A committee will hear public testimony Monday about the vote on the bill after the quorum is reinstated Thursday in the Texas House of Representatives, which will allow for a resumption of discussion on the Republican-backed bill.
Senate Bill 1, and others, have been hampered after dozens of Texas Democrats came out in July in an attempt to stop the passage of the bill.
The House Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies plans to hear testimony on the House Bill and Bill 20, which deals with censorship of social media platforms and email, from from 8 in the morning.
Despite the departure of Democrats, the Senate narrowly retained enough members to do business. The chamber passed the voting law last week after Senator Carol Alvarado’s 15-hour filibuster stopped proceedings.
The House lacked the necessary two-thirds of its 150 members to have a quorum, but that ended on Thursday after three House Democrats broke the 38-day deadline.
In a statement Thursday, the three lawmakers – Armando Walle, Ana Hernandez and Garnet Coleman – defended their return, saying they had pushed Congress to vote on legislation while pointing to the growing urgency of increasing the number of cases of COVID-19 in Texas.
Nearly three dozen Democrats – more than half of the group who fled to Washington, DC – signed a statement not saying whether they would return now, but pointing to the few who have already done so.
“We are disappointed that some Democrats have decided to return to the field. We feel betrayed and heartbroken, but our decision is strong and this struggle is not over,” the statement said.
The bill will have to arrive in the office of Republican government Greg Abbott before Sept. 5. If not, lawmakers could face another special session.
Abbott has said he will continue to convene special 30-day sessions “to reform our broken bail system, maintain electoral integrity and pass other important items that Texans ask for and deserve.”
Texas Republicans have tried to pass measures that would ban 24-hour polling stations, ban automatic voting, and give more access to partisan observers of the polls. While the House may make changes, Republicans have shown no indication of removing some of the most contested provisions from the bill.
“I think this bill will be a little bit ahead between us and the Senate,” said State Representative Jim Murphy, chairman of the Republican House Caucus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.