecard a special session should only be called if the intent is to address the legislative priorities of the party.
“It would be the highest level of disrespect and disregard to those called upon to elect Texas Republicans to not have their priority issues resolved. As well, the serious issue of property tax reform needs attention, not shell game politics,” said West. “When the progressive socialists of the left are in legislative and executive power they’re relentless in pushing their destructive ideological agenda. Texas Republican elected officials must find their intestinal fortitude and stop the appeasement, acquiescence, and abject surrender.”