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Texas Matters: Voting in Delaware, The 2003 Quorum Bust And Texas Senate Walk-Out

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David Martin Davies

The quorum busting Democratic lawmakers have shut down the Texas Legislature's special session in order to keep a Governor Abbott-backed voter restriction bill from being passed.

Abbott says he will keep calling special sessions until it is passed. The current special session ends on August 7th and Abbott says the next one begins on August 8th.

What’s the record for special sessions? Between 1989-1990, Governor Bill Clements called six special sessions of the 71st Legislature.

Abbott is trying to gain the upper hand in spinning the story of the quorum bust while also defending the voter restriction bill.

He was on FOX News Sunday and told host Chris Wallace that Texas voting is easy and compared Texas voting access to another state. Abbott is not alone in his Delaware bashing. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has also taken swipes at Delaware.
So what’s up with voting access in Delaware? How does it compare to Texas?
We speak with Roman Battaglia, the politics reporter at Delaware Public Media.

2003 Quorum Bust

As Texas House Democrats remain in Washington D.C., their quorum busting walkout carries on. By being absent, they are blocking the passage of the voter restriction bill and other legislation that the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature is looking to pass. This is not the first time Democratic state lawmakers have used this tactic. Texas Public Radio’s Dominic Anthony Walsh takes us back to 2003.

Sen. Menendez

It’s not just Democratic House members that are in Washington D.C. — there are also Democratic Senators. They too fled the state but there were not enough of them to block the Senate on Tuesday from passing the voter restriction bill with a party-line vote of 18-4. With 22 of the 31 members of the Senate present, their quorum was intact and bills were passed.

San Antonio State Senator Jose Menendez is in D.C. with the breakaway Dems. We speak with him about what they are looking to accomplish.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi