AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted on Wednesday he supports Gov. Greg Abbott calling a fourth special legislative session to address two different election issues.
Patrick tweeted saying the Texas Senate finished a "strong conservative session" earlier this week but that more needs to be done regarding illegal voting and an election forensic audit bill.
After Patrick made the statement on Wednesday, the Texas Republican Party said it supported the idea, saying lawmakers should tackle illegal voting penalties and election audits, as well as a ban on vaccine mandates and a ban on gender affirmation, including hormone treatment and puberty blockers.
Matt Rinaldi, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, said, “We commend the Texas Legislature and governor for delivering numerous significant and substantive conservative victories this year. But more needs to be done. We support Gov. Abbott calling the legislature back to address these issues.”
Legislation to increase penalties for illegal voting was on the agenda for the third special session, but didn't pass. Legislation for election audits was not on the latest special session agenda, but the Texas Senate did pass Senate Bill 47 for an audit on the 2020 election and setting guidelines for future audits. The bill didn't progress in the House after being passed by the Senate on Oct. 5.
A press secretary for the Office of the Governor released a statement responding to the tweet, saying Gov. Abbott does not intend to call another special session at this time.
“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.”
On Tuesday, Abbott released a statement regarding the end of the third special session, but didn't mention the election-related issues. Instead, his statement also focused on property taxes, the ARPA and redistricting.
"Property tax relief, appropriating funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and redrawing legislative districts were at the forefront of the agenda for the third Special Session," Abbott said in part. "Texans tasked the Legislature with delivering on these priorities, and I am proud to say not only did we deliver on these priorities, but the Legislature when above and beyond to solve other critical issues to ensure an even brighter future for the Lone Star State."
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