Will Texas Voting Reforms Keep State Democrats in Washington? 

This week in Texas politics with The Texas Tribune.


By Laura Rice & Terri LangfordAugust 6, 2021 3:55 pm, , ,

The second special session of the Texas Legislature begins this weekend, and the agenda is going to look a little familiar to the first because it includes items that didn’t get passed.

And Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has included a few things that might entice state Democrats to return to the state following their exodus to Washington, D.C., says Ross Ramsey, executive director of The Texas Tribune. Democrats left earlier this summer to keep a vote on GOP-endorsed voting reforms from happening.

“The governor earlier this year vetoed the legislative budget, you know, over this voting bill [impasse],” Ramsey said. “And they have to put that back in place or about 2,100 state employees who basically make the pink building in downtown Austin run, will be out of work.”

The new fiscal year begins on Sept. 1 and a new budget has to be in place.

So far, the Democrats have been quiet about their plans. “They’ve been really very coy about this. Their main goal seems to be to get Congress to pass voting legislation that would preempt what the Texas Legislature and legislatures and other states are trying to do.”

There’s room for compromise on the voting legislation, but Ramsey said that tensions between the two parties remain tense.

“Everybody is pretty angry at each other,” he said. “The Republicans are mad that the Democrats walked out. The Democrats are mad that the Republicans basically took away all of their options. I think there’s probably room to negotiate if they felt like it, but I’m not sure they feel like it.”

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