Must the governor wait 20 days after the session before he or she calls a special session?
No. Our constitution (Art.4, secion 8(a)) does not put such time limitations on the governor. The governor may, “in extraordinary circumstances” convene our legislature in Austin or in a different place. In other words, the governor can call a session at any place and for any reason, provided he or she deems it necessary. However, the governor must state those reasons.
Does the governor have to give some advance notice of a special session?
No. Our constitution does not place that burden on the governor. Implicit in the permission to call a session at any time or place is the ability to do so without providing advance notice to the legislators.
Can any topic be considered during the special session?
No. The special session is limited to issues specifically designated by the governor when he or she called the special session to order.
Is there a limit on the number of special sessions that may be called?
No. That is purely up to the governor, who may call them at any time or place.
How long does the governor have to veto bills from a special session?
The governor has ten days to return the bills with objection. If this doesn’t happen, the bill becomes law, just as if the governor had signed it. If the session has adjourned sine die, the governor has twenty days to return and veto.
May the governor call only one chamber to a special session?
No. Unlike the federal government, Texas governors must call both the House and Senate to session.
Must the special session last thirty days?
No. Our state constitution mandates thirty days as a maximum but sets no minimum. The first special session of the 38th legislature met for one hour.