Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas on Wednesday kicked off a high-stakes political battle over the state’s future, formally asserting a particular session of the Legislature through which he and fellow Republicans will attempt to push Texas additional to the fitting on points like elections and voting, transgender rights and the way racism is taught in faculties.

The particular session, set to start on Thursday, follows an already ultraconservative legislative session this spring, when the Republican-dominated Legislature handed a near-ban on abortion and a regulation allowing the carrying of handguns without permits, working roughshod over protests from Democrats, enterprise coalitions and civil rights teams in an usually strictly party-line method.

However the Legislature didn’t cross one of many governor’s signature priorities for the session — a sweeping election overhaul invoice that may have been one of the vital restrictive voting legal guidelines within the nation — when Democratic state lawmakers staged a dramatic late-night walkout that disadvantaged the Home of a quorum and quickly killed the invoice.

Republicans’ new election overhaul invoice in Texas, a state which already has among the nation’s strictest voting guidelines, would be the first to come back earlier than a state legislature for the reason that Supreme Court docket’s ruling final week to uphold two voting restrictions in Arizona. That call significantly elevated the threshold for whether or not a voting measure constitutes a violation of Part 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discriminatory voting practices.

Whereas the second try to cross voting measures might be maybe probably the most carefully watched legislative battle when the session convenes on Thursday, Mr. Abbott additionally referred to as for the Legislature to take up measures combating perceived “censorship” on social media platforms; banning the educating of “important race idea” in public faculties; additional limiting abortions; setting up new border safety insurance policies; and limiting transgender athletes from competing in class sports activities.

Mr. Abbott can be searching for extra devoted funding for property tax reduction and cybersecurity.

The governor is up for re-election subsequent 12 months, when he’ll face a problem from his proper within the Republican main race. He has additionally been seen in Texas as laying the groundwork for a possible presidential bid in 2024.

“The 87th Legislative Session was a monumental success for the folks of Texas, however we now have unfinished enterprise to make sure that Texas stays probably the most distinctive state in America,” Mr. Abbott mentioned in a press release. “Two of my emergency objects, together with different necessary laws, didn’t make it to my desk in the course of the common session, and we now have a duty to complete the job on behalf of all Texans.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who additionally serves as president of the State Senate, pledged to finish Mr. Abbott’s agenda, however he made clear {that a} voting invoice could be his, and due to this fact the Senate’s, high precedence.

“We’re able to cross all the laws on @GovAbbott’s Particular Session name beginning with #SB1 — Election Safety,” Mr. Patrick wrote on Twitter. “Hearings will start Saturday.”

The agenda is bound to inflame Democratic state lawmakers who’ve already been angered by the Legislature’s rightward flip this 12 months. And even some Republicans stay miffed on the governor’s determination final month to veto funding for the Legislature as a punishment for the Democrats’ determination to flee the Capitol over the voting invoice.

Whereas lawmakers, who obtain solely a token stipend for his or her function, are usually not notably affected by Mr. Abbott’s transfer, many workers members whose salaries are depending on that cash stay in limbo, with funding set to run out in September. The problem of funding the Legislature can be on the agenda for the particular session.

“What we predict he’s completed is unquestionably unconstitutional,” mentioned State Consultant Rafael Anchía, a Democrat from the Dallas space. “He’s making an attempt to blackmail us to cross his agenda by defunding the legislative department.”

Two Republican lawmakers, State Senator Brandon Creighton of Conroe and State Consultant Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, each mentioned that they noticed the inclusion of legislative funding on the agenda as a gap by the governor to reconsidering the difficulty.

“He’s clearly bringing the Legislature into the fold of collaborating with them on the way forward for funding for state staff and the Legislature,” Mr. Creighton mentioned. “That’s all I can take from it.”

Mr. Clardy described it as “an encouraging signal” and a sign that the governor was “receptive to strolling that again.” However neither lawmaker mentioned he had mentioned the difficulty with the governor’s workplace, and each mentioned they didn’t know what Mr. Abbott would demand to revive the funding.

