Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Calls For Special Legislative Session For Redistricting, Transgender Athletes Restrictions

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called for a third special legislative session to tackle several bills on redistricting, restrictions for transgender student-athletes, and allocation of federal COVID-19 relief funds, among others, starting Sept. 20. 

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“In addition to redistricting, there are still issues remaining that are critical to building a stronger and brighter future for all Texans,” the governor said.

According to a Texas Tribune report, the lawmakers just wrapped up it’s second overtime session last Thursday, where they tackled major issues concerning elections, education, border security funding, and abortion access, among others. 

This time, Abbott wanted the lawmakers to deliver on his five-item agenda which includes redistricting issues. He also wanted to address the two issues pushed by the GOP base: requiring transgender student athletes to play on teams based on the gender assigned to them at or near birth, and deciding whether the state or local governments can ban COVID-19 mask mandates in schools. He is also asking the lawmakers to look at the over-specificity of the law banning the tethering of dogs outside with heavy chains, which he had vetoed earlier this year. 

Bill on Transgender Athletes Takes one Giant Step

Among the bills on Abbott’s agenda, the report says that the lawmakers are expected to turn up the heat on bill regarding the transgender student athletes. 

Meanwhile, the lawmakers will also take up their already delayed decennial redrawing of the state’s political maps, leaving some legislators fighting for their political dominance in the state. 

According to Abbott, with the new session, “The Texas Legislature now has the opportunity to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the new census numbers.” 

He said that as the previously contentious year had the House Democrats breaking quorum three times in order to avoid legislation that may restrict the voting rights of Texans. The Democrats are then expected to join hands with the Republican majority to redraw the state’s legislative and congressional maps. 

At present, the Republicans currently dominate both chambers in the Texas Legislature and the state’s congressional delegation, and they expect to have two additional seats due to the increase in population.