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August 4, 2021      5:06 PM

SB: A possible break in the stalemate could be near as a second special session approaches

Reports of international travel by some Texas House Democrats isn’t just fodder for Republicans. It is indicative of simmering resentment within the ranks of the minority party growing tired of this hostage situation initiated largely by Gov. Abbott’s ultimate breach of trust with the legislative branch

Let’s get real.

Even though Republican leadership pledges to keep their members in Austin through Friday, this called session of the Texas Legislature has basically concluded. And it looks like we are now on track for another special session as soon as next week that will likely see a quorum reestablished in the Texas House, perhaps as soon as they gavel in for 87(2).

An explanation of that will follow.

But first, make no mistake: In this standoff, it was Gov. Greg Abbott who took the first hostage by defunding legislative staff, Lege Council, the LBB, and other legislative agencies through his line-item veto of Article X. As QR first reported yesterday, sources indicated Abbott proposed such a move as early as 2019. So, don’t get it twisted. Abbott is not doing this to punish Democrats. It’s about consolidation of power in his office.

To that point, there is more chatter that the Legislative Budget Board may meet soon to move funding for Lege Council and other immediate needs in case Article X isn’t saved by legislators or the Texas Supreme Court in a timely fashion. The LBB can’t meet when legislators are in session – special or otherwise – so the meeting could happen potentially over the weekend or maybe Monday with the second special starting Tuesday.

As one Republican member quipped, “if we can move money for a cyclone fence on the border, we can move money for Lege Council,” which is where the redistricting process must start.

By Scott Braddock

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