If it wasn't enough to just blame Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, at least one Republican now wants her to foot the $1.6 million bill for the two special sessions it took to finally pass the state's newest abortion restrictions.
State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday that he was upset at the cost of the two 30-day sessions needed to address the abortion bill, which delayed progress on the two other bills the Legislature also needed to address. Texas lawmakers are now facing a third special session to pass a transportation funding bill—an additional $800,000 cost.
"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," Capriglione said. "I firmly believe that Sen. Wendy Davis should reimburse the taxpayers for the entire cost of the second special session."
Davis and fellow Democrats dismissed Capriglione's suggestion, turning the criticism instead toward Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
"It's unfortunate that the leadership in power squandered taxpayer dollars pursuing partisan politics before Texas priorities and forced an unnecessary special session," Davis responded.
After the Legislature failed to vote on the abortion restrictions at the end of its regular session, Perry called a special session in June, which ended in chaos after Davis staged a day-long filibuster to derail a vote.
Texas lawmakers eventually managed to pass the bill during a second special session, which Perry then signed into law mid-July.
"The decision to call a special session is the governor's and governor's alone," State Rep. Chris Turner, leader of the House Democratic Caucus, told the Houston Chronicle. "He has to decide if its worth the costs."