Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has released his agenda items for the special session of the Texas legislature, which starts Thursday, July 8.
Calling special sessions is among the Texas governor’s most important powers. The governor exists in a weak constitutional model, with the vast majority of powerful offices across the state elected and empowered in their own right (as opposed to being appointed by the governor). But that gets turned on its head when it comes to special sessions. The governor alone can call a special session, and the governor alone sets out and limits the agenda. If something is not on the agenda, it will not be considered during the special session. Period. If the legislature doesn’t settle a given issue, the governor can just turn around and order another special session until they do.
Here is Gov. Abbott’s agenda for the first special session of 2021. I say “first” because there will be at least one more later in the year, to deal with redistricting.
This is a very conservative-minded agenda list, so be sure the Austin and other big-city media organs will pan it. Expect Joe Biden and his media allies to bash #2, #3, #7, and #10 — at least. Most Texans will support it. Big Tex vs. Big Tech will be interesting to watch.
Property tax relief probably won’t get much media play outside Texas but it’s a huge and necessary bipartisan item that the legislature has often promised to resolve without actually resolving it. It’s a difficult issue, to be sure, one that touches on the meaning of property ownership on one hand, and the funding of public schools and universities on the other. Philosophically, do you really own your home if you keep having to pay for it even long after you’ve paid off the mortgage and you no longer have any children attending Texas public schools?
As a conservative, this looks like a solid list. Democrats and the media will hate it. Let the games begin.