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Texas Democrats, voting rights groups push back against Gov. Abbott’s veto of legislative funding

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 9:32 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Democratic lawmakers say the battle with Gov. Greg Abbott to restore funding to the legislative branch is far from over.

Abbott previously vetoed funding for Texas lawmakers, their staffs and various legislative agencies as a punishment for Democratic lawmakers who walked out of the House at the end of May and defeated the controversial voting bill known as Senate Bill 7.

More than 60 lawmakers filed a petition late last week asking the Supreme Court of Texas to override Gov. Abbott’s veto, arguing that it is unconstitutional and sets a “dangerous precedent.”

Abbott responded on Twitter that his veto is “on solid legal ground” and that lawmakers can continue to legislate despite the veto.

“We haven’t seen another governor say to thousands of hardworking public employees, ‘You won’t be paid and be able to take care of your family unless you pass the legislation I want to keep me in power,’” Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, the executive director of NextGen America, told KWTX.

Separately, on Monday, Tzintzún Ramirez’s group joined more than 30 other voting rights and advocacy groups in forming a coalition called Texas for All to fight efforts to resurrect the voting bill in a special session.

“You see all kinds of organizations from across the state — from rural, urban, El Paso to Houson to Tyler, Texas — coming out and saying, ‘Stop attacking and assaulting our democracy,’” she said.

The coalition also includes the ACLU of Texas, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Sierra Club, among other groups.

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