AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered another special session for this weekend to pass a voting bill after Democrats left the state in protest.
The announcement, which had been expected, puts new pressure on the more than 50 Democratic lawmakers who left Texas for Washington, D.C., on July 12 and have remained there since.
They had been preparing to celebrate running out the clock on the current 30-day special session that ends Friday, which would torpedo the sweeping elections overhaul for the second time since May.
But their holdout may not be over. Some Democrats said this week that they had no intention of returning to the state Capitol, even after they return to Texas and face possible arrest to compel their attendance.
State Representative Chris Turner, the leader of the House Democratic Caucus, would not say following Abbott’s announcement whether they would return before the new special session begins Saturday. But asked about members who say they will keep refusing to show up, Turner told The Associated Press: “It’s very much under discussion. I’ll just leave it at that.”