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AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Frustrations aren't the lone happening increasing successful Austin for the Texas peculiar session. The magnitude of wealth being spent connected lawmakers doing thing is besides going up.
WHY CAN'T THE TEXAS HOUSE PASS BILLS?
In bid to ballot and statement legislation, it requires two-thirds of members to beryllium present. There are 150 representatives successful the Texas House.
That means 100 members indispensable beryllium present. Currently, 57 House Democrats near the state, which broke quorum.
Until two-thirds of members are successful the chamber, the doors volition stay locked and members indispensable question support from the House Speaker successful bid to leave.
ARE THE DEMOCRATS WHO LEFT THE STATE STILL GETTING PAID?
State constitution protects wage for lawmakers who interruption quorum and permission the authorities during a peculiar session. Lawmakers person a $221 regular stipend, a $600 monthly wage and unit budget.
State Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) said Texas pays $43,330 per time to big a peculiar session.
He held a motion successful the statehouse Wednesday that said truthful acold "Democrats person outgo taxpayers $86,660."
"It's incredibly disheartening," Patterson said. "Folks enactment hard for their wealth and Texas prides itself connected being debased taxation and debased regulation, but we inactive don't person taxation dollars to discarded successful the authorities of Texas."
If Democrats don't instrumentality by the extremity of the peculiar session, taxpayers volition person spent astir $1,040,000 connected lawmakers to beryllium around.
LEGISLATION TO PREVENT LAWMAKERS FROM GETTING PAID
In bid to instrumentality distant wage from aboriginal walkouts, it requires lawmakers to alteration the authorities constitution.
A mates of Republican representatives person introduced bills to alteration the constitution. State Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston) wrote a measure that would portion a lawmaker's wage and the quality for them to person run contributions if they fly the authorities and interruption quorum.
State Rep. Steve Toth's connection goes adjacent further.
His authorities would portion a lawmaker's wage for a twelvemonth if they fly the authorities and interruption quorum. It can't interaction existent lawmakers who left.
In bid to walk the bill, it would necessitate a quorum. However, that can't instrumentality spot until Democrats return.
NOT ALL DEMOCRATS HAVE LEFT AUSTIN
In the House, 4 House Democrats stayed behind. In the Senate, 4 Senate Democrats besides stayed behind.
Despite 9 Senators leaving for Washington D.C., there's inactive a quorum successful the Senate. State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) decided to enactment successful Austin.
He broke quorum successful the past, but helium felt staying astatine the statehouse was a amended determination truthful helium could reason legislation.
"If they privation to spell to Washington and conscionable with the legislature leadership, that's 1 approach," Whitmire said. "They're doing it. That's their prerogative."
Staying successful Austin besides helps to reply constituents' concerns astir wealth being spent connected a peculiar league with thing getting done successful the House.
"They're going to person to individually justify, possibly collectively," Whitmire explained. "I've watched their societal media. They judge successful what they're doing. I would support it is simply a parliamentary procedure."
SENATE CONTINUES TO PASS LEGISLATION
The Texas House is successful a standstill, but the Senate is not. On Tuesday, lawmakers passed bills connected predetermination integrity, bail reform, and other wealth for retired teachers.
On Wednesday, they passed authorities to springiness caller homebuyers a taxation interruption arsenic good arsenic a interruption for elder national homeowners. Before they voted connected spot taxation bills, Republican senators held a quality league and expressed vexation due to the fact that without House Democrats, their bills tin spell nowhere.
"When did cracking down connected elector harvesters go elector suppression? They request to work the bill," said State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). "Instead of having brew to-go to Washington, they should've taken SB 1 to-go and would've work it and travel backmost present and debated it."
The Senate whitethorn decorativeness voting connected items called by Gov. Greg Abbott arsenic aboriginal arsenic Thursday. After that, members volition beryllium "at ease" until the House comes backmost to order.
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