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Our Voices: We Will Survive

By Rep. Yvonne Davis

This has been an unusual legislative year to say the least – but I am confident Texas and Texans will survive and ultimately thrive.

As you well know, the 87th Regular Legislative session ended with a bang, and it has continued through two special called sessions! The regular session ended with Democrats saying, “enough is enough” and leaving the House Chamber to stop a controversial voter suppression bill by running out the clock to end the session.

There is no question that Democrats as well as all Texans want fair and secure elections! However, a voter suppression bill designed to make it more difficult for individuals to vote does not enhance security in our election process. It is my thought that every citizen’s participation is essential to having and maintaining a strong and representative government.

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However, the Governor called the first special session on July 8th to address the voters suppression bill as well as other measures, that failed during the regular session, including Article 10 funding for the legislative branch of government which he vetoed.

After a 24-hour hearing on the controversial voting suppression legislation Democrats again, walked out after insults and humiliation during the process. The first special called session ended with no action taken due to a lack of a quorum in the House.

Democrats traveled to the nation’s capital to visit with Congressional leaders regarding the need for federal legislation to protect voters and their voting rights without intimidation. This effort brought additional focus on the legislation and the need to protect all citizens from this form of intimidation and violation of their rights.

Consequently, the Governor called a second special session, August 7th, which is currently ongoing.

I believe we have too many critical issues facing our State to be bogged down with partisan politics. The State must redefine it’s priorities and focus on ways to protect and improve the quality of life for all Texans. As a Democrat who believes our state government can and should do better, I will continue to advocate for all citizens.

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Please know to break quorum is not an easy decision to make, in fact, it’s a very difficult action to take. Sometimes it is necessary to take bold action to get the attention of others who have no perspective and/or understanding of the longlasting effects of such negative legislation. It is always my desire to have an environment where there is room to talk and discuss our differences.

The House rules are designed to serve its members and so maintaining a quorum is required not only to ensure the integrity of the body, but to move measures forward. Consequently, denying a quorum is a strategic tool to put measures on hold when the action is not in best interest of the state. While I understand that there are many perspectives – we must all seek to create a Texas where every Texan is respected.

Currently, the House of Representatives is meeting and should focus on issues like COVID-19, health care, a thirteen check for retired teachers, and true property tax relief.

Finally, I appreciate the many calls and emails expressing concerns, support, and views during the quorum break. Your input is always welcome and appreciated. I look forward to continuing to work and govern in a manner that is respectful to and for all Texans to keep our State strong and safe!

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