Election integrity, social media regulations, and a ban on trans athletes in high school sports are on the special session agenda for the Texas legislature.
A day after saying he did not think the governor would add such hot button issues, Rice University's Mark Jones says it looks like Gov. Greg Abbott is all in with his base heading into next year's gubernatorial race and beyond.
“Gov. Abbott is fully aware that any road to the White House goes through the governor's mansion and him obtaining the election by a large margin in 2022,” he says.
The list of 11 items also includes putting more money in the teacher retirement system, a ban on receiving abortion-inducing drugs via mail, and cash for property tax relief and the foster care system.
There's also a redo on Critical Race Theory in Texas schools, though the legislature already banned it during the regular session.
“What the governor is urging the legislature to pass is another anti-Critical Race Theory bill. One that is cleaner and removes all the attachments that Democrats tacked on,” says Jones.
Jones points out there is no guarantee all will be passed or even signed by Abbott.
“I think we're going to see the legislature's budget held hostage until Gov. Abbott sees a few of his top priority items reach his desk. Things like bail reform, election integrity and maybe border security and social media censorship.”
One item that's missing says Jones, is anything having to do with strengthening the Texas power grid. Though the governor did give directives to the Public Utility Commission Tuesday.