Only a few days after the end of the second special legislative session, Gov. Abbott called a third to begin on Sept. 20. This session had been expected, as legislators need to draw new boundaries for legislative, congressional, and State Board of Education districts.
It is noteworthy that two Democratic state senators, Sens. Roland Gutierrez and Sarah Eckhardt, have filed suit in a federal court arguing that the Texas Constitution requires House and Senate boundaries to be redrawn in the regular session — not a special session — following the release of the needed census data.
In addition to redistricting, Abbott included other items on the agenda for the session:
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 [animal cruelty legislation] as passed by the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, but that addresses the concerns expressed in the governor's veto statement.