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Texas Legislature wraps up second special session

The Texas House of Representatives and Senate adjourned Sine Die around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2.

AUSTIN, Texas — The 87th Texas Legislature’s second special has come to an end. Both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives adjourned Sine Die around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2.

Legislation, including election reform, bail reform and funding for the Legislature passed during the session and are now to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

The special session was set to conclude on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. The Senate adjourned after passing House Bill 5, which restored legislative funding. The House passed HB5 earlier on Thursday. Gov. Greg Abbott had vetoed Article X of the constitution, which funds the legislature, after Texas House Democrats walked out of the chamber in June, blocking the passage of both election and bail reform bills. 

The majority of Texas House Democrats left Texas for Washington, D.C. during the Legislature’s first special session in July to block the passage of a controversial election reform bill. This caused the House to not meet quorum for over a month, meaning it was unable to do business.

But, during the second special session, some Democrats returned to Texas, and the House was able to meet quorum on Aug. 19.

The election reform bill, Senate Bill 1, passed in the Texas House on Aug. 31.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan released the following statement after both chambers adjourned:

"I am grateful for the service of House members who devoted their time and energy throughout the regular session and two special sessions. 

The hard work done during the regular session guarantees that our public schools are fully funded, that Texans have additional options for health insurance, and that we continue to improve and innovate our criminal justice system. 

During this special session, the Texas Legislature passed landmark legislation, including providing needed income to our retired teachers, improving our foster care system, creating uniformity in our state's election code, attacking the scourge of human trafficking by securing our border, and reforming our bail system to keep our streets safe. 

As a result, Texas will continue to be a beacon of prosperity and freedom for years to come. This has been a long, difficult summer for the families of Texas House members, and I have deep appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifice they make in allowing us to serve the great State of Texas."

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement following the Texas Senate adjourning the Second Called Special Session of the 87th Legislative Session sine die:

"At the end of the 87th Regular Legislative Session, the Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives walked out and broke quorum, killing many of my priorities, and the priorities that reflect the view of the majority of Texans statewide, including the Election Integrity Bill and Bail Reform. During the First Called Special Session, the same Democrats broke quorum again and fled to Washington, D.C., again killing the Election Integrity Bill, the Banning of Critical Race Theory, the Fair Sports for Women and Girls Act and every other item on Gov. Abbott's special session call. Throughout the regular session and First Called Special Session, the Texas Senate passed every bill on my priority list and the governor's special session call.

 The Texas Senate once again began work immediately once the Second Called Special Session was called by Gov. Abbott, and we passed these Republican priority bills during the first week of the session while we awaited the return of the House Democrats from their Washington, D.C. and European vacations. At the beginning of this week, several must-pass bills hung in the balance, including the Election Integrity Bill, the Banning of Critical Race Theory, the Fair Sports for Women and Girls Act, Bail Reform and Border Funding. We went into overdrive to be sure these bills did not fail again.

As we finish this week, I am very proud to say that the Texas Senate completed one of the greatest weeks for Republican legislation in Texas, and perhaps, American history. Tonight, we set the foundation for conservative, common sense policy. The cornerstones of this foundation start with Senate Bill 1, the Election Integrity Bill, which makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat. Another cornerstone, Senate Bill 8, the Heartbeat Bill, has already been allowed to be enacted by the United States Supreme Court. The third cornerstone is Senate Bill 3, Banning Critical Race Theory in our schools. No student should be called an oppressor or a victim. Every student deserves to dream big in our great country. The final cornerstone was investing an additional $1.8 billion to secure our border, because the federal government is not doing their job.

These are conservative cornerstones that will keep Texas, Texas. These tremendous victories were the result of countless hours of teamwork and collaboration by the Texas Senate. We still have unfinished business to complete on the Fair Sports for Women and Girls Act. The Senate has passed that bill 4 times, and it has failed in the House. I have asked Gov. Abbott to place it on the special session call later this month, and we will pass it again.

As this week ends, I could not be more proud of your Texas Senators and the bills we have sent to Gov. Abbott to be signed into law."

Members are expected to return to Austin soon for another special session that will be focused on redrawing the state’s political maps, though no date has yet been announced by Abbott, according to the Texas Tribune.

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