OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has secured a major win in his ongoing feud with Texas Democrats who left their posts to prevent a quorum and stop legislation that Republicans say would secure voting in the state.
The Texas Supreme Court denied the Democrats motion to restore funding to the legislature, The Texas Tribune reported.
The Texas Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from several Democratic House members and state employees asking the justices to overturn Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto of legislative funding in the upcoming two-year state budget.
Abbott vetoed the funding in June after House Democrats walked out during the final days of the regular legislative session in May, killing two of his priority bills on elections and changing the state’s bail system. Abbott then brought the Legislature back for a special session to get the bills passed, but more than 50 House Democrats again broke quorum — denying the lower chamber of the number of present members needed to move bills — by decamping to Washington, D.C., until the 30-day session ended Friday.
Democrats challenged Abbott’s veto in court, saying it 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.
On Friday, state officials extended the funding for legislatures and their staff for another month, meaning they will continue to be paid until Sept. 30.
“This political dispute within the legislative branch is not an issue of separation of powers that we can decide,” the court said in its decision on the case.
The governor celebrated his victory in a Twitter post calling on Texas Democrats t get back to work.
“The Texas Supreme Court denied Democrats’ request to overturn my veto of the Legislature’s funding because the Democrats walked out on doing their job. Contrary to Democrats & pundits, my veto was legal. Now it’s time for Democrats to return to work,” he said.
The Texas Supreme Court denied Democrats’ request to overturn my veto of the Legislature’s funding because the Democrats walked out on doing their job.
Contrary to Democrats & pundits, my veto was legal.
Now it’s time for Democrats to return to work.https://t.co/5WrR7DLztY
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 10, 2021
“The Texas Supreme Court has again recognized that ‘the Governor has power to disapprove any bill’ and upheld the governor’s veto power granted under the Texas Constitution,” a spokesperson for the governor, Renae Eze, said. “It’s time to stop the charades and get back to work doing the job they were elected to do—voting on critical legislation on behalf of their constituents, including funding Article X, potential funding for COVID-19 healthcare response, providing property tax relief, funding our retired teachers, protecting our foster children, and securing the border.
But not every Democrat believes that the decision was 100 percent against them. State Rep. Chris Turner and the group’s attorney, Chad Dunn were able to see a silver lining.
“We’re disappointed the Court chose to not get involved in Gov. Abbott’s tyrannical violation of the separation of powers, but make no mistake — the high Court clearly states the governor vetoing funding for the legislature in the future raises serious constitutional concerns,” they said. “Texas House Democrats will continue to fight back against Gov. Abbott’s systematic undermining of our democracy.”
The court said that the Texas Democrats could have worked with Republicans to reinstate Article X of the state budget which includes the legislative funding and not had to pass any other legislation to do it. They also could have done it 10 days before they adjourned and it would have been veto-proof.
“Relators argue that the Governor is unconstitutionally coercing them to vote for legislation that he favors. But the Governor has not forced the Legislature to enact his priorities before addressing its own funding,” it said. “The Legislature was free to use the special session to reinstate Article X funding. It could have done so without addressing any of the other items listed in the Governor’s call.”
“[T]he Governor’s veto of Article X followed by his call of a special session neither prevents the Legislature from funding itself nor forces the Legislature to enact legislation of the Governor’s choosing,” it said.
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com