Texas Supreme Court denies Democrats’ request to overturn Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto of Legislature’s funding

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Greg Abbott

FILE – In this Tuesday, June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. Abbott, who faces a contested reelection primary next year, is pushing looser gun laws than he ever previously embraced and proposing unprecedented state actions, including promises to build more walls on the Mexican border. Similar scenes are playing out in campaigns in other red states including Arkansas and Idaho, where ultra right-wing challengers are tapping into anger among Republicans over Trump’s election loss and coronavirus-related lockdowns. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

The Texas Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from a group including more than 60 House Democrats, the House Democratic Caucus, and several state employees asking the justices to overturn Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto of legislative funding in the upcoming biennium.

Abbott vetoed the funding, which effects the salaries and benefits of some 2,100 state employees, in June after House Democrats walked out during the final days of the legislative session in May and killed two of his priority bills on elections and changing the state’s bail system.

Democrats challenged Abbott’s veto in court, arguing that allowing it to move forward stripped their power as a “co-equal branch of government.” But the Texas Supreme Court on Monday sided with Abbott on his veto that will effectively defund the Texas Legislature, its staffers and legislative agencies later this year.

State officials on Friday extended the funding for another month, meaning the legislative employees will continue to be paid for through Sept. 30.

In an unsigned opinion, the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court said the lack of funding for the legislative branch “continues to exist not because of a dispute between the Governor and the Legislature, nor even because of one between the Governor and a minority of House members. Rather, the principal dispute is among the members of the Legislature.”

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/07/19/texas-supreme-court-article-x-greg-abbott/.

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