The court told the Democrats in the nicest possible way to get back to the state and do their jobs.
The Texas Supreme Court rejected the Texas state Democrats’ request to overturn Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto on funding the legislature branch.
The Democrats argued Abbott violated the constitution and separation of powers.
Abbott cut the funding after the Democrats fled to D.C. to avoid doing their job. They disagreed with voting legislation making it harder to cheat.
Abbott said: “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.”
The Texas SCOTUS agreed with Abbott, pointing to the state constitution the Democrats insisted Abbott violated:
The Texas Constitution gives the Governor a line-item veto on appropriation bills enacted by the Legislature. “If any bill presented to the Governor contains several items of appropriation he may object to one or more of such items . . . .” TEX. CONST. art. IV, § 14. If the bill is not “presented to the Governor ten days (Sundays excepted) prior to [the Legislature’s] adjournment,” the Governor has twenty days from adjournment to object to one or more items, and if he does so, “such item or items shall not take effect.” Id.
The funding could have returned during the latest special session, but that ended on Friday with many of the Democrats still in D.C.:
Abbott gave legislators an opportunity to restore the funding in the special session that ended Friday, but that opportunity was lost when House Democrats halted action by breaking quorum and traveling to Washington, the court noted. Restoring the money also is on the agenda of the second special session that began Saturday.
In both special sessions, the court added, Republican leaders in the House and Senate chose to address other Abbott priorities first, including GOP-backed voting bills that prompted the Democratic walkout at the end of the regular session, which in turn prompted Abbott to veto the legislative budget in retaliation.
The veto dispute, the court concluded, was more about the order that bills will be considered, not Abbott’s attempt to abolish another branch or force it to do his will.
The next special session began on August 7th. The court noted the “subjects for consideration” include the voting legislation and “[l]legislation providing appropriations from unappropriated available revenues to the Legislature and legislative agencies in Article X of the General Appropriations Act.”
“In the meantime, the Governor and legislative leaders have announced that funding for continued legislative operation has been made available through the end of September,” the court wrote.
In other words, get back to Texas, Democrats, and do your job.DONATE
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