Signature from governor finalizes some bills from second special session

Darkened Capitol rotunda with streaks of daylight dashing from the doors to the center

Update: SB 3 and SB 9 were both signed into law by the governor, on Sunday, September 19.

Third special session starts Monday

Since the second called session of the Texas Legislature ended two weeks ago, Gov. Greg Abbott has been signing the passed legislation into law.

One of the first bills that the governor signed was SB 1, the voter suppression bill that prompted House Democrats to break quorum. The bill is scheduled to take effect December 2, 2021, before the March 2022 primary elections. Since the bill’s signing, several groups, including Texas AFT, have filed lawsuits arguing that SB 1 suppresses voters’ voices and violates federal law.

Gov. Abbott also signed SB 7 and SB 15 last week. SB 7 provides TRS members who retired before this year with a one-time supplemental payment of up to $2,400. SB 15 grants local schools the authority to set up their own virtual learning programs and guarantees funding for these programs through September 2023. Due to the bipartisan support these bills received, both are effective immediately. 

SB 3, the classroom social studies censorship bill, and SB 9, which provides students with training on interpersonal violence and sex trafficking, have not yet been signed by the governor. The governor vetoed legislation similar to SB 9 after the regular session this spring because that bill did not allow parents to opt their students out of the training. During the special session, lawmakers adjusted SB 9 to fit the governor’s demands. Both bills are expected to be signed into law. The deadline for the governor to sign bills into law is September 22.

The third called session of the Texas Legislature begins Monday. That session will cover redistricting, school vaccine mandates, transgender student sports participation, and other issues.