Lubbock state lawmaker calling for special session - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock state lawmaker calling for special session

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"It's frustrating to the citizens, it's exasperating. It's livelihoods that are impacted. And we have actually shut down our elder population into homes and made them prisoners," State Senator Charles Perry said about the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it.

Perry wants the governor to call lawmakers back to Austin. He's asking for a special session, tasked with responding to the pandemic.  

"We've extended a lot of latitude to our governor in disasters and rightfully so. But I think this has grown past what a tradition disaster would look like," Perry said. 

He argues the governor is making decisions based on advice from only a small group of people. He wants all the legislators to weigh in on the big decisions. 

"If our challenge is that our hospitals systems can't handle a surge, then the legislature should be meeting to find additional resources to build out capacity, right? We shouldn't be shutting down businesses," Perry said. 

Senator Perry also hopes wider debate among lawmakers could clear up misinformation with the general public about the crisis at hand. 

"We're shooting at a moving target. And we don't even know where it's going," State Representative John Frullo said. 

He believes a special session could be beneficial, but may not solve all the problems the state is now facing. 

"A special session isn't a magic solution. It is a pathway for items to be brought up, discussions can be had, people can be involved. It's for a 30 day period, you know, is 30 days enough?" he said.  

State Rep. Dustin Burrows did not say if he supported a special session, but did express concern about possible overreach by the governor. Burrows issued this statement:

"I am suspect about government's authority to close churches, gun stores and to mandate the wearing of masks.  I expect the 181 members of the legislative branch of Texas to debate this subject, next session or sooner, and hopefully limit some of these powers."

The governor is the only person who has the authority to call a special session, and if he does he will be the one to set what would be up for discussion.

Click here - to read the governor's latest executive order on masks. Churches and gun stores remain open. In late March the attorney general issued an opinion re-opening gun stores, following Rep. Burrows' inquiry. 

FOX34 has reached out to the governor's office for comment on the request for a special session, but have not heard back.

As of right now, the regular session is set to begin in mid-January. 

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