The Second Called Session of the Texas Legislature convened today (Saturday) at noon. A quorum could not be established in the House, as 55 Democratic members remained absent, many of them still out of state, and around 10 Republican members were absent, many of whom are in some form of quarantine after a positive Covid-19 test or recent exposure to someone with Covid-19.

At least 26 Democrats said they intended to remain in Washington, D.C. to advocate for federal voting rights legislation. Others could return “as early as this week.”

Meanwhile, an error-ridden federal lawsuit filed on behalf of 22 House Democrats claims that their rights have been violated by actions taken by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) – misspelled Abbot on page 1 – Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and Rep. James White (R-Hilister) to force their return to Austin. It is unclear why White was singled out as a defendant. At least three of the plaintiffs said they did not authorize the lawsuit, which was filed by former legislator and U.S. Rep. Craig Washington (D-Houston).

“The Texas House remains committed to fulfilling its responsibilities as soon as our Democratic colleagues return from Washington or from their vacations abroad,” Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) said in a statement issued yesterday (Friday) as the first special session adjourned sine die.

Election Legislation: Senate Bill 1 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) will be heard in committee on Monday morning.

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