AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Senate and House Republican Caucuses held a joint press conference on special session agenda items on Tuesday, August 3 to demand Texas House Democrats get back to work in the state.

Heading into the last week of the special legislative session, Senator Larry Taylor (Chair, Senate Republican Caucus), Representative Jim Murphy (Chair, House Republican Caucus), Senator Jane Nelson (Chair, Senate Finance Committee), and Representative Greg Bonnen (Chair, House Appropriations Committee) delivered remarks regarding legislation that has been held up since Texas Democrats left.

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“So far, in this special session that was called by the governor, the Senate has accomplished and passed every bill on that call,” began Taylor. “We passed it over to the Senate. Unfortunately our colleagues in the House could not receive those bills because there’s not a quorum.”

Taylor said there was still time to take action. “I realize the time is short. Today’s the third and this session is over on the sixth.” Taylor said that he expects to be back in another special session by next week.

Representative Murphy said that several items were held up due to the Texas Democrats not being in state to act on legislation effecting bail reform, teacher’s retirement and foster children. “In no other industry on earth can you fail to show up to the job for thirty days, get paid and expect to keep the job,” said Murphy.

Senator Nelson said, “It is time for the House Democrats to come back to the state capitol and take care of the business of the state of Texas.”

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Nelson said that due to Texas’ strong economy, there was an additional $7 Billion available to use for current initiatives that they did not initially expect to have.

Representative Bonnen also said that the budget landscape has markedly improved after the state comptroller updated the state’s two year budget projection.

Bonnen also addressed election integrity. “As you know election integrity remains at the forefront of the conversation,” said Bonnen. “It should be easy to vote and hard to cheat which is exactly what House Bill 3 does.”

Republicans have said they want to standardize the voting rules statewide, while Democrats have said the bills are aimed at limiting residents’ ability to cast a ballot.

The press conference took place at the Texas State Capitol in the Senate Press Room.

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