Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) just made a move that has Democrats up in arms.
After Texas Democrats blocked a GOP-backed election reform bill in the state, Abbott responded by moving to block their paychecks, the Washington Examiner reported.
Following the 2020 election, several Republican-led states have moved forward on voting reform bills meant to avert the chaos and confusion seen last November. Texas has been trying to follow suit — but Democrats in the state have been standing in the way.
Near the end of May, Texas Democrats decided to walk out of a regular legislative session in an effort to upend state Republicans’ election reform bill, S.B. 7.
Without Dems there, the state legislature did not have the necessary quorum — in other words, there weren’t enough lawmakers present — to vote on the bill, according to the Examiner.
“Texans don’t run”
Abbott was quick to retaliate with a promise to veto a measure to fund state legislators’ and their staffs’ paychecks, and last week, after Dems moved to block the election reform bill again, he followed through.
“Texans don’t run from a legislative fight, and they don’t walk away from unfinished business,” the governor said, according to the Examiner.
He added: “Funding should not be provided for those who quit their job early, leaving their state with unfinished business and exposing taxpayers to higher costs for an additional legislative session. I, therefore, object to and disapprove of these appropriations.”
A look ahead
Texas lawmakers make about $600 per month, but they get an additional $221 for each day that they are in session. This is the money that they could lose out on as a result of Abbott’s move, the Examiner said.
That won’t start until September, however, meaning lawmakers have plenty of time to resolve the matter before they start to feel it in their pocketbooks.
For the time being, Texas Democrats seem to be trying to deal with the situation through the press, with some putting out statements likening Abbott’s veto to a move by a tyrant or dictator.
Abbott, meanwhile, reportedly plans on calling a special session to go over the matter. A date for that special session, though, has yet to be set.