Texas House Democrats and legislative staffers take Gov. Abbott to court for defunding Legislature

3 weeks ago 8

A radical of Texas House Democrats and legislative staffers is asking the Texas Supreme Court to override Gov. Greg Abbott's caller veto of a information of the authorities budget that funds the Legislature, staffers determination and legislative agencies.

More than 50 Democrats, a fig of authorities employees and the Texas AFL-CIO person signed connected to a petition for a writ of mandamus, which was filed Friday morning.

"The authorities is successful a law situation astatine this moment," said Chad Dunn, an lawyer progressive with the petition, during a briefing with reporters Thursday.

The politician had vowed to veto the Legislature's backing successful the last hours of the regular legislative league successful May aft House Democrats broke quorum and left the chamber to forestall transition of a controversial elections bill. That legislation, an Abbott priority, would person created caller limitations to aboriginal voting hours, accrued voting-by-mail restrictions and curbed section voting options.

The petition argues that Abbott exceeded his enforcement authorization and violated the state's separation of powers doctrine. The parties progressive with the petition are asking the all-Republican tribunal to find Abbott's veto unconstitutional, which would let Article X of the authorities budget, the conception astatine issue, to go instrumentality aboriginal this year.

State Rep. Chris Turner, a Grand Prairie Democrat who chairs his party's caucus successful the little chamber, told reporters Thursday determination are astir 2,000 employees successful the state's legislative subdivision that would beryllium affected by Abbott's veto if it stands.

Lawmakers person $600 a period successful summation to a per diem of $221 each time the Legislature is successful league for some regular and peculiar sessions.

"This isn't astir [lawmakers'] paychecks," Turner said during the briefing. "What he's doing is hurting our unit and hurting our constituents."

Abbott's veto pertains to the upcoming two-year authorities fund that doesn't instrumentality effect until Sept. 1. The contented could get resolved adjacent period erstwhile authorities lawmakers instrumentality to Austin for a peculiar legislative session starting July 8. If Abbott includes legislative backing connected the agenda, lawmakers could walk a supplemental fund to reconstruct backing and forestall employees perchance going without a paycheck. That document, if the Legislature passed it, would archetypal request a motion disconnected from Abbott earlier it could spell into effect.

In the meantime, the petition is asking the tribunal to proceed connected an expedited docket to assistance resoluteness the contented by Sept. 1.

"That's what happens erstwhile 1 subdivision gets successful a struggle with different - the 3rd limb of the stool steps successful and resolves it," Dunn, the plaintiffs' attorney, said. "That's what we're doing here."

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