WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Friday vote that fell mostly along party lines, Texas Republicans advanced their voter suppression bill, Senate Bill 1, through the Texas House of Representatives. The legislation has already passed the Texas Senate, but during its consideration in the state House it went through significant changes. S.B. 1 now heads back to the state Senate, which will either approve the changes and send it to the governor or request a conference committee for reconciliation.
S.B. 1 has been the focus of national attention all summer after the bill failed in Texas’ regular legislative session thanks to Democrats’ coordinated walk-out from the chamber. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called two special sessions this summer in an effort to get the legislation passed; during the first session, Democrats fled to Washington, D.C. in order to deny Republicans of their quorum and bring attention to the need for national voting rights legislation. Passage in the state House was the last significant barrier for the legislation and it is expected to pass the state Senate, after which Abbott will likely sign it into law.