WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, a group of Texas legislators, legislative staffers and the Texas AFL-CIO challenged Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto of the legislative branch’s upcoming budget done in retaliation for state Democrats blocking an expansive voter suppression bill.
On the last day of Texas’ legislative session for the year, Democrats staged a coordinated walkout to deny the Legislature a quorum to vote on Senate Bill 7, which would have added documentation requirements in order to vote by mail, limited polling hours, banned drive-thru and 24-hour voting, empowered partisan poll watchers and more. In response to this, Abbott threatened to veto the section of the state budget that includes salaries for legislators, tweeting “No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.” He followed through with his threat on June 18, vetoing funding for the legislative branch and effectively making it inoperable. The petition alleges that this veto was unconstitutional and violates the state’s separation of powers, along with affecting the livelihood of legislative employees for the state.