If the Democrats stick together, they will prevent Republicans from mustering the necessary two-thirds vote to advance the proposal. But Houston Sen. Mario Gallegos' health will be key. Gallegos, a Democrat, has returned to the Capitol only twice since liver transplant surgery earlier this year.
The two-thirds vote is calculated on the number of senators present. Democrats can block the motion when all 31 senators are there, but the 20 Republicans, voting together on a strictly partisan vote, can run over Democratic opposition if one Democrat is absent.
Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, who continues to recuperate from a liver transplant and is only attending legislative sessions part-time, said today that he has asked Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to give him 24 hours notice before attempting to pass the controversial voter ID legislation.
In January, Dewhurst agreed in writing to give Gallegos 24 hours' notice "one time for a vote on a single piece of legislation."
But Dewhurst also told Gallegos, "I did not promise, and obviously, I cannot in good conscience promise to hold all votes during your absence."