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Texas governor announces new special session of legislature will begin Aug. 7

The agenda for the second special session has 17 points, including the election bill that prompted House Democrats to flee the state.

Updated: August 5, 2021 - 4:33pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the new special session of the Texas state legislature will begin Saturday with an expanded 17-point agenda.

The election bill that caused Democrats to leave the state is still on the agenda, along with six additions. The new items include how to spend federal COVID-19 relief funds; whether to change the legislative rules regarding quorums; and an item on  education.

Texas state Democrats who are still currently in D.C. were expected to return home Friday, when the previous special session had finished. Because of the new session, they have not announced whether their plans have changed. Abbott has said he will continue calling special sessions until the legislators return and finish the agenda. 

Abbott has threatened to arrest the House Democrats who fled the state, and to keep them locked in the state Capitol building until they "get the job done," the Hill reports. House Democrats claim that they never committed a crime.

The Texas Tribune outlined possible moves the Democrats could make, including staying in D.C.; returning to Texas but staying in their districts; traveling to another state; or returning to Austin.

The election bill still in question would restrict local voting options and place new statewide rules on early voting and mail ballots. It would also limit the use of drop boxes.

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