Hours after Democrats won a rare victory by blocking a restrictive abortion bill, Republican Gov. Rick Perry called a second special session to take up the issue again.
Perry also put transportation funding and a juvenile justice measure on the agenda for the session, which is set to begin July 1.
“I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas. Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state," Perry said. "Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just. We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do."
The governor had been almost universally urged by conservative grassroots activists and Republican lawmakers to call a new session after Democrats, with the help of boisterous activists in the Senate gallery, killed abortion restrictions in the final seconds of the first special session, which ended in chaos Tuesday night.
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What's not immediately clear is if Perry will make good on his vow earlier to make a decision about his own political future by July 1. Now that there's a new session about to start, he might choose to delay an announcement so that he won't be considered a lame duck while legislation is being debated.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said in a statement: "I congratulate Gov. Perry for his decision to call a second special session to address the issues derailed by the actions of an angry mob in the closing moments of the first. Texas is unlike any other state because our leaders are willing to stand up in the face of pressure from Washington and special interest groups in the pursuit of freedom. I look forward to seeing the members of the Legislature on July 1st as we once again take up our charge to advocate for all of Texas and put the finishing touches on one of the most successful sessions in decades."
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