In late June, state Sen. Wendy Davis’ (D) heroics were able to derail sweeping restrictions on reproductive rights in Texas, but her victory was temporary. Soon after, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) called the legislature into special session to approve the restrictions again, and this time, there wasn’t much Davis or her allies could do.
The issue is headed to the courts, and as the litigation progresses, Texas is headed into another special session, this time to deal with a transportation measure. This was supposed to be the basis for the first special session, before state Republican policymakers decided it should instead focus on curtailing women’s access to reproductive services.
Of course, all of these special sessions are pretty expensive, costing Texas taxpayers about $2.4 million. One Republican has an idea as to who should pick up the tab.
State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he thinks Davis should be on the hook for the cost of the extra lawmaking sessions.
“I am upset at the cost,” Capriglione said. “I think we need to remember why we are having this extra special session. One state senator, in an effort to capture national attention, forced this special session. I firmly believe that Sen. Wendy Davis should reimburse the taxpayers for the entire cost of the second special session. I am sure that she has raised enough money at her Washington, D.C., fundraiser to cover the cost.”
Now, this is obviously quite silly, and there’s simply no way in the world an individual state senator will be handed this kind of bill.
But what strikes me as amusing about this is the underlying assumptions. The state Senate considered a proposal, state senators debated the proposal, and it didn’t pass in time. That’s how it goes.
Davis didn’t want a special session, and she certainly didn’t ask for one. Texas could have just moved on, rather than spend more time on a legally dubious anti-abortion bill, but GOP policymakers insisted.
So by Capriglione’s reasoning, if the session was so wasteful, shouldn’t Rick Perry have to pony up the $2.4 million?