GOP senator says Gov. Greg Abbott should lose line-item veto after cutting Legislature's funding, jeopardizing staffers' jobs

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A Republican authorities legislator connected Tuesday said Gov. Greg Abbott nary longer deserves line-item veto authority, aft utilizing his enforcement powerfulness to jeopardize the jobs of thousands of authorities workers.

Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, filed a measure successful the peculiar legislative league aimed astatine removing the governor’s enactment point veto power. Seliger is the lone writer listed connected the bill, which is simply a law amendment, meaning it would request two-thirds support from each enclosure and past voters would get to decide.

But the measure is mostly symbolic, arsenic the Legislature is presently astatine a standstill, incapable to determination immoderate authorities due to the fact that House Democrats broke quorum 2 weeks agone erstwhile they fled to Washington, D.C. to artifact the GOP voting bill.

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“Vetoing this backing doesn't punish legislators who left. It punishes regular hard-working folks who person thing to bash with voting for oregon against bills,” Seliger tweeted. “We present person little than 4 weeks earlier the veto eliminates wage for Capitol station bureau staff, researchers, caseworkers successful territory offices, those liable for answering unfastened grounds requests, etc”

“They person not near their posts but are disquieted astir wellness insurance, rent, and paying for their children's schoolhouse supplies,” helium added.

Seliger, who did not instantly respond to a petition for comment, is present 1 of fewer Republicans to openly blasted Abbott for putting unit jobs astatine risk. In caller weeks, arsenic tensions person bubbled implicit the quorum break, immoderate Republicans person pointed the digit astatine Democrats for refusing to instrumentality to the Capitol and preventing the Legislature from being capable to reconstruct the wealth for staffers.

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The legislative subdivision budget, spelled retired successful Article X of the state’s biennial fiscal budget, includes backing for House and Senate lawmakers, their staffers and those moving successful nonpartisan legislative agencies.

In total, much than $410 cardinal was allocated successful the 2022-23 fiscal budget. The veto affects the jobs of 2,165 legislative staffers and individuals moving astatine legislative agencies, according to information from the authorities comptroller. Lawmakers' salaries are constitutionally protected, truthful they bash not suffer their pay.

Abbott vetoed backing for the full subdivision successful June arsenic retribution aft House Democrats broke quorum connected the past time of the regular legislative session to artifact transition of a GOP precedence elections measure that would bounds voting entree crossed the state.

However, Abbott, who decides what tin beryllium considered successful the peculiar legislative sessions, added restoring the funds to the docket for the existent league — apt intended to beryllium an inducement to support Democrats from leaving again. Bills successful the House and the Senate intended to reconstruct the backing person not passed, since Democrats did successful information permission a 2nd clip and are inactive retired of the authorities Democrats antecedently asked the Texas Supreme Court to artifact Abbott’s veto connected the grounds that it’s unconstitutional.

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The governor's bureau did not instantly respond to a petition for comment.

Earlier this week, Texas House Administration Chair Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, spelled retired what would hap if Article X backing is not restored. The House would not person the authorization oregon backing to wage for worker salaries and the services, contracts and leases presently successful spot opening Sept. 1.

"The implications to the cognition of the House are significant," helium wrote.

He added that galore services astir the Capitol would beryllium disrupted, including cleaning, cable, travel, telephone services and question reimbursements. Health security for unit members would besides beryllium negatively impacted.

Among those staffers whose jobs are astatine hazard is Donovon J. Rodriguez, main of unit to authorities Rep. Ray Lopez, D-San Antonio, who said Abbott is “unlawfully eliminating jobs and displacing hardworking individuals.”

“His actions person induced a law situation that is hurting maine and my family,” helium said.

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Although backing to the legislative subdivision is unaffected during this legislative session, it would interaction a aboriginal league connected redistricting that is scheduled for aboriginal this year.

Several legislative agencies — with six successful full — play important roles successful this session, notably the Legislative Budget Board and Legislative Council. The LBB is liable for processing argumentation and fund recommendations and providing fiscal notes for bills portion the Legislative Council volition besides beryllium charged with drafting the maps for redistricting.

In effect to Seliger’s tweet, Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, said authorities employees person thing to bash with Abbott’s “grievance.”

“Despite our governmental differences, we cannot let this unsafe precedent to beryllium set,” Howard said connected societal media.

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