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Local lawmaker gives legislative recap, expectations ahead of upcoming special session

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:09 AM CDT
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WEST, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas politician, who describes the last legislative session as “unusual”, is gearing up to return to the Texas State Capitol for next month’s special session, and he’s giving some insight along the way.

“We came into this session with a perceived budget shortfall, we were in the middle of the pandemic, and then during the first week of session we had an unprecedented cold front that changed our focus and what we needed to do,” said Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-Dist. 12.

Rep. Kyle Kacal was the guest speaker at the West Kiwanis Club Luncheon at the West Community Center Wednesday.

He gave guests a recap of the 87th Legislative Session and told them what to expect when lawmakers convene for the Special Session on July 8.

The COVID-19 pandemic and “snowmageddon” forced their hand and put party politics aside, Kacal says, allowing Texas to bounce back.

“We persevered, and we all knew Texans would,” Kacal told KWTX. “Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, in times of need, we know that the State of Texas deserves our best, and I think we gave our bust under the most unusual circumstances that I’ve had the privilege to serve under.”

With COVID and Winter Storm Uri having dominated the legislative session, Kacal said Texas will benefit in the areas of broadband connectivity, telemedicine, and the state’s electric grid.

“The pandemic was disheartening and sad, all the loved ones we lost, but like a Phoenix from the fire, we found a better way to do business,” said Kacal. “We’re getting people better medical care which is our goal, we’re going to find ways to do better, and as we go into special session, hopefully we’ll be able to keep on that same path.”

As for that upcoming special session, Kacal says the big items on the plate include election overhaul, critical race theory, and a bail reform bill which he sponsored.

“Damon Allen and Chad Walker are my inspiration, but more importantly their widows and their children, and we need to make all police officers, DPS officers, all our first responders safer,” said Kacal. “We will look forward to getting to Austin on the 8th and seeing where we are in the lineup and we will continue to work hard to make Texas safer through bail reform.”

But will one special session be enough? Kacal says maybe not, especially because he believes there may not be a quorum in the House.

“That is a very realistic possibility, and we will find out on July 8, and then it would be up to House members to visit, communicate and find a way to get this special session in and done and do what’s right for the state of Texas,” said Kacal. “That’s been my MO since I got there is building relationships, so (if there isn’t a quorum) I will reach out at least, and if I can get people to get back to the building I will.”

“We’ve got unfinished business, and we need to close the books on the 87th session and get ready for the next one,” he said.

The legislature will also be meeting in the Fall for redistricting.

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