Abbott Announces Special Legislative Session, Setting Up Second Try At Adopting Election Reforms

(Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will call back his state’s lawmakers for a special legislative session beginning July 8, where they will have the opportunity to pass a sweeping and hotly contested election reform package into law.

Democrats stopped the package from advancing in the state Senate late last month after they quietly left the legislature and broke quorum. Abbott responded quickly, vowing to force the legislature back in order to pass the bill, which he said was one of his top priorities.

Though Abbott did not explicitly say that the special session would include election legislation, he previously said that the first of two planned additional sessions would focus on elections and bail reform. A second, that Abbott said would take place in September or October, will focus on redistricting and allocating federal coronavirus funds. (RELATED: Democrats Are Sounding The Alarm Over Texas’ Voting Bill. Here’s What It Actually Does)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs bills into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state’s power grid earlier this month.(Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

Republicans in the state Senate could either attempt to pass the same bill again or write a new piece of legislation.

The original legislation, Senate Bill 7, would have limited mail-in voting, eliminated drive-thru voting and given more power to partisan poll watchers.

After Democrats’ stalled the bill, Abbott threatened to strip lawmakers’ pay, which he officially did last week.

Texas Democrats met with prominent lawmakers in Washington, D.C. last week, urging them to pass the “For the People Act,” a sweeping voting bill that congressional Republicans universally oppose. The bill, which would have adopted universal mail-in voting, expanded early voting, legalized ballot harvesting, outlawed partisan gerrymandering and more, fell to an expected GOP filibuster Tuesday evening.

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