▶ Watch Video: Lawmakers arrested during voting rights rally in Washington, D.C.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday the next special session of the Legislature will begin on Saturday, and it will have the state’s controversial voting bill on the agenda. The Democrats walked out of the regular session in May and then fled the state in July to prevent a vote on that bill. 

“I will continue to call special session after special session to reform our broken bail system, uphold election integrity, and pass other important items that Texans demand and deserve,” Abbott said in a statement on Thursday. “Passing these Special Session agenda items will chart a course towards a stronger and brighter future for the Lone Star State.”  

The current special session is expected to end on Thursday night. Since Republicans hold a majority in the Legislature, more than 50 Democratic state lawmakers decamped to Washington, D.C., on July 12 to deny Abbott a quorum. Without a sufficient number of legislators present, a vote on the bill could not take place.  

Abbott announced there would be 17 items on the agenda for the special session. In addition to the voting legislation, state lawmakers will be addressing bail reform, a bill ensuring COVID-19 vaccines and masks are voluntary for K-12 education, as well as a measure that would ban students from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student’s sex at birth.