AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is facing increasing pressure from within his own party to call a fourth special legislative session.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday tweeted though he feels lawmakers just finished a “strong conservative session” Tuesday, “more needs to be done.”
Patrick is continuing his push to add felony penalties for illegal voting and is calling on the House of Representatives to pass a bill for a forensic audit of the 2020 elections results. Both were part of the agenda in the third special session.
Former State Sen. Don Huffines, who is challenging Abbott in the Republican gubernatorial primary, retweeted Patrick, adding increasing illegal voting penalties and the election audit are “absolutely necessary,” along with “legislation banning all vaccine mandates in Texas.”
A spokesperson for Abbott gave KXAN the following statement Wednesday:
“Texans tasked the Legislature with delivering on key priorities for the state in this most recent special session, including property tax relief, redistricting, and the nearly $16 billion American Rescue Plan Act funding, and we went above and beyond to deliver on these priorities as well as solve other critical issues for Texas. Because of the Texas House and Senate’s efforts to get these priorities across the finish line, there is no need for another special session at this time.”Spokesperson for Gov. Greg Abbott, (R) Texas
Rose Clouston, the voter protection director for the Texas Democratic Party, told KXAN she feels lawmakers missed the mark this legislative go around. Clouston said the Republican-led legislature should have focused more on the state’s power grid and on getting more Texans vaccinated against COVID-19.
“They have done everything except for prioritize Texans and what we really need from our government,” she said.
Political science and communication professor Dr. Richard Pineda said though a fourth special session is not unheard of (the last one was in 2004), politically, Abbott may have accomplished enough for his base — redistricting, in particular.
“And that’s going to be a big win for the governor,” Pineda said. “It may be one of those cases where that’s a big enough win to make up the difference for any shortfalls.”