Can lawmakers skip the special legislative session?

What happens if Texas lawmakers decide to skip the special session.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Yesterday Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he's calling a special session to go over 20 bills that didn't make it past the regular legislative session.

Following Governor Abbots announcement Dallas area House member Eric Johnson tweeted “What would happen if, say, 55 House members didn’t show up for this special session?”

 This tweet has since gained a lot of traction and after seeing this our KAGS verify team decided to do a little digging of our own.

To research this story, we started at the source but representative Johnson declined to comment on his tweet.

We also referenced the Texas Constitution and reached out to one of our local representatives.

We learned the Texas Constitution requires at least two thirds of the house and senate to be present for the legislature to convene.

If house members were to skip out on this special session, they would not be the first to do so.

Back in 2003 a group of Texas Democrats made headlines of their own when they decided to skip out on the 78th legislative session.

After speaking to State Representative John Raney, while yes members can skip out on the special session, it could carry consequences.

“We can’t convene, we cannot do business without two-thirds of the members there. Which actually doesn't have to be 95 but it would have to be 100. So if we had 51 show up we could not do business,” said Raney.

So we can in fact verify, lawmakers can decide to skip a special session, but enough members would have to sit out to cancel the session altogether.
 

 

© 2017 KAGS-TV


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