Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed funding for the state legislature Friday, fulfilling the promise he made last month after a Democrat-led walk-out was staged in an attempt to block election reform legislation.
In late May, the Democrat lawmakers walked out of a legislative session in the Texas House to prevent a vote from moving forward on voting laws that would overturn many of the coronavirus-era voting measures.
The new rules were opposed by Democrats, who prevented the bill from passing by the midnight deadline. Some of the restrictions include the reversal of pandemic measures that allowed for 24-hour polling places and drive-thru voting options.
Abbott vowed to defund the legislative branch for "abandon[ing] their responsibilities." He then carried out the threat Friday.
"Texans don't run from a legislative fight, and they don't walk away from unfinished business," the Texas governor fired back. "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."
Abbott's precise action was to veto Article 10 of the state budget, which was sent to his desk on Friday. The article funds the state government on all staffing levels, including the salaries of the individuals sitting in the state legislative body.
"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," Abbott applauded.
"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 special session," he stated.
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