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Senate Waives Penalties for Defiant Democrats

September 19, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

The state Senate dropped thousands of dollars in fines and restored parking and cellphone privileges for Democrats who were punished for fleeing the state to block a Republican-led redistricting plan.

The Democrats instead will be placed on a probation of sorts until the start of the next regular legislative session, in January 2005. They were told that if they leave Austin again to break a quorum they would have to pay $57,000 apiece in fines.

The sanctions also would be reinstated for any senators absent without a sufficient excuse for more than 72 hours when their attendance is required.

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