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Tags: Voting Rights | texas | voting | election | law | special session

Texas Voting Law Resolution Unlikely With Legislative Session in Final Days

american and texas flags fly on texas state capitol building
(Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 02 August 2021 01:17 PM

The Texas Legislature's special session appears headed to end without a resolution on an elections integrity bill, the Texas Tribune reported Monday.

The session's final day is due to be Friday, with neither party indicating a willingness to budge on its stance, the Tribune said.

Republicans, believing they have compromised enough on the voting legislation, are through talking.

Democrats have prevented passage of the bill by having enough party members bolt to Washington, D.C. That's because a quorum — 100 of the 150 House members — needs to be present to conduct official business.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to call special session after special session until the elections bill passes. He said the next one will begin the day after this one ends.

Special sessions can last up to a maximum of 30 days, but there is no minimum.

In the next special session, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has indicated the Senate will pass election legislation similar to what it passed during the current one, the Tribune reported.

"At the end of the day, this bill is going to pass, pretty much in the form that it’s in — we’re always willing to listen, if they have suggestions, but this bill is going to pass," Patrick said last month.

"Is it in August, September, October? Is it next February? Is it next June? This bill is going to pass because the people of Texas of all colors want safe and secure elections. And the longer this goes on, the weaker [Democrats’] argument gets."

Rep. Chris Turner, chairman of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, told reporters last week that the quorum-breaking lawmakers have been "very clear" about their goals — stopping the elections bill in the current special session. They went to Washington to appeal for a new federal voting law.

"We're not here in Washington to try to negotiate a bill that, for all indications, [Republicans] don’t have an interest in negotiating with us or talking with us about," Turner said during a news conference. "So we’re here to press the case in Washington and we’re here to run out the clock on this special session, and we’ll deal with whatever comes next down the road."

Turner said he did not know how many Texas House Democrats planned to remain in Washington beyond Friday.

An issue about legislative funding, set to begin Sept. 1, also hasn't been resolved. Abbott vetoed the funding in retaliation for the Democrats' initial walkout over the voting bill.

The funding supports salaries and benefits for more than 2,000 state employees.

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The Texas Legislature's special session appears headed to end without a resolution on an elections integrity bill. The session's final day is due to be Friday, with neither party indicating a willingness...
texas, voting, election, law, special session
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2021-17-02
Monday, 02 August 2021 01:17 PM
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