Second Reading Podcast: Republican politics in the Texas Legislature as the third special session nears

Jim Henson and Joshua Blank look at the internecine politics of the Texas GOP and the calculations of the Big Three with the legislature set to begin the long-awaited "voucher session" – and consider the GOP meltdown in the US House as context for the looming session, set to begin Monday October 9.

Shortly after the podcast was recorded, Gov. Abbott issued a proclamation setting the agenda for the special session

The items are (as presented in the Governor's press release):

  • EDUCATION FREEDOM: Legislation providing education savings accounts for all Texas schoolchildren.
    • Legislation to do more to reduce illegal immigration by creating a criminal offense for illegal entry into this state from a foreign nation and authorizing all licensed peace officers to remove illegal immigrants from Texas.
    • Legislation to impede illegal entry into Texas by increasing the penalties for certain criminal conduct involving the smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house.
    • Legislation to impede illegal entry into Texas by providing more funding for the construction, operation, and maintenance of border barrier infrastructure.
  • PUBLIC SAFETY: Legislation concerning public safety, security, environmental quality, and property ownership in areas like the Colony Ridge development in Liberty County, Texas.
  • ENDING COVID RESTRICTIONS: Legislation prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine mandates by private employers.

About the Second Reading podcast. The podcast has been produced intermittently by Jim Henson for the Texas Politics Project, with production support from UT's Liberal Arts Development Studio, since 2016. You can find past episodes and subscribe to the Second Reading podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotify,  and Stitcher.

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