State Senator Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant -- a Republican -- says the Democrats who fled to New Mexico are using their rights to stop the Senate debate on redistricting.
Eleven senators are in Albuquerque to protest the newest special session called to address redistricting. Their abscence means the Senate doesn't have the minumum number of senators in Austin to meet. The senators say they will return if the special session ends -- or Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst restores the two-thirds vote requirement for bringing issues to the Senate floor.
Senator Ratliff told us today he shares the Democrat's view of the change in rules, and he's shared that with Dewhurst.
"I urged him as strongly as I possibly could not to make that decision. Years ago, I was asked if I would circumvent the two-thirds rule in redistricting and I said absolutely not," Ratliff said.