After Democrats walked out to block Texas’ state legislature from having a quorum to pass election law reform, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to veto the portion of the budget that funds the state legislature.
“I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature. Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities. Stay tuned.”
“Election integrity & bail reform were must-pass emergency items,” Abbott added later Monday evening, tweeting a full statement on the move. “I expect legislators to work out their differences before special session.”
Democrats walked off the House floor Sunday night, keeping the state House from a quorum needed to pass election integrity and bail reform before a midnight deadline, The Hill reported.
Abbott now plans a special session to address two “must-pass emergency items.”
“At the beginning of the legislative session, I declared Election Integrity and Bail Reform to be must-pass emergency items,” Abbott’s statement read. “It is deeply disappointing and concerning for Texans that neither reached my desk. Ensuring the integrity of our elections and reforming a broken bail system remain emergencies in Texas, which is why these items, along with other priority items, will be added to the special session agenda.
“I expect legislators to have worked out their differences prior to arriving back at the Capitol so that they can hit the ground running to pass legislation related to these emergency items and other priority legislation. During the special session, we will continue to advance policies that put the people of Texas first.”
The election integrity measures sought to ban drive-thru voting and make it a felony for public officials to offer mail-in voting applications without an individual requesting one, according to The Hill.
Also, 24-hour voting was facing a ban after Harris County saw more than 100,000 voters use it in the 2020 election, where about 56% of the vote went to President Joe Biden.
The bill also contained a reform to allow courts to overturn elections if “the number of votes illegally cast in the election is equal to or greater than the number of votes necessary to change the outcome of an election,” according to the report.
After Democrats in key battleground states made changes to elections under the guise of COVID-19 safety concerns – without the required state legislature approval – a number of states have since moved to codify laws and reforms for future elections. Passing new election laws have faced mass objections from Democrats, particularly in state legislatures with Republican-held majorities like Texas.
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