Perry won’t add other items to special session agenda

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that he will not be adding any more items to the special legislative session currently underway in Austin, disappointing lawmakers who wanted more on the agenda.

Perry made the announcement while signing a bill that will allow students and teachers to use religious greetings in public schools.

“Everything has been added to the call that can be added from a time perspective,” Perry told reporters.

The governor initially called the Legislature into special session last month to adopt political maps drawn by a federal court. But in the last week he has added to the agenda, calling for stricter abortion laws, more highway funding and a new sentencing law for juveniles convicted of capital crimes.

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Conservatives welcomed the addition of key, partisan issues such as restricting where, when and how women may undergo abortions. But conservatives also wanted expanded gun rights.

A large number of lawmakers also wanted him to add legislation concerning Tuition Revenue Bonds that would allow public universities to raise more money for construction projects.

Perry did not address any of those issues directly, pointing out that the House is not back until June 17 and will have only eight days to complete its work.