TYLER - While the decision came as no surprise for many, Texas lawmakers are gearing up for next month's special session, called by Governor Abbott to address a laundry list of bills not passed this term.
"If I'm going to ask tax payers to foot the bill for a special session, I intend to make it count," Abbott said during a news conference on Tuesday.
Republican lawmakers met with members of the Smith County Republican Club Thursday, to discuss the legislation they've wrapped up so far and the work that's still to come.
"We did accomplish some good things, but we didn't quite get finished doing what the people sent us down there to do. So I think it's a good thing," said Rep. Cole Hefner, R- Mt. Pleasant.
The legislative agenda consists of a lengthy list outlined by the governor this week.
"After the sunset legislation passes out of the senate, the following 19 items will be added immediately to the special session for the house and senate to vote on," Abbot said.
Speaking to the club, State Rep. Matt Schaefer, R -Tyler, outlined the importance of hearing from constituents.
"It's our duty to come back and report on the work that was done in the capitol and listen to the people who sent us," Schaefer said.
Republican state lawmakers said they're optimistic that they'll be able to move forward on key topics, such as the Sunset Bills, which would renew funding for several state boards.
"It's kind of a run of the mill, ordinary business of government. But if you don't pass it, certain agencies can shut down. But, we have plenty of time in 30 days to get that bill passed," Schaefer said.
The hotly contested Bathroom Bill is also on the agenda. Legislation pertaining to the topic was addressed in two separate versions in both the house and senate, but failed to make it to Governor Abbott's
As for the 30 day deadline, lawmakers said they are confident that they can get the job done.
"Previous governors have called repeated special sessions until they got their agenda passed. Hopefully we won't have to do that," Hefner said.
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