FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Days before the end of the regular legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott sought to set the political ground rules for a potential special session.
He made his remarks during a news conference Thursday in Fort Worth in response to a tweet by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who asked the governor to call a June special session to pass three bills backed by conservatives that died in the House.READ MORE: Dallas Restaurant Owner Who Served In The Army Gets Frozen Out Of COVID-19 Relief Money
There will already be a special session this fall for redistricting and for lawmakers to decide how to spend $16 billion dollars in federal COVID-19 relief.
The governor said if there are other issues to be dealt with, he will call them one at a time. “So if anybody tries to hold hostage this legislative session to force a special session, that person will be putting their members in the Senate or the House potentially into a special session for another two years.”
The lieutenant governor said a special session is needed to pass bills that ban social media censorship and taxpayer-funded lobbying, and one that ensures student athletes compete against those in their same birth gender, not their gender identity.
When asked about his level of commitment to those bills, the governor said, “First, I support all three of those, but second, none of them got passed. So those could be other items that are put on the agenda.”
Abbott has already signed the Texas Heartbeat Bill, banning most abortions after six weeks and will sign permitless or constitutional carry.READ MORE: Too Much Time In North Texas Heat Leading To More Hospitalizations
That would allow all eligible Texans 21 and over to carry a handgun in public without getting a license or training, as required now.
Abbott also had a message for Republican legislative leaders after the House and Senate have fumed publicly over passing each chamber’s bills. “If the leaders in the legislature stop fighting with each other and start working together, we can get all of this across the finish line.”
The back and forth over a special session or sessions comes as the governor prepares to announce his re-election campaign.
During the session, he and Patrick have faced political pressure by Texas Republican Party Chair Allen West to pass permitless carry.
The governor also continues to receive criticism from grassroots conservatives over his handling of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, former Republican State Sen. Don Huffines, of Dallas, announced he is challenging the governor in a primary.MORE NEWS: Family Battles Scarborough Renaissance Festival And Texas Law Over Sexual Assault On Fairgrounds
Before the start of the legislative session, the governor announced he has $38 million in his campaign account.