TEXAS — Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to veto part of the state budget that funds the Legislature Monday, after Texas House Democrats killed his priority elections bill.
Late Sunday, enough Democrats walked out of the House to break a quorum and block the passage of Senate Bill 7 before a midnight deadline.
"No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities," Abbott tweeted.
Abbott said he would veto Article 10 of the budget which funds lawmakers' and staff salaries, as well as agencies like the Legislative Budget Board. The budget covers the next two fiscal years, starting on Sept. 1. State legislators make $600 a month, or $7,200 annually.
Democrats quickly criticized Abbott's move.
"This would eliminate the branch of government that represents the people and basically create a monarchy," Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, said in a tweet.
Lawmakers are expected to be back in the fall for a special session on redistricting after delayed census data due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Abbott did not indicate if the elections bill, or other priorities that failed, would be added to that agenda or call an earlier special session over the summer.