AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A tweet from Governor Greg Abbott has raised the political stakes of a special session following the end of the regular legislative session.

On Monday, May 31, he tweeted, “No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.”

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He was referring to House Democrats who walked out late Sunday night, leaving the chamber without a quorum, before the midnight deadline to pass bills.

The Democrats said they had no other choice but to do so to prevent Republicans from passing SB 7, the controversial elections integrity bill.

The Governor said he would veto article ten of the budget passed by the legislature, which funds the legislative branch.

That not only pays the salaries of lawmakers, who earn $600 each month, plus $221 each day they’re in session, but their staffs, who stand to lose much more.
Democrats like State Rep. Nicole Collier of Fort Worth, criticized the Governor. “I’m just not sure how he’s going to be able to do that without cutting everyone’s pay. And that’s going to impact the, you know, salaries of the families, the people, the people’s families that work here. I like to see his ideas. I mean, literally, it’s childish.”

Legislative leaders say because the funding for the current budget ends August 31st, the Governor will likely call a special session before then.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick explained Monday why he thought it was an effective move. “Very clever. Now, you say why is that clever? Because the Democrats who walked out last night who broke quorum, they could stay out all summer and never come back. If they don’t come back, their employees are going to be fired so there’s a reason now for them to come back.”

While Governor Abbott hasn’t specified when the special session will take place on the election’s integrity bill and other issues, lawmakers already know they will be called back this fall to redraw state House and Senate districts along with Congressional districts.

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Lawmakers will also decide how to spend $16 billion in federal COVID-19 relief.