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Government/Politics

Gov. Greg Abbott Announces Next Special Legislative Session Will Start Saturday

 State Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, grips a chair on the opening day of the 87th legislative special session at the Texas Capitol on July 8, 2021.
Sophie Park
/
The Texas Tribune
State Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, grips a chair on the opening day of the 87th legislative special session at the Texas Capitol on July 8, 2021.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the second special legislative session will begin at noon Saturday — and with an expanded agenda.

The 17-item agenda still includes well-known Abbott priorities like the election bill that caused House Democrats to flee the state at the start of the first special session, which ends Friday. But it also includes a number of additions, including the spending of federal COVID-19 relief funds.

Abbott has vowed to call special session after special session until the Democrats return from Washington, D.C., and provide the quorum that the House needs to pass the elections legislation. He initially said he would make sure the second special began the day after the first one ends.

The second special session is approaching unfold amid continued uncertainty over the fate of paychecks for over 2,000 legislative staffers. Abbott vetoed their pay after House Democrats staged a walkout over the elections bill in the regular session that ended in May, and the funding was set to start Sept. 1.

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.