87th LegislatureState HouseState SenateTaxes & SpendingAbbott Vetoes Legislative Funding in Response to Democratic Walkout on Election Bill

In retaliation for House Democrats killing an elections bill, the Texas governor has nixed all legislative funding for the next biennium.
June 18, 2021
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Governor Greg Abbott signed the 2022-2023 state budget into law today, but vetoed the entire section, Article X, that funds the Texas legislature. The move comes as a counterpunch from House Democrats breaking quorum on the last night of session to kill his priority election reform legislation.

“Texans don’t run from a legislative fight, and they don’t walk away from unfinished business,” Abbott said in a statement.

“Funding should not be provided for those who quit their job early, leaving their state with unfinished business and exposing taxpayers to higher costs for an additional legislative session. I therefore object to and disapprove of these appropriations.”

Across all funds Article X, encompasses $410 million which finances member per diems, staff salaries, and funds legislative-adjacent departments.

Abbott had threatened to do just that in the days after the election bill was killed and followed through on the promise Friday afternoon. He previously stated the legislature could earn its funding back in a special session by passing the election reform bill. That item is slated for the first of two impending special sessions.

The Texan Tumbler

Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prarie), chair of the House Democratic Caucus, criticized the veto, saying, “Texas has a governor, not a dictator or emperor. The tyrannical veto of the legislative branch is the latest indication that Governor Greg Abbott is simply out of control.”

The funding cut will begin at the start of the 2022-2023 fiscal year on September 1. The election reform special session is likely to occur in July or August. A supplemental appropriation can be passed by the legislature during the special session to restore funding, but must receive Abbott’s signature — which is likely conditioned on passage of the election reform bill.

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.