State Consultant Chris Turner, the chair of the Home Democratic caucus in Texas, accused the governor of leveraging the legislative session for his personal political acquire.

“The governor’s agenda for the particular session exhibits he’s extra involved with pandering to die-hard Trump supporters and right-wing extremists than he’s with serving on a regular basis Texans,” Mr. Turner mentioned in a press release.

For Democrats, the inclusion of extra funding for a border wall was proof that Mr. Abbott was taking part in strictly to the Republican base, as a result of he had already introduced that he would put aside $250 million from the state’s basic income as a down cost for a border wall and requested on-line donors to foot the remainder of the invoice. A program supervisor would then decide the eventual dimension and whole price of the undertaking.

“Lots of people in Texas, they appear to suppose that there actually isn’t an actual border on the U.S.-Mexico border, that persons are simply strolling over,” mentioned State Senator José Menéndez, a San Antonio Democrat. Whereas crossings have elevated to ranges not seen in years, Mr. Menéndez mentioned, a wall would have little consequence so long as folks proceed to go away their houses in Central America to flee poverty, crime and corruption. “He’s making an attempt to win that Trump base.”

And that effort, Democrats mentioned, got here on the expense of different, extra urgent points in Texas.

“I’m livid and I’m embarrassed for the state,” mentioned State Consultant Erin Zwiener, who argued that the governor was once more making an attempt to bar transgender pupil athletes from competing in sports activities whereas neglecting what she noticed as wanted reforms to medical health insurance or laws to stop one other energy grid failure, like the one that killed more than 100 Texans in February.

“None are these are the problems we’re focusing in on,” she mentioned. “As an alternative we’re speaking a few invoice that assaults a few of our most weak kids to make a tradition conflict level.”

The breadth of the agenda took even some Republicans unexpectedly.

“My first take is, we’re going to be busy,” mentioned State Senator Jane Nelson, one of many chamber’s senior members and the chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “This can be a for much longer name than I believe most of us anticipated.”

Ms. Nelson, a North Texas Republican who introduced this week that she would not seek re-election after 28 years of service, mentioned she was guardedly hopeful that lawmakers would possibly have the ability to keep away from an explosive confrontation over the voting invoice.

“What I hope is now that everyone’s had a while to get some sleep and suppose by means of what the controversial factors had been,” she mentioned, “I believe we’ll have the ability to work one thing out. I actually do.”

Key members of the Republican management within the Legislature, together with Dade Phelan, the speaker of the Home, and State Senator Bryan Hughes, the writer of his chamber’s model of the voting invoice final session, didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Some Democrats additionally feared that the inclusion of measures on hot-button tradition conflict points, after related payments had already died within the Legislature, might function a distraction from their effort to guard voting rights.

“Make no mistake, one of many methods to reduce the import of voting rights is to encompass it with hyperpartisan purple meat,” mentioned State Consultant Trey Martinez Fischer, a Democrat who accused Mr. Abbott of utilizing the legislative session to assist his main re-election marketing campaign.

The legislative acrimony got here to go in late Might over Republicans’ omnibus voting invoice, which, after months of debate, was completed behind closed doorways by G.O.P. legislators and legal professionals in a convention committee whereas Democrats had been saved at midnight.

The ultimate invoice included a raft of restrictions on voting and elections, together with new limits on absentee balloting, broad new autonomy and authority for partisan ballot watchers, and stricter punishments for election officers who’re discovered to have made errors. The invoice additionally would have banned drive-through voting and 24-hour voting, which had been used for the primary time in the course of the 2020 election in Harris County, residence to Houston and plenty of Democratic voters.

Two late additions to the invoice — a shortening of voting hours on Sundays that appeared meant to restrict the favored “Souls to the Polls” packages of Black church buildings, and a provision that may make overturning elections simpler — notably enraged Democrats.

Each Democrats and Republicans count on the preliminary model of the voting invoice within the particular session to be much like the one which failed in Might, although in addition they count on the supply on overturning elections to be eliminated. Even some Republican lawmakers had expressed issues that the supply was included within the earlier ultimate invoice.

David R. Montgomery contributed reporting from Austin, Texas.