Texas Gov. Defunds Legislature After Democrats Staged Walk Out to Protest Voter Suppression Bill

Texas Gov. Defunds Legislature After Democrats Staged Walk Out to Protest Voter Suppression Bill

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed the section of the state’s budget that funds the Texas Legislature on Friday. It’s a move that Abbott threatened to make when state Democrats walked out of a legislative session, breaking quorum in order to block the passage of a restrictive voting bill from being passed last month.

According to the Texas Tribune, the governor’s veto could affect the paychecks of not only the state’s lawmakers but their staff members and the budgets of legislative agencies.

“Texans don’t run from a legislative fight, and they don’t walk away from unfinished business,” Abbott said in a statement. “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.”

State Democrats objected to Senate Bill 7, legislation that would severely suppress the vote in Texas by limiting voting hours, eliminating 24-hour polling stations and setting restrictions on access to mail-in voting.

The Texas Tribune also points out that the constitutionality of Abbott’s unprecedented veto has come into question and was condemned by the House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, who called the action an “abuse of power.”

“Texas has a governor, not a dictator,” Turner said in a statement. “The tyrannical veto of the legislative branch is the latest indication that [Abbott] is simply out of control.”

Texas legislators make $600 per month plus a $221 per diem each day the legislature is in session.