When Texas legislature Democrats staged a walkout to block election bills, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) got serious. He vetoed funding for the state legislature on Friday, carrying out his previous threat of withholding funding.
Democrats Walk Out Of Texas Legislature
Last month, Texas Legislature Democrats walked off the floor of the House chamber last month. They broke the quorum and prevented Republicans from passing election reforms.
The Democrats also disrupted the legislative process for a bail reform legislation that Abbott wanted. In retaliation, Abbott vowed to defund the legislative branch for “abandon[ing] their responsibilities.”
The governor issued a statement last Friday. “Texans don’t run from a legislative fight, and they don’t walk away from unfinished business.
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,” he said.
Abbott Vetoed The Texas Legislature Budget
True to his word, Abbott vetoed Article 10 of the state budget approved by the legislature Friday. The Article funds the salaries of lawmakers, staff, and maintenance workers. It also funds the budgets of Texas legislative agencies. According to the Legislative Reference Library, the veto is the first of its kind done in Texas. Similarly, the Democrats’ walkout is a rare event in Texas politics.
Democrat Texas State Representative Chris Turner chairs the Democratic caucus in the House. He said that Abbott’s action may be unconstitutional. As a result, he said he plans to take the governor’s decision to court to contest it. “Texas has a governor, not a dictator or emperor. The tyrannical veto of the legislative branch is the latest indication that Governor Greg Abbott is simply out of control,” Turner said in a statement.
Vetoing Can Harm Texans
“Let’s be clear – vetoing the legislative branch will cause direct harm to Texans,” Turner said. “Our constituent services are the lifeblood of our public service, something Abbott should try learning about.
By placing a termination date on the employment of all legislative staff, the governor is cutting off services to millions of Texans. Our caucus is exploring every option, including immediate legal options, to fight back against Greg Abbott’s abuse of power,” he added.
Meanwhile, Abbott called for legislators to join a special session. He wants the state legislature to work on passing Abbott’s legislative priorities.“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,” he said.
Lots of Work To Do
“This session we passed legislation to: secure our border, support our police, expand 2A rights, defend religious liberty, protect life. It was one of the most conservative sessions our state has ever seen. But, there’s more we must do to ensure a brighter future for Texas. Election integrity & bail reform were must-pass emergency items. I expect legislators to work out their differences before the special session.” Abbott added.
Watch the KXAN news video reporting that Governor Greg Abbott vetoes funding for Texas Legislature and its staff:
Do you agree with Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to withhold funding for the Texas Legislature? Also, is Abbott within his rights to do so?
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