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Texas governor adds illegal voting penalty increase to third special session agenda

The penalties were reduced in Senate Bill 1, which passed in the second special session.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott submitted a letter to the Secretary of the Senate regarding legislation to increase penalties for illegal voting as an added agenda item for the third special session.

The penalties were reduced in Senate Bill 1, which passed earlier this year in the second special session.

"The State of Texas has made tremendous progress in upholding the integrity of our elections," said Gov. Abbott. "By increasing penalties for illegal voting, we will send an even clearer message that voter fraud will not be tolerated in Texas."

The third special session began on Sept. 20. Other items include:

  • Legislation relating to the apportionment of the State of Texas into districts used to elect members of the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, the State Board of Education, and the United States House of Representatives.
  • Legislation providing appropriations from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), Pub. L. No. 117-2.
  • Legislation identical to Senate Bill 29 as passed by the Texas Senate in the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, disallowing a student from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student's sex at birth. 
  • Legislation regarding whether any state or local governmental entities in Texas can mandate that an individual receive a COVID-19 vaccine and, if so, what exemptions should apply to such mandate. 
  • Legislation similar to Senate Bill 474 as passed by the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, but that addresses the concerns expressed in the governor's veto statement. 

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