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Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he would veto the section of the state budget that funds the legislature hours after a Democratic walkout killed his priority elections bill.
“No salary for those who abandon their responsibilities”, Abbott said in a tweet. “Stay tuned.”
Late Sunday evening, enough Democrats left the House to break the quorum and block passage of the elections bill, Senate Bill 7, before midnight. Calling the bill’s failure “deeply disappointing,” Abbott was quick to indicate that he would call a special session to pass it, although he did not specify a timeline.
Abbott’s tweet referred to Article X of the budget, which not only pays lawmakers and staff, but also funds legislative bodies, such as the Legislative Budget Council. Under the current budget, the legislative branch is funded until the end of August, and the budget Abbott refers to covers the fiscal year beginning September 1.
Abbott has until June 20 to perform the veto.
State lawmakers are paid $ 600 per month, or $ 7,200 per year. They also receive a per diem allowance of $ 221 for each session day, including regular and special sessions.
Democratic lawmakers were quick to criticize Abbott’s veto announcement.
“This would eliminate the branch of government that represents the people and essentially create a monarchy,” said the state representative. Donna Howard from Austin tweeted.
SB 7 was one of Abbott’s emergency items, as was another proposal that died on Sunday that would have made it harder for those arrested to get out of jail without cash.
Abbott’s tweet came minutes before the House adjourned sine die, ending its regular session. In remarks from the podium, GOP Speaker Dade Phelan recognized legislators had unfinished business.
“We’ll be back – when, I don’t know, but we’ll be back,” Phelan told the members. “There is a lot of work to be done, but I look forward to doing it with all of you. “