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Texas Supreme Court denies request to find Abbott's Article X veto unconstitutional

Abbott vetoed Article X, which funds the Texas Legislature, its staffers and legislative agencies, in June.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court denied a petition to find Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto of Article X unconstitutional on Monday, Aug. 9. Article X funds the Texas Legislature, its staffers and legislative agencies.

More than 50 Texas House Democrats, legislative staffers and the Texas AFL-CIO signed a petition for a writ of mandamus in June following Abbott’s veto. A writ of mandamus would be action by the Texas Supreme Court to force Abbott to undo his veto.

In a per curiam opinion, the Court said Texas House Democrats could have restored Article X funding during the first special session before voting on election reform legislation or breaking quorum.

“Relators argue that the Governor is unconstitutionally coercing them to vote for legislation he favors,” the opinion says. “But the Governor has not forced the Legislature to enact his priorities before addressing its own funding. The Legislature was free to use the special session to reinstate Article X funding.”

Now, as the Legislature begins a second special session, the opinion says relators have “the opportunity to vote to appropriate revenues to the legislative branch” again.

Abbott vetoed Article X in June following the Texas House Democrats blocking the passage of a controversial election reform bill, Senate Bill 7, by walking out of the chamber.

Two former speakers of the Texas House of Representatives and one former state lieutenant governor advised the Texas Supreme Court to find the veto unconstitutional in June in a amici curiae brief.

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