Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott on Memorial Day announced he will defund the state legislature after Democrats successfully blocked what is considered to be the most extreme voter suppression bill of the year.
“I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature,” Abbott said on Twitter just minutes ago. “Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.”
In an angry statement posted two minutes past midnight – when the Texas legislature’s session had officially ended – Abbott had said the voter suppression bill and bail reform were “must-pass emergency items” and promised he would call lawmakers back for a special session to pass those bills.
Calling it “very on-brand for Texas Republicans,” Democratic Texas state Representative Gene Wu noted not only is Abbott defunding lawmakers, but the hourly workers:
Punishing working class office staff, maintenance, and other support services because he didn’t get every single one of his demands is very on-brand for Texas Republicans. https://t.co/f48j1KJV5p
— Gene Wu (@GeneforTexas) May 31, 2021
The Texas voter suppression, one of nearly 400 filed in 48 states across the country this year, “would make it easier to overturn an election based on allegations of fraud, limit those eligible to vote by mail because of a disability and make it a state jail felony to knowingly count invalid votes, alter someone else’s ballot ‘to not reflect the intent of the voter’ and more,” The Dallas Morning News had reported.
It would also make “it a misdemeanor for election officials to distribute mail ballots to people who did not ask for them,” and would “mandate that Sunday early voting could only begin a 1 p.m., which would be a reduction of hours in some areas that start voting at 9 a.m., and impact the popular ‘Souls to the Polls’ voter turnout events hosted by Black churches.”
The “drive-through voting and expanding voting hours developed in Harris County to help people vote during the coronavirus pandemic would be outlawed.”
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