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Texas third special session begins: Redistricting, transgender athlete bill on the call

The first day of the third special session began on Monday.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House kept things short and sweet on the first day back for the third special session, gaveling in and out within 30 minutes. 

Texas representatives will be back on the floor Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, in the Senate on Monday, lawmakers took time to remember 9/11, commemorate the 20th anniversary and honor the courage and heroism shown by many with Senate Resolution 6. 

The many brave people they spoke of included Sen. Brian Birdwell, a decorated military veteran who survived the attack at the Pentagon. He was working in his second-floor office when the plane hit in 2001. 

"You are the perfect example of how we are the land of the free and the home of the brave," said Sen. Donna Campbell. "You are exemplary. You are the brave." 

The Senate assigned bills to committees, with some hearings happening minutes after the upper chamber adjourned. 

The big item for the third special session is redistricting. The constitution requires lawmakers to draw new political maps based on the 2020 census. 

Lawmakers will also decide how the State spends nearly $16 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money. 

Plus, Gov. Greg Abbott, who has not supported COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the past, is now letting lawmakers decide if the State and local governments can require vaccines and, if so, decide if there should be exemptions. 

Additionally, strengthening dog abuse laws is on the agenda.

Gov. Abbott also wants lawmakers to pass a bill requiring public school students to play on sports teams based on their biological sex assigned at birth, which brought in people both for and against the bill to the Capitol on Monday.

The Senate reconvenes on Tuesday at noon. The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services will listen to public testimony on the transgender athlete bill on Tuesday after the Senate adjourns.


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