Texas House Passes Election Reform Bill
It was a late night for members of the Texas House on Thursday as lawmakers debated, then eventually passed election reform legislation. The bill was passed on a second reading. A third and final reading will happen Friday before the legislation goes back to the Senate.
Senate Bill 1, the Republican supported election reform bill, is the legislation that House Democrats had fought to defeat or at least slow down by breaking quorum to jump on private planes to travel to Washington, D.C.
Texas House Democrats spent the entire first special session in Washington, and enough finally showed back up on the Texas House Floor last week. Democrats still tried their best last night to take down the legislation on Thursday.
According to The Texan News, the House considered "dozens" of amendments, but few passed:
One amendment was by Murr himself tweaked and expanded portions of the bill, such as upgrading the penalty for turning away a poll watcher from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor.
Among other changes, the Murr amendment also removed language that appeared to require a poll watcher to be given a warning before being removed for breaking the law.
With regard to mail-in ballot applications, the amendment added a provision for an opportunity for a voter to correct a mail-in ballot application if there were errors so he or she could ultimately receive a ballot instead of facing an outright rejection.
Since changes were made to Senate Bill 1, the legislation will go back to the Senate, where lawmakers can either agree to the changes or lawmakers from the House and Senate will meet privately to work out details.
There's still much work left to do for lawmakers in Austin, particularly in the House. The second special session ends on September 5th, and Governor Abbott placed 17 items on the agenda, plus the addition of vaccine mandates which he just added.
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