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Second Special Session agenda adds quorum discussions, COVID-19 rules related to schools

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — August 7 is the start date for the next special session and today Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the agenda items he aims to tackle.

The new agenda includes all previous 11 items identified for the session that was disrupted by Texas House Democrats fleeing to Washington D.C. nearly a month ago.

“The Texas Legislature achieved a great deal during the 87th Legislative Session, and they have a responsibility to finish the work that was started,” said Abbott. “I will continue to call special session after special session to reform our broken bail system, uphold election integrity, and pass other important items that Texans demand and deserve. Passing these Special Session agenda items will chart a course towards a stronger and brighter future for the Lone Star State.”

New items on the agenda include quorum rules, primary elections, radioactive waste, employment and federal relief appropriations.

According to Abbott, the new agenda considerations specifically state lawmakers will tackle

  • Legislation providing strategies for public-school education in prekindergarten through twelfth grade during the COVID-19 pandemic, which ensures: students receive a high-quality education and progress in their learning; in-person learning is available for any student whose parent wants it; the wearing of face coverings is not mandatory; and COVID-19 vaccinations are always voluntary.
  • Legislation relating to legislative quorum requirements.
  • Legislation modifying the filing periods and related election dates, including any runoffs, for primary elections held in Texas in 2022.
  • Legislation reforming the laws governing radioactive waste to protect the safety of Texans, including by further limiting the ability to store and transport high-level radioactive materials in this state.
  • Legislation shielding private employers and employees from political subdivision rules, regulations, ordinances, and other actions that require any terms of employment that exceed or conflict with federal or state law relating to any form of employment leave, hiring practices, employment benefits, or scheduling practices.
  • Legislation providing appropriations from unappropriated available revenues for COVID-19-related healthcare expenses, such as those listed below, taking into consideration the approximately $10.5 billion in funds received by local governments intended to be used on COVID-19 from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021(ARPA), Pub. L. No. 117-2: healthcare staffing needs, including physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals; establishing, staffing, and operating alternative care sites; supporting the operations of nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities; vaccine administration; testing sites; supplies and equipment, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators; and standing up and operating infusion centers.

The special session will convene Saturday at noon.

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