Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed funding for the state’s Legislature Friday after Democrats walked out at the last minute to oppose the GOP’s new voting reform law.
”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,” Abbott said in a statement obtained by The Texas Tribune.
Abbott was referencing Democrats’ decision to walkout in late May to prevent the Republican-controlled legislature from passing a series of voting reform bills.
An Abbott spox confirms that the governor vetoed all of Article X, which funds #txlege.
— Cassi Pollock (@cassi_pollock) June 18, 2021
Critics claim Senate Bill 7 aims to target people of color and marginalized communities and restrict their voting access, making it harder to mail-in ballots and limiting Sunday voting. Proponents say its goal is to prevent potential voter fraud with new ID verification requirements. (RELATED: Democrats Are Sounding The Alarm Over Texas’ Election Bill. Here’s What It Actually Does)
The governor’s veto makes good on his promise from earlier this month when he stated he will veto Article 10 that funds the legislature, its representatives and their staff.
Democrats did not hide their outrage at Abbot’s decision. Texas Democratic House Leader Chris Turner said in a statement, “The tyrannical veto of the legislative branch is the latest indication that Governor Greg Abbott is simply out of control.”
“Our caucus is exploring every option, including immediate legal options, to fight back against Greg Abbott’s abuse of power,” Turner added.
Former 2020 presidential contender and Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, also expressed his opposition tweeting, “In the middle of a state power crisis, Greg Abbott has decided to use his office to defund the legislative branch of Texas. Instead of addressing the crisis, he’s using his office to play politics.”
The move seems to be unprecedented in Texas history, according to the Legislative Reference Library, and its constitutionality has been questioned by several Texas politicians and political scientists, The Texas Tribune reports.