AUSTIN – State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) and 79 other members of the Texas House of Representatives voted to authorize the civil arrest of the members of the House who have abandoned their posts in an effort to stall pending business in the Texas Legislature. By compelling absent legislators to return to the Texas Capitol, the House can have the 100 members required by the state’s constitution to take up and pass legislation.
“I was proud to vote for the authorization to arrest these runaway Democrats,” Landgraf said. “They have stalled the legislative process for far too long. It’s time to bring the debate over the issues back to the people’s House where it belongs.”
The Texas Constitution requires at least two-thirds of members to be present in order for the Texas House and Senate to conduct business during a legislative session. The House Rules allow for a majority of members present to vote to arrest absentee members if it is necessary to secure a quorum of the 150-member Texas House. Any arrests made as a result of this action would be civil, not criminal. Upon arrest under these orders, the absentee legislators wouldn’t be taken to jail, but instead to the Capitol.
The current special session is scheduled to last from August 7 until as long as September 5. If the agenda items for the session are not passed into law before the session ends, another 30-day session could be called by the governor.