In a letter to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan and obtained by several media entities over the weekend, Gov. Greg Abbott warned he will bring lawmakers into a 30-day special legislative session starting the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 9, 2023.
Abbott has teased for months that he would call the session to address school choice. That concept has proved popular with voters and even passed the Senate but has been thwarted by the Texas House. Recently, Abbott has indicated the agenda would also include matters related to the Colony Ridge housing development outside Houston that targets illegal aliens.
“For planning purposes, and so you can notify your respective members, Special Session #3 will start October 9, 2023, at 1 p.m. I will issue a formal proclamation prior to the start of Special Session #3,” wrote Abbott in his letter.
The Texas Constitution limits lawmakers to 140-day legislative sessions in odd-numbered years but gives governors the authority to call lawmakers in for 30-day special sessions on topics set by the governor. Lawmakers are under no obligation to actually pass the legislation asked for by a governor.
For example, the first special session ended in an impasse when the Texas House refused to work with the Senate in addressing the governor’s priorities. A second special session was called, resulting in a tepid property tax relief package.