What to Know
- Texas Senate has a quorum and continues moving connected Gov. Greg Abbott's agenda, passing bills.
- The Senate bills volition dice astatine the extremity of the 30-day peculiar league without a quorum successful the Texas House.
- Gov. Abbott said helium volition proceed to telephone league aft session, until the 2022 election, until his docket has been passed.
While House Democrats proceed their walkout successful Washington, D.C., the Texas Senate has continued moving to walk bills that are portion of Gov. Greg Abbott's peculiar league agenda.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed SB1, a measure supporters accidental is designed to heighten predetermination integrity that opponents accidental is veiled elector suppression. Senators sent the measure to the House wherever it volition beryllium until either the quorum is reinstated oregon the existent peculiar league expires connected Aug. 6.
That aforesaid day, the Senate besides passed SB6, which has to bash with bail reform, and SB7, the one-time annuity outgo for retired Texas teachers that is also known arsenic the "13th check," by a ballot of 22-0.
On Wednesday, the Senate continued moving done their peculiar league docket and passed SB8 and SB12, some related to spot tax. When the bills moved retired of committee, State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) said successful a statement that the authorities "will supply much-needed alleviation to homeowners for first-year homestead exemptions and those implicit 65 oregon disabled" and that "SB8 volition code a longstanding contented successful Texas that prohibits homeowners from taxation savings successful their archetypal twelvemonth of location ownership."
No further enactment tin beryllium taken connected immoderate of the bills passed by the Texas Senate until a quorum is restored successful the House. According to Texas Democrats, that won't hap anytime soon arsenic they program to enactment retired of the authorities done the duration of the 30-day peculiar session.
Abbott, who tin telephone arsenic galore 30-day peculiar sessions arsenic helium likes, said the absent legislators volition beryllium arrested whenever they instrumentality to Texas and past brought backmost to the authorities Capitol to resume enactment connected his agenda.Explainer: Texas Democrats Fled the State. Here's Why
Though the bills whitethorn dice without a quorum successful the House, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said precocious Tuesday that helium was arrogant of the enactment done by the Texas Senate to get SB1 passed and that the Senate volition proceed passing it implicit and implicit again until the House has a quorum.
Patrick added SB1 "is astir ensuring that each Texan trusts the result of each predetermination successful Texas" and that it "increases transparency and ensures the voting rules are the aforesaid successful each region crossed the state."
In a connection Tuesday night, Patrick's bureau said SB1 "will necessitate that signatures connected mail-in ballots are verified truthful we cognize that ballots formed by message beryllium to the radical they accidental they beryllium to" and that the measure expands aboriginal voting hours and ensures "any predetermination instrumentality oregon counting instrumentality from being connected to the internet, making hacking impossible." Patrick said SB1 besides "will let Texans to ticker votes being counted connected predetermination nighttime arsenic larger counties volition beryllium required to livestream the voting tabulation process."
Not mentioned by Patrick, SB1 besides bans drive-thru and 24-hour voting options, which were utilized successful Harris County successful the November 2020 election, and allows partisan canvass watchers much entree astatine voting locations. SB1 besides forbids region predetermination officials from sending retired unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots and requires anyone driving 3 oregon much radical to a voting determination astatine the aforesaid clip to capable retired paperwork provided by the predetermination officer, thought present are exceptions for those who thrust contiguous household members to polling places.PDF: Read SB 1 Here arsenic Passed by the Texas Senate
Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing for national voting laws that would trump the state's laws, but Patrick is assured astir Texans don't privation accordant voting laws nationwide.
"Instead of doing their jobs, they are pushing Congress to walk a national predetermination measure Texans don’t want. According to a Texas Association of Business canvass conducted successful April, 65% of Texans ‘do not judge predetermination instrumentality should beryllium federalized and bash not privation U.S. Congress to dictate Texas predetermination law,'" Patrick said.
NBC News reports the Texas Democrats said the national For the People Act, an amended mentation of which Congressional Republicans filibustered in the U.S. Senate past month, is the lone mode they tin permanently fend disconnected predetermination limits Texas Republicans are advancing astatine the authorities level.
More than 150 companies, including PepsiCo, Amazon and Target, threw their enactment down updating the Voting Rights Act successful a missive released Wednesday.