us-regions Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that he would veto the portion of the state budget that funds the legislative branch, one day after Democratic lawmakers blocked a Republican-backed elections” target=”_blank”>election bill<. If enacted, the bill would make changes to election requirements by expanding the authority of partisan poll watchers, enacting bans on 24-hour and drive-thru voting and increasing penalties for election workers who violate protocols.
State Rep. Carl Sherman told the newspaper that Democratic lawmakers acted after being informed that Republicans would move to end debate on the bill.
“Unfortunately it looks like that the only option we have, according to a senior member of the Republican Party who said we would not have an opportunity to speak against the bill,” Sherman said. “And that’s not a democracy to me. I guess they were sick and tired of hearing our views on this. They decided they were going to ram this down our throats.”
Shortly after the walkout, Abbott tweeted that he would convene a special session of the legislature for further consideration of the bill. The governor called the bill a “must-pass emergency item.”
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Abbot and other Republicans have argued the bill is necessary to ensure voting integrity after a combative 2020 election cycle. State Democrats argue the measures amounted to voter suppression and have accused Republicans proceeded without sufficient consultation.