10 items that need attention in the Special Session that's not going anywhere

Voting Rights Showdown
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 18:36:23-04

AUSTIN, TX — The Governor's order calling for the Special Session lists 11 items.

That's 11 items ready for the fast track because a Special Session takes place in an expedited fashion so as not to waste taxpayer money.

But the whole thing got pulled off the highway, when about 60 or so, Democrats took off for Capitol Hill to lobby United States Senators for a Federal Voting Rights Bill, one that would stop bills like the one causing so much angst in Texas.

Les Whitehead thinks it's a mistake to keep kicking the can down the road.

"When you do procrastinate, you kinda screw up even better," he explained.

Lieutenant Governor Patrick says that's exactly what got the legislature called back in the first place. Waiting until the last minute to get a deal on a voting reform bill backfired leading to the Democrat's walkout and fly out.

The Senate still operates, but the house lacks the two/thirds vote it needs leaving the Republicans, for now, as lame ducks.

Experts say the GOP has only two ways to deal with this situation.

They could get more Republicans elected, and create a supermajority, but in a battleground state like Texas, that's a tall order.

Or they could put their nose to the grindstone and get to work on a voting bill that will pass.

"With the idea in mind that every vote counts, every legal vote should count and every voting process should be open to scrutiny and transparency to ensure its fairness and that's what this bill is all about," said Col Jon Ker, U.S. Army, (Ret.) Now a member of the Texas Republican Executive committee

The two sides will have to find common ground leaving 10 other items on the agenda.

"We've got the abortion issue on the abortion-inducing drugs I want to make sure that we continue to be very strong in Texas on our pro-life issues," said Rep. Hugh Shine, R- Temple.

We've told you about the bill making it harder for serious criminals to get bail and the bill that takes aim at what they call "Critical Race Theory" without even naming it. The Governor believes that needs fixing.

"This Critical Race Theory is designed to separate people, there is no redemption. If you're born Caucasian, you're bad and you're bad your entire life, birth to death," said Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson, R-Waco

Also on the agenda, and a top priority, restoring funding the Governor cut as punishment for the first democrat walkout on the voting bill.

Another thing that could come up, the Governor's desire to finish the Texas portion of the border wall.

"Are you ok with Texas taking over the wall project or our little piece of it?" asked 25 New's, Dennis Turner.

"Yeah, I think so, if the materials are there. They're just sitting there why wouldn't we? I mean, let's finish the job at least with the materials we have," said Shine.

It seems impossible now, that not much if anything will get done in this Special Session.

The last time Democrats headed for the hills, it took Governor Perry three Special Sessions to break the Democrat's logjam over re-districting.

"I don't know if we're gonna get to all these bills, these items or not, but they are on the call and we'll just have to wait and see," said Shine.

Even optimists now say it could be a long wait.

Les Whitehead fears eventually lawmakers might rush some bills through, and he wonders how well that might work.

"Then you make loopholes and you kinda cut the corners too much," he said.

And wasn't it cutting corners that got us here in the first place?