A bold walk-out designed to avoid approval of a controversial election bill may cost some Texas Democrats – via their paychecks.
The boss, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, claims he can opt to withhold the money because the state budget allows it, and took to Twitter to explain himself.
“I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature,” he wrote. “Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities. Stay tuned.”
State House Democrats left the floor with the purpose of stopping the election legislation they believe would compromise the voting rights of many people in Texas.
Without the Democratic members of the state House, there were not enough lawmakers to vote on the Republican-backed plan, and the legislation had no chance to reach Abbott’s desk for his signature.
“I declared Election Integrity and Bail Reform to be must-pass emergency items for this legislative session,” Abbott said in a statement.
“It is deeply disappointing and concerning for Texans that neither will reach my desk.”
The governor said he planned a special session to make sure the bill receives a vote.
Earlier Sunday, the state Senate passed the legislation along party lines 18-13.
The measure would ban drive-through voting, criminalize the sending of ballot applications to those who don’t ask for one, as well as add ID requirements for mail-in voting.
Republicans say it would serve to protect the integrity of Texas elections; Democrats believe this is a move to suppress votes and make things more difficult for everyone’s voice to be heard.
“We’ve said for so many years that we want more people to participate in our democracy,” Democratic state Rep. Carl Sherman said in a Houston Chronicle report. “And it just seems that’s not the case.”