Texas House advances voting bill that Democrats fled state to protest
Texas House Republicans gave final approval to a slate of new voting restrictions on Friday following months of protests by Democrats, including a 38-day walkout, the Texas Tribune reports.
Why it matters: Friday's vote brings Texas one step closer to enacting voting restrictions — making it set to be the latest big Republican state to pass tighter voting laws following the 2020 election, per AP.
Driving the news: The Texas House on Thursday night passed a nearly 50-page bill on a 79-37 party-line vote. It includes measures limiting early voting hours, banning drive-thru voting and other measures critics say will raise new barriers for marginalized voters, the Texas Tribune reports.
- The legislation is a slightly revised version of the Republican bill that first sparked a walk-out by Democrats in the legislature, followed by a nearly six-week absence from the Capitol.
Catch up quick: Texas Democrats fled the state in July to protest the proposed GOP-led restrictions, flying to D.C. to urge federal action on voting rights.
- A sufficient number of Democrats returned last week to reach quorum in the state Capitol — days after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that House Democrats could be arrested if they don't attend the Capitol.
What to watch: During Friday's vote, the House approved their own version of the bill. Now, the Senate and the House must resolve their differences to present a final legislation to Gov. Greg Abbott (R), per the Tribune.
- Abbott says he will sign the measure that will likely reach his desk by early September at the latest, per AP.
Go deeper: 38-day Texas House standoff ends after Democrats' return
Editor's note: This post has been updated with new information on the final House approval of the bill.