It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with James Barragán, political reporter for The Texas Tribune.
After more than six weeks away, some Texas Democrats returned to the Capitol Thursday, giving the House enough members in attendance to reach a quorum. Barragán says there has been disagreement among Democrats about whether and when to return. More than 50 lawmakers fled Austin for Washington earlier this summer to stop consideration of a Republican-backed voting, bill by denying the House a quorum.
Democrats who returned Thursday were Garnet Coleman, Armando Walle and Ana Hernandez, all from Houston.
“They did a voter roll to see who was present, and they got a quorum,” Barragán said.
Democrats are divided over returning to the House. Barragán says some feel they’ve made their point by opposing a bill they say is too restrictive of Texas voters. Other lawmakers question the original decision to leave.
Also, the Texas Supreme Court ruled this week that school mask mandates passed by local districts, but that had been blocked by Gov. Greg Abbott, can remain in place, at least temporarily.
“I think the governor is going to find himself fighting a two-front war,” Barragán said.
Abbott faces opposition to his mask mandate ban from many local school districts and governments, where officials are concerned about the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus. The federal government is also supporting school districts who want to impose mask mandates.