AUSTIN, Texas — It's been one week since the Texas Legislature left town. But lawmakers left a lot of business unfinished in Gov. Greg Abbott's eyes and he's vowed to call them back.
He said to expect at least two special sessions. The second one was expected and will be in the fall to deal with redistricting and spending federal COVID relief money. Gov. Abbott’s said the first overtime call with include a sweeping elections reform bill and a measure to overhaul the bail system. But in an interview on Capital Tonight Monday, he said he’s still deciding what other items he may place on the early special session agenda and expects to make an announcement about that and the timing of it by the end of the month.
One thing he disclosed he will include, reinstating all of the funding contained in Article 10 of the state budget. Abbott threatened to veto Texas lawmakers' pay after the elections bill failed, but that article also includes salaries for staff and several key agencies. Abbott’s been criticized for punishing staff who had nothing to do with the Democrats walkout over the elections bill.
“I’ll give them [lawmakers] the opportunity to reinstate it,” he said “I will add that issue back on the table during the special session so they will have the opportunity to reinstate all of the funding in Article 10.”
Abbott has until June 20 to announce his vetoes. The current budget ends on Aug. 31 so he’d need to call lawmakers back before then to let them restore the funding for the new budget that starts in September without affecting staff.
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Gov. Abbott, including his take on his reelection campaign as more Republicans weigh challenging him.