The Texas Senate on Monday begins debate on a bill to require voters to produce an official identification card when they vote.
Gov. Rick Perry declared the legislation an emergency priority last week. That means they can bypass normal procedures and be debated more quickly, in the first 30 days of the session.
A few hours later, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announced that senators would begin considering the bill Monday, making it the first substantive legislation that lawmakers will debate in the nascent session.
Republicans are making stronger voter ID laws a top priority because they say it will prevent fraud. Democrats say it's a partisan bill designed to increase GOP margins at the ballot box.
Democrats successfully blocked a similar bill in 2009.