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Governor At Odds With House Speaker

Governor Abbott is butting heads with Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan over a newly added particular session item. The “voter integrity” bill, now law, dropped the penalty for voting illegally from a second-degree felony to a Class-A misdemeanor. Phelan wants to leave it alone. Abbott wants the penalty increased. SMU political scientist Cal Jillson says Phelan intends to focus on redistricting. Jillson says there is very little evidence that voting illegally is a problem in Texas. He believes the Governor is playing to his Republican base ahead of next year’s primary election.