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Posts tagged as “Greg Abbott”

Abbott announces 3rd Special Session, agenda

(Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images)

AUSTIN – Governor Abbott today issued a proclamation announcing that he will convene a third special legislative session at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 20, 2021. The proclamation identifies 5 agenda items for the third Special Session.

“The Texas Legislature now has the opportunity to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the new census numbers,” said Governor Abbott. “In addition to redistricting, there are still issues remaining that are critical to building a stronger and brighter future for all Texans.”

Agenda items for the third Special Session will include:

Abbott signs Briscoe Cain legislation

Local State Representative Briscoe Cain, right, authored Censorship bill with Senator Bryan Hughes, left. At center, Governor Abbott displays signed bill.

Law Protects Texans From Wrongful Social Media Censorship

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Bill 20 into law, which protects Texans from wrongful censorship on social media platforms. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by Senators Bryan Hughes and Representative Briscoe Cain, the bill’s authors, as well as Senators Charles Perry, Dawn Buckingham, and Angela Paxton. The Governor named social media censorship legislation as an agenda item for the second special legislative session in August.

Voter Regulations bill passes, Abbott ready to sign controversial legislation

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement following the passage of Senate Bill 1, which Republicans say will protect the integrity of elections in Texas:

“Protecting the integrity of our elections is critical in the state of Texas, which is why I made election integrity an emergency item during the 87th Legislative Session. I thank Senator Brian Hughes, Representative Andrew Murr, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dade Phelan for stepping up to ensure that this bill made it to the finish line during the second special session. Senate Bill 1 will solidify trust and confidence in the outcome of our elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I look forward to signing Senate Bill 1 into law, ensuring election integrity in Texas.”

Senate Bill 1 creates uniform statewide voting hours, maintains and expands voting access for registered voters that need assistance, prohibits drive-through voting, and authorizes poll watchers to observe more aspects of the election process. The bill also bans and penalizes the distribution of unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots and gives voters with a defective mail-in ballot the opportunity to correct the defect.

UPDATE ON BILLS MOVING THROUGH THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE DURING THE SPECIAL SESSION

Report by State Representative Mayes Middleton

Abbott sued over mask mandate ban

A growing number of school districts, counties and cities have defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases continue to spike due to the delta variant and a low rate of vaccination among Texans.

As KUT.org reported, officials in Dallas and Bexar counties won a first round in court in requiring masks in public schools and most government buildings. School districts in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, among others, are requiring students, teachers and staff to wear masks.

Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are appealing the initial district court decisions and have vowed to sue any government official who defies the governor’s order.

HOSPITALIZATIONS, COVID-19 CASES CONTINUE TO RISE

Meanwhile, the number of new cases of COVID-19, overwhelmingly among unvaccinated Texans, continues to rise with 98,383 reported in the past week along with 628 deaths, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations are approaching the peak levels of mid-January, with 11,381 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, up 27% from the week before.

As students return to classrooms across the state, the number of children in Texas hospitalized with COVID-19 is at one of its highest levels since the pandemic began. In the 19- county region around Dallas and Fort Worth, there were no staffed pediatric beds available late last week, according to KUT.org.

County returns COVID threat level to RED

Delta Variant fills Hospitals

HARRIS COUNTY – Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo raised the COVID-19 threat level to “red” on Thursday afternoon, as the COVID-19 delta variant has increased hospitalizations and strained the region’s hospital resources over the past month.

It’s the first time the county has hit its highest threat level since June 2020.

The new advisory indicates that severe and uncontrolled outbreaks are present in the community and worsening, and that the public health capacity in the region is strained or exceeded, Hidalgo said.

“It’s straining our staff, it’s straining our hospitals, and it’s imposing heartbreak and anxiety in so many families in Harris County,” Hidalgo said.

The county judge called the latest surge a “perfect storm” of strained staff, a more transmissible virus, and the limited ability for local leaders to implement public health policies after Gov. Greg Abbott issued orders preventing such measures.

Hidalgo urged everyone eligible for a vaccine to get one, or else avoid “all but the most essential interactions.” She also recommended both the vaccinated and unvaccinated wear masks, and told the public to use ERs for life-threatening emergencies only.

Abbott calls Second Special Session of the Legislature

Democrats remain away in DC

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation announcing that he will convene a second special legislative session at 12:00 p.m. on August 7, 2021. The proclamation identifies 17 agenda items for the second Special Session.

“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 Governor 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.” Agenda items for the second Special Session will include:

Dems defy Abbott, continue stay in DC

Democratic State Rep. Senfronia Thompson

WASHINGTON, DC – More than 50 Democratic members of the state House fled Austin for Washington, D.C., last Monday, paralyzing the House just as the GOP was advancing sweeping changes in elections during a special session. Under the Texas Constitution, the Legislature requires a quorum of two-thirds of lawmakers to be present to conduct state business in either chamber.

The Texas Democrats plan to spend the week meeting with national voting rights advocates and labor leaders, election officials and other Democrats as they seek to keep the pressure on Congress to pass federal voting legislation.

Abbott Announces Special Session of Legislature Agenda

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation that identifies eleven agenda items for the Special Session that begins at 10:00 AM on Thursday, July 8.

“The 87th Legislative Session was a monumental success for the people of Texas, but we have unfinished business to ensure that Texas remains the most exceptional state in America,” said Governor Abbott. “Two of my emergency items, along with other important legislation, did not make it to my desk during the regular session, and we have a responsibility to finish the job on behalf of all Texans. These Special Session priority items put the people of Texas first and will keep the Lone Star State on a path to prosperity. I look forward to working with my partners in the Legislature to pass this legislation as we build a brighter future for all who call Texas home.”

Special Session agenda items will include:

87th Legislature ends, as Democrats walk out to kill Voter Restrictions bill

AUSTIN – A bill to overhaul voting rules in the state failed to pass in the Texas House on Sunday night in a victory for Democrats and voting rights advocates. Sunday was the last day of the legislative session that the bill, Senate Bill 7, could have been passed, but it may be brought up again in the future.

SB7 failed to pass in the Texas House because a group of House Democrats walked out of the legislature, causing the House to lose quorum — in order for certain procedures to take place, such as passing legislation, a certain number of House members must be present — blocking Republicans from passing the bill despite their majority. Birnel said that was all made possible by the work of organizers.

The bill would place limits on early voting hours, drive-thru voting, and tighten restrictions on who can vote by mail. It would also expand the role that poll watchers can play, including allowing them to be closer to the polls and to record certain voters.

Baytown Mayor Receives Vaccine at Houston Methodist Baytown

BAYTOWN — (April 1, 2021) — Taking advantage of the state’s decision to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all Texans age 16 and over, Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo received his first dose of the vaccine on March 31.

The Texas Department of State Health Services opened registration for the vaccine to all Texans 16 and older on March 29, while still asking providers to prioritize appointments for people 80 and older. Capetillo said he is happy to do his part to help bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.

“The sooner our citizens are vaccinated the quicker we will be able to return to our normal routines,” Capetillo said. “I encourage everyone who can to register to be vaccinated.”

To date, nearly 10 million Texans have received a dose of the vaccine since it was made available in December 2020. Houston Methodist serves as a state-designated vaccine hub and has administered over 483,210 vaccines. Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital’s vaccine center has administered thousands of doses to Baytown area residents.