Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, has filed SJR 8, a bill aimed at a constitutional amendment to remove the governor’s line-item veto power, which Abbott recently used to punish staffers after Texas Democrats broke quorum.
The bill would need two-thirds approval from each of the chambers and has been labeled as symbolic, as the House Democrats continue their stand on Washington, pausing the ongoing Legislature.
“Vetoing this funding doesn’t punish legislators who left. It punishes regular hard-working folks who have nothing to do with voting for or against bills” Seliger tweeted. “They have not left their posts but are worried about health insurance, rent, and paying for their children’s school supplies. For this reason, I have filed SJR 8, which will keep this mess from happening again. “
According to the Texas Tribune, as lawmakers’ salaries are constitutionally protected, they will not lose their pay, however, Abbott’s veto affects the jobs of 2,165 legislative staffers and individuals working at legislative agencies, according to data from the state comptroller.
The line-item veto called by Abbott, which also affects non-partisan agencies, is most likely to fire back at his GOP priorities, as the redistricting session scheduled in a couple of months is at risk of starting with no staff at all.“He’s able to call all the special sessions he wants to, but he can’t require that people work for nothing. That’s called slavery in this country.” Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Dallas, said referring to Gov. Abbott.