Texas House passes electoral reform bill

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It was a late night for members of the Texas House Thursday as lawmakers debated and then finally passed election reform legislation. The bill passed second reading. A third and final reading will take place on Friday before the bill returns to the Senate.

Senate Bill 1, the Republican-backed electoral reform bill, is the legislation House Democrats have fought to defeat or at least slow down by breaking the quorum to jump on private planes for get to Washington, DC

Texas House Democrats spent the entire first special session in Washington, and enough of them finally returned to the Texas House Floor last week. Democrats again did their best last night to withdraw the bill on Thursday.

According to Texan news, the House considered “dozens” of amendments, but few were adopted:

One amendment was by Murr himself altered and expanded parts of the bill, such as increasing the penalty for diverting a poll observer from a Class B offense to a Class A offense.

Among other changes, the Murr Amendment also removed language that appeared to require a poll observer to be given a warning before being removed for breaking the law.

Regarding mail-in ballot requests, the amendment added a provision allowing an elector to correct a mail-in ballot request if there were any errors so that they could ultimately receive a ballot. instead of facing outright rejection.

Since changes were made to Senate Bill 1, the legislation will return to the Senate, where lawmakers can either accept the changes, or House and Senate lawmakers will meet in private to work out the details.

There is still a lot of work to be done for lawmakers in Austin, especially in the House. The second special session ends on September 5, and Governor Abbott has 17 items on the agenda, along with the addition of vaccine mandates he just added.

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