Governor Abbott vetoes domestic violence bill due to unrelated amendment

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vetoed a widely supported domestic violence bill Wednesday because of an amendment related to radioactive waste disposal, the Texas Tribune reported.

Abbott called the measure, Senate Bill 1804, a “laudable effort” that lost his support when “someone slipped in an ill-considered giveaway to a radioactive waste disposal facility."

“Unfortunately, the bill author’s good idea about domestic violence has been dragged down by a bad idea about radioactive waste,” Abbott wrote in his veto statement, per the Tribune.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R), would require that bond information about domestic violence offenders be entered into a statewide data repository.

An amendment about a nuclear waste disposal facility was added to the measure by state Rep. Poncho Nevárez (D), one of its sponsors in the House.

Nevárez told lawmakers that the amendment added “economic competitive incentives” to the bill, according to the Tribune.

The amendment would have delayed an increase to a surcharge and state fee paid by the private operator of a waste disposal facility in West Texas.

Kolkhorst suggested the lower chamber's change was unrelated to the bill's intent and came "very late in the legislative process" in a statement obtained by the Tribune.

"I know law enforcement will do their very best to protect families even without this bill, but my office will continue to champion protections for thousands of families from their domestic abusers," she said.

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