Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto of Legislature funding was without a doubt ignited by his anger towards democrats abandoning the capitol to stop republicans from approving their precious voting restriction bill, but sadly, this drastic measure affects the lives of more people than anyone seems to realize.
2,165 staffers and individuals who earn a median salary of $52,000 per year are set to lose their wages because of it. While some call the Democrats’ actions patriotic, others call it irresponsible, either way, capitol staffers should not be the ones who pay for it, especially when the matter is completely out of their hands.
At RA News, we recently closed a social media poll where we asked our audiences if they thought legislative staffers should lose their salary, there were two simple answers to choose from, “I support the veto”, and “Staff shouldn’t suffer”.
An overwhelming number of people agreed that people should not lose their salaries, 84.38 percent to be exact, while 15.22 percent said they were fine with it.
Many users were quick to react to the question, flooding the comments section with harsh words for Gov. Abbott, “Greggy’s having a tantrum! He can’t do the bidding of his idol so he takes it out on those trying to protect the vote.” said one man.
Others were wondering what the staffers would be doing while the democrats are away, “Staffers didn’t make that choice but what are they being paid to do?”
A couple of weeks ago a number of capitol staffers talked to the Texas Tribune and expressed their worry over this matter, “We’re a one-income family,” said Donovon J. Rodriguez, chief of staff to Rep. Ray Lopez, “This would absolutely affect us greatly.”
Even other GOP members showed concern for this controversial measure, including Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, “My concern is how it impacts staff, especially those who live here in Austin, which is not an inexpensive place to live and raise your family and children,” Phelan said. “And the agencies it impacts … I’m just concerned how it impacts them because they weren’t the ones who decided that we were gonna break quorum, it wasn’t their decision, right?”
To make matters worse, a recent analysis of Article X and staff salaries made by Texas 2036 suggests that many of these employees already face challenges in keeping up with the rising cost of living in the Austin metro area.
According to their findings, just over half of Article X staff are not able to afford fair market rent on a two-bedroom apartment in the city of Austin.