Abbott Signs Texas’ Voting Reform Bill into Law, Ending Intense Political Fight

Greg Abbott holding recently signed Texas voting reform bill

Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday signed Texas’ election reform bill into law, ending a months-long political fight over the controversial legislation.

Abbott, a Republican, traveled to Tyler, Texas to sign the Senate Bill 1, which repeals many of the voting measures that large cities in the state implemented amid the pandemic and overhauls the state’s mail-in voting and polling place systems.

Senate Bill 1 also bars election officials from sending voters unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to voters, threatening jail time if they do so.

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Texas House Democrats Flee State on Private Jets

Sixty-seven Texas House Democrats fled Austin Monday for Washington, D.C. on private planes in a political maneuver that Gov. Greg Abbott said only hurts Texans.

Shortly after 2 p.m., House Democrats confirmed in a statement they were not returning to the state Capitol to complete an ongoing special session, which began July 8 and lasts for 30 days.

By leaving Texas, House Democrats avoided being arrested by a “Call of the House,” which Speaker of the House Dade Phelan could have initiated had the members left Tuesday, when the chamber is scheduled to be back in session. Because the legislature was out of session on Monday, Democrats had time to leave after having met over the weekend.

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Texas Democrats Walk out to Stop GOP Voting Reform Bill, Abbott to Call Special Session

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaking at FreePac, hosted by FreedomWorks, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Texas House Democrats on Sunday night staged a walkout to block their Republican counterparts’ sweeping voter-reform legislation.

The move blocked the passage of the bill by effectively ending the Texas legislature’s session. However, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott quickly announced that he would order a special session to finish the process, and achieve a top state GOP legislative priority.

The walkout is one of Democrats’ biggest protests to date against Republican efforts across the country to enact measures to tighter security on state election systems, according to the Associated Press.

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Georgia GOP Senators Introduce Special Session Petition

  Four Georgia lawmakers – State Senators Brandon Beach (R-Cherokee), Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), William Ligon (R-Brunswick), and Burt Jones (R-Jackson) (pictured above, left to right) – bucked their leadership  Monday to launch a petition to force a special session of the Georgia General Assembly. They need 29 signatures to force…

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Poll Reveals 58 Percent of Voters Want Governor Kemp to Call Special Legislative Session Now

A majority of likely voters in January’s runoff election want Governor Brian Kemp to call a special session for absentee ballot signature verification. The poll, exclusively shared with The Georgia Star News, revealed that the bipartisan voters strongly desire a special legislative session addressing signature verification for every mail-in ballot.

The national survey research and strategic services company McLaughlin & Associates called 800 likely voters at the end of last month. The methodology was described as a random selection “to correlate with actual voter turnout in the November 3rd general election.”

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Georgia GOP Revolt: Beach, Senators Lead Uprising Against Gov. Kemp-Demand Special Session

Eleven of Georgia’s state senators are petitioning Governor Brian Kemp to call a special legislative session to amend election law, according to State Senator Brandon Beach (R-GA-Cherokee County). These legislators have also asked for an immediate oversight committee to look into the general election and rectify any mistakes prior to the January 5th runoff election.

Beach explained to The Georgia Star that widespread concern over the consent decree, voting discrepancies, and residency requirements have compromised faith in the upcoming runoff election.

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Gov. Walz Calls Sixth Special Session for Thursday

Gov. Tim Walz on Monday said he will convene the sixth special session of the Minnesota Legislature on Thursday.

“Amid climbing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, Walz intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days,” a news release said.  The extension will mark a total of about 274 days or nearly nine months Minnesota has been under a state of emergency.

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Gov. Walz Calls Special Session Monday to Extend Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday a special session will take place Monday, Oct. 12, during which he intends to extend his peacetime emergency declaration for the seventh time.

In the governor’s Proclamation for Special Session, issued Oct. 7, Walz said an “extraordinary occasion” has ensued, and, therefore, “it is necessary to extend the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.”

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Walz Calls Another Special Session, Says He Will Extend COVID-19 Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz said he plans to extend his COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration for another 30 days when lawmakers return to St. Paul Monday for a special session.

The governor announced Friday night that he has convened a special legislative session for July 13, the same day his peacetime emergency declaration is set to expire. According to Minnesota law, the governor must convene both houses of the Legislature if he wishes to extend a peacetime emergency when the Legislature is not in session.

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Walz Expected to Call Another Special Session to Extend Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to call another special session by the end of the week in order to extend his peacetime emergency powers.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) alerted members and staff in a Monday email about the likely special session.

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‘Train Wreck’ Special Session Cost Estimated $108,000

The Minnesota Legislature’s recent special session ended with no major accomplishments, but the eight-day session will still cost taxpayers an estimated $108,000.

The special session concluded on June 20 after Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in the House failed to reach an agreement on police reform legislation, the allocation of federal coronavirus relief funds, and other leftover business from the regular session, such as a borrowing package for public infrastructure projects.

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Minnesota Ends ‘Train Wreck’ Special Session With No Deal on Policing, Bonding Bill

Minnesota legislative leaders traded barbs Saturday after a special session collapsed with no deal on revamping policing following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a session that one group called “a train wreck.”

The two sides may be back at it in another special session next month.

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