- Democrats in the Texas State House will flee the state en masse to block conservative bills, per reports.
- Gov. Greg Abbott convened a special session to pass voting restrictions and other legislation.
- Democrats are now aiming to deny the legislative quorum necessary to move forward on the bills.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives are leaving the state in a dramatic walkout to block a number of conservative priorities from passing in a legislative special session, VoteBeat, The New York Times, and NBC News report.
Gov. Greg Abbott convened the special session, which began July 8, to pass a litany of conservative priorities including voting reform, restrictions on transgender students participating in sports, and legislation targeting social media companies and the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
State House Democrats previously walked out at the end of the last legislative session in order to deny a quorum and run out the clock until the midnight deadline to pass Senate Bill 7, a bill that included new restrictions on voting and criminal penalties for election officials.
At least some of the Democrats are flying to Washington, DC on a chartered plane to pressure Congress to pass voting rights reform, NBC reported. Under the Texas Constitution, a two-thirds majority of lawmakers are required to be present for legislative business to proceed .
The lawmakers could be subject to apprehension by law enforcement, specifically the Texas Rangers, while trying to leave the state. The last time Texas Democratic lawmakers fled the state to similarly deny a quorum was during a 2003 legislative session over redistricting, when some legislators went over the border into Oklahoma and New Mexico.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.