Texas lawmakers consider bills at special session
Gov. Greg Abbott has wrangled in lawmakers from across the state to make-up their minds on a list of bills that some call necessary and others call unconstitutional.
Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, says its pure political theater.
"The governor trying to assure his conservative base that he's with them. That he's driving a conservative agenda,” Jilson said.
Abbott recently visited the Rio Grande Valley, along with former President Donald Trump, to continue touting the need for greater border security after the number of migrants reached historic highs during the spring.
Randy Erben advised Abbott on policy back in 2015, and teaches political science at UT Austin.
“It would be naive to say that some of these were put on the agenda to help both the governor and the legislatures with their base,” Erben said.
Within the list includes bail overhaul, voting reforms, border security, abortion-inducing drugs, the teaching of critical race theory and others.
Some experts say topics such as additional payment for retired teachers could bring lawmakers together, but the governor can call as many special sessions as he wants.
It’s unclear what could get passed in just 30 days.
Democrats criticized the special session, saying it only hurts the most vulnerable Texans, from healthcare to criminal justice reform.
What hangs over all lawmakers and Texans is funding given to the legislative branch, which Democrats warned could slow down state services.