Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the agenda for the special legislative session which begins Thursday, insisting that lawmakers in the state prioritize issues like election integrity and preventing the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
“The 87th Legislative Session was a monumental success for the people of Texas, but we have unfinished business to ensure that Texas remains the most exceptional state in America,” Abbott said in a statement. “Two of my emergency items, along with other important legislation, did not make it to my desk during the regular session, and we have a responsibility to finish the job on behalf of all Texans.”
The agenda, which was released one day before lawmakers are set to reconvene in the Texas capitol, focuses heavily on Abbott’s priorities, including bail reform, election integrity, border security, and social media censorship.
Abbott insists on the agenda that lawmakers introduce legislation aimed at “reforming the bail system in Texas to protect the public from accused criminals who may be released on bail” and work on “strengthening the integrity of elections in Texas.”
As the border crisis continues to worsen, Abbott also called for assistance from the state legislature in funding “to support law-enforcement agencies, counties, and other strategies as part of Texas’ comprehensive border security plan.”
Regarding social media censorship, Abbott called for legislation that would assist in “safeguarding the freedom of speech by protecting social-media users from being censored by social-media companies based on the user’s expressed viewpoints, including by providing a legal remedy for those wrongfully excluded from a platform.”
As for the concern over how race should be taught in American classrooms, specifically those in Texas, Abbott called for legislation “similar to House Bill 3979 concerning critical race theory.” HB 3979, which originally passed the Texas Senate during the regular session of the 87th Legislature, states that educators should not teach that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex” or that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
In addition, HB 3979 states that schools cannot teach that an “individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”
Abbott also placed focus on school sports when it comes to being transgender, calling for legislation similar to that of “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.”
Some of the other many topics on the agenda include family violence prevention, abortion-inducing drugs, and appropriations.
“These Special Session priority items put the people of Texas first and will keep the Lone Star State on a path to prosperity,” Abbott said. “I look forward to working with my partners in the Legislature to pass this legislation as we build a brighter future for all who call Texas home.”