There are only 6 days left in session and things are starting to get real crazy. It seems like bills are being killed, revived, or passed by the minute. I wanted to do a quick recap so everyone can be on the same page and be fully informed on what exactly is going on in the Texas Capitol.
“TSA Anti-Groping” Bill (HB 1937)
This bill would prevent those very touchy feely and sometimes humilating pat downs provided by the TSA. The bill was killed in the Texas Senate and Sen. Dan Patrick, the sponsor, said he had the votes to pass it but blamed Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for swooping in and killing the bill amid federal pressure.
“Smoking Ban” Bill (HB 670)
This bill stalled earlier this month but was later added as an amendment to SB 1811, the fiscal matters bill, by a vote of 77-66 in the Texas House. It bans smoking in bars and restaurants but exempts places like bingo halls and VFW’s.
“Sonogram” Bill (HB 15)
Late last week, Gov. Perry signed this bill into law. It makes doctors perform a sonogram before an abortion and show it to the would-be mother. Pro-life activist believe this will prevent 15,000 abortions a year. Personally, I was very happy to see this bill pass through the legislature.
“Campus Carry” Bill (SB 354)
This bill had over 80 co-authors but got hung up in both houses. Senator Wentworth was finally able to amend the bill to SB 1811. However, when it reached the Texas House it was knocked off of SB 1811 through parliamentary procedure. A point of order was raised to the tune that the campus carry bill was not germane to the rest of SB 1811. The point of order was upheld by Speaker Straus.
“Sanctuary City” Bill (HB 12)
This bill easily passed the Texas House but like many other bills could not get out of the Texas Senate. Sen. Williams, the sponsor, could only muster up 19 of the 21 votes needed to pass it. This legislation was considered a priority by Gov. Perry and the Democrats were happy to kill it yesterday.
“Loser Pays” Bill (HB 274)
This bill has been passed by both the House and Senate but the two different versions were passed. The differences are being hashed out as we speak. Loser pays is supposed to help prevent frivolous lawsuits by giving power to the judge to allow the prevailing party to recover cost from the defeated party.
The Budget (HB 1)
The budget has been passed by the House and the Senate but is currently sitting in conference committee. This usually means the end is near. However, school finance is still a work in progress and SB 1811, a major fiscal matters bill, has yet to be worked out. Look for a special session to work out school finance. No school finance reform would mean schools would be out of money in the beginning of next session. I highly doubt Perry would allow that to happen.
If you don’t see a bill listed that you would like to know more about, please let me know in the comments section and I’ll let you know if it’s alive or dead. Also, if you see a bill listed and would like to learn more about it you can click on the bill number in the title.
Note: These fate of these bills are changing frequently but I will try to keep you updated on the changes as they happen.