Gov. Greg Abbott announces third special session to address redistricting, vaccine mandates

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FILE – In this Tuesday, June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN (KTAB/KRBC) — Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will call a third special legislative session to address five agenda items.

Among the agenda items are redrawing legislative and congressional districts, banning transgender students from competing in UIL athletics, and whether state or local government entities can enact vaccine mandates.

“The Texas Legislature now has the opportunity to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the new census numbers,” Abbott stated in a news release. “In addition to redistricting, there are still issues remaining that are critical to building a stronger and brighter future for all Texans.”

The third special session is slated for Monday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.

The full news release reads as follows:

Governor Abbott today issued a proclamation announcing that he will convene a third special legislative session at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 20, 2021. The proclamation identifies 5 agenda items for the third Special Session.

“The Texas Legislature now has the opportunity to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the new census numbers,” said Governor Abbott. “In addition to redistricting, there are still issues remaining that are critical to building a stronger and brighter future for all Texans.”

Agenda items for the third Special Session will include: 

Legislation relating to the apportionment of the State of Texas into districts used to elect members of the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, the State Board of Education, and the United States House of Representatives.

Legislation providing appropriations from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), Pub. L. No. 117-2.

Legislation identical to Senate Bill 29 as passed by the Texas Senate in the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, disallowing a student from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student’s sex at birth. 

Legislation regarding whether any state or local governmental entities in Texas can mandate that an individual receive a COVID-19 vaccine and, if so, what exemptions should apply to such mandate. 

Legislation similar to Senate Bill 474 as passed by the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, but that addresses the concerns expressed in the governor’s veto statement. 

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