Gov. Abbott has long list of items for special legislative session

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Only the governor can call for a special legislative session, and it’s not that uncommon. But political experts say Governor Greg Abbott’s laundry list of agenda items makes this one unique.

“You have about 20 items that run from abortion related legislation to a bathroom bill to property tax caps to school choice for special need children,” said Rice political analyst Mark Jones.

“I applaud the legislature for passing landmark pro-life legislation during the regular session,”  Abbott said.

But it wasn’t enough as far the Governor is concerned.

“Legislation that would prohibit state and local governments from providing taxpayer funds to abortion providers,” said Abbott.

During the 140 day legislative session, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus openly feuded.

That battle between conservative movement republicans like Patrick and moderate republicans like Straus left the state on the verge of shuttering agencies like the Texas Medical Board.

Now the governor and lieutenant governor get another shot at getting what they want. For Patrick, it’s passing the bathroom bill and changing the state’s property tax system. For the governor, it’s mail ballot fraud.

“I want legislation that toughens the penalties on mail ballot voter fraud and makes it harder for that crime to be committed in Texas,” Abbott said.

The governor is warning lawmakers to compromise this time around.

“I expect legislators to return with a calm demeanor and with a firm commitment to make Texas even better,” he said.

Lawmakers have six weeks to prepare for the special 30-day session which begins on July 18.

The governor also announced a statewide ban on texting and driving that goes into effect September 1.