In the last session, the Democrats violated the quorum. Now the Texas House has instituted penalties to prevent this.

In passing its rules for the 88th legislative session on Wednesday, the Texas House provided a daily fine and additional punishments for members who participate in a quorum recess, in severe retribution against the dozens of House Democrats who fled to Washington last session, preventing a Republican.. . controlled house from approving a controversial GOP priority election bill.

Adding a stir to the normally mundane rule-making process, the fines mark the first real row between Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives this session and come just a day after the two parties united in a landslide vote to re-elect Rep. Dade Phelan. R-Beaumont, as speaker.

In contrast to paying for a quorum, the Republicans have refused to bow to their party’s ultra-conservative wing, which wants to change House rules to end the long tradition of giving committee chairs to minority party members.

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