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Voting, Immigration Priorities Expected For Upcoming Special Legislative Session

Screenshot from Twitter/@GregAbbott_TX
Gov. Greg Abbott toured part of the southern border wall with former President Donald Trump last week. A GOP strategist says Abbott is likely to make immigration a bigger priority during the upcoming special legislative session.

From Texas Standard:

Texas’ first special legislative session begins Thursday. Most are expecting Gov. Greg Abbott to make the voting bill that died in the regular session a priority, but he has not yet announced the agenda.

Republican political consultant Brendan Steinhauser says in addition to voting, he expects the governor to make immigration a top issue.

“He’s been very focused on that issue. He’s doing everything from trying to crowdsource funding for the border wall to getting governors around the country to send police officers and support in the form of National Guard troops to the border. He had the former president with him to tour the border a few days ago,” Steinhauser said.

Abbott’s stance toward immigration sends a message to Republicans that he is “conservative enough,” he says, despite critiques from members of his own party to the contrary. Much of the criticism has been about his handling of pandemic rules like mask-wearing and stay-at-home orders. Two people are already challenging him in the upcoming gubernatorial primary. But Steinhauser says Abbott is well-positioned.

“He’s very aware of these challengers and he’s aware of those attacks. And I think he’s tried to undercut those attacks by pursuing rhetoric and policies that kind of show his conservative bona fides,” he said.

Besides voting and immigration, Steinhauser says Abbott and lawmakers will have to resolve the governor’s veto of legislative funding. He says Abbott is using that funding as leverage to push through the voting bill in the special session.

“He’s using that to basically create some pressure on legislators to get this election bill done,” Steinhauser said. “Certainly it’s a key, critical piece of this entire puzzle.”

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Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
Caroline Covington is Texas Standard's digital producer/reporter. She joined the team full time after finishing her master's in journalism at the UT J-School. She specializes in mental health reporting, and has a growing interest in data visualization. Before Texas Standard, Caroline was a freelancer for public radio, digital news outlets and podcasts, and produced a podcast pilot for Audible. Prior to journalism, she wrote and edited for marketing teams in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. She has a bachelor's in biology from UC Santa Barbara and a master's in French Studies from NYU.
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