Texas governor vetoes state legislature funding after Dem Walkout

The governor of Texas has reportedly followed through with his threat of withholding funding for the state’s legislature in response to Democratic lawmakers who previously staged a walkout that prevented his priority bills from passing during the most recent session.

The Texas Tribune and The Dallas Morning News report that Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a section of the state’s budget that funds the legislature, its staffers, and legislative agencies. In late May, the governor had threatened to do so after Democratic lawmakers walked out of the House chamber to prevent the state’s Republicans from giving final approval to a sweeping voter suppression bill.

In a statement obtained by the two newspapers, Abbott claimed that Texans don’t “walk away from unfinished business” and that “funding shouldn’t be provided for those who quit their jobs early.”

The legislature won’t be immediately affected by Abbott’s actions. The funding would be cut off at the beginning of the state’s fiscal year, starting on Sept. 1. The budgetary decision could be reversed if lawmakers are called back to the statehouse for a special session.

The state’s House Democratic Caucus chair, Rep. Chris Turner, quickly responded to Abbott’s move, accusing the Republican of abusing his power. He said the governor’s actions are “an inexcusable and dangerous attack on the separation of powers.”

The legislation that Abbott is trying to push forward and Democrats are adamantly opposed to involved Texas’ election practices. It would overhaul voting rights in the state, as other GOP-led legislatures have done.

The Republicans were also hoping to pass legislation to change bail procedures in the state.

 

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