AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Democratic lawmakers are suing Republican Gov. Greg Abbott after he vetoed Capitol paycheck funds because they walked out to block sweeping new voting restrictions.
The lawsuit filed Friday reflects the tensions that remain more than a month after Democrats staged a late-night quorum break to stop the GOP from passing tougher election laws in Texas.
Abbott has said paychecks shouldn’t be given “to those who quit their job early.”
He has indicated he’ll give lawmakers the chance to reinstate the money once they return for a special session later this summer.
Democrats called the veto unconstitutional overreach and say more than 2,000 jobs are at stake.
The governor’s office issued the following statement in response.
The governor’s veto power is granted by the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Supreme Court has recognized that ‘the Governor has power to disapprove any bill.’ Also, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has made clear that the Constitution does not ‘impose any restriction on the [governor’s] veto power.’ More to the point, that court also ruled that ‘the governor’s power to exercise a veto may not be circumscribed by the Legislature [or] by the courts.’ This is not the first time, and undoubtedly will not be the last time, that a governor vetoes funding for government positions and salaries. Any limitation on that authority directly contradicts the Constitution and decades of vetoes by governors.
The Democrats’ claims about the governor’s veto ‘cancelling’ the legislative branch are misleading and misguided. The Constitution protects the legislative branch, and as the Democrats well know, their positions, their powers and their salaries are protected by the Constitution. They can continue to legislate despite the veto.Office Of The Governor