This Week in Texas: June 9, 2021

Posted June 9, 2021 in The Mignon Memo

What’s So Special About It?

Gov. Greg Abbott said last week to expect at least two special legislative sessions. Abbot said one will happen in September or October for redistricting and the distribution of federal coronavirus relief dollars. Before that special session, though, there will be one focused on “issues that did not get across the finish line.”

Abbott added: “I still have 1,000 bills on my desk, many of which will be signed, some [vetoed]. Some of that could alter the items that will be on the special session call. We’ll just have to wait and see.” 

Gov. Abbott Signs Power Grid Reforms

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law two bills meant to improve the state’s main power grid and change the governance of the agency that operates it.

Senate Bill 3 requires upgrades for power generators and transmission lines to make them better withstand extreme weather. Critical infrastructure facilities will be required to weatherize and failure to weatherize may result in penalties of up to $1 million.

Senate Bill 2 changes the governance of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s main grid operator. SB 2 shrinks the number of seats on ERCOT’s board of directors from 16 to 11. A selection committee would appoint eight of the 11 board members. The selection committee would be made up of three people — one appointed by the governor, one by the lieutenant governor, and one by the speaker of the House.

George P. Bush Running for Attorney General

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced last week that he is running for attorney general, challenging fellow Republican Ken Paxton with a sharp focus on Paxton’s legal troubles.

“Enough is enough, Ken,” Bush said during a campaign kickoff at a downtown Austin bar. “You’ve brought way too much scandal and too little integrity to this office. And as a career politician for 20 years, it’s time for you to go.”

Only in Austin…

Q2 Stadium, home of Austin’s professional soccer team, Austin FC, will host a semifinal match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 28th.

The tournament begins with its first-ever preliminary play-in rounds July 2-6th. Austin FC will play its first-ever match at Q2 Stadium on June 19 against the San Jose Earthquakes following eight road matches to start its inaugural season.