The Texas Legislature meets every two years in odd numbered years per Article 3, Section 5 of the Texas Constitution. The session begins at noon on the 2nd Tuesday in January and lasts 140 calendar days. Because the legislature is considered part-time, the Texas Constitution also allows for the Governor to call the Legislature in for a special session if and when he or she so chooses, in between regular legislative sessions. Additionally, the Governor can limit what may be considered during a special session by what topics are placed on the call, and a special session can last no longer than 30 days.
Governor Greg Abbott called a special session on Thursday, July 8, 2021. This marks the second since I was first elected in 2016. He placed eleven items on the call including bail system reform, election integrity, border security, social media censorship, legislative branch funding, family violence prevention, disallowing student athletes from participating in UIL athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student’s sex at birth, mail delivery of abortion-inducing drugs, 13th check for retired teachers, critical race theory, and other budgetary matters.
In theory, there is no limit to the amount of special sessions that may be called by a Governor between regular sessions. To date, there have been approximately 125 special sessions as opposed to 87 regular legislative sessions. Between the 71st regular session and the 72nd, then Governor Bill Clements called six special sessions covering over 100 topics. The shortest recorded special session lasted only one hour following the 38th Legislature. No legislation was enacted during that special.
It is widely expected we will undertake multiple special sessions between the 87th regular session that ended on May 31, 2021, and the 88th session set to begin in January 2023. This fall we are expected to undertake the redistricting process as well as allocate additional federal relief dollars for the pandemic response.
More information about the history of the legislature, legislation, and other information can be found at the Legislative Reference Library website at lrl.texas.gov.
Details on how to reach me or my staff with concerns, comments, or anything you may need assistance with can be found here:
PO Box 2910
Austin, TX 78701
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0582
For issues in Denton County, my District Office is at 400 West Oak Street, Suite 106, Denton, TX 76201. Contact our district phone at 940-243-0230. As always, it is an honor to serve as your state representative!