Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan during a press conference at the state Capitol on June 16, 2021. Credit: Sophie Park/The Texas Tribune

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Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced a third special legislative session that will begin on Sept. 20 and tackle redistricting, restrictions on transgender student athletes and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Texas Legislature now has the opportunity to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the new census numbers,” Abbott said in a statement. “In addition to redistricting, there are still issues remaining that are critical to building a stronger and brighter future for all Texans.”

Lawmakers, who will meet in Austin for the fourth time this year, will also be tasked with allocating $16 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds and with deciding whether state or local governments can mandate vaccines. Abbott also included on his five-item agenda a bill that would ban the tethering of dogs outside with heavy chains, which he had vetoed earlier this year.

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