Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First Amendment Tuesday: Shenanigans Late in Session


"and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,"
Ephesians 6:19

With less than two weeks till sine die, we've entered the most dangerous part of any legislative session.  With deadlines looming and the self-inflicted time crisis having squandered the bulk of the session, now is the time when things get sneaked in under cover of night.  Even if you can't stop something, the key is to raise a stink about it so that it at least occurs in public.

Tony McDonald (Empower Texans):



Highlights:
  • Conference committees rarely have formal meetings.
  • Texas open meetings act de facto doesn't apply to the legislature.
  • Bills are usually hashed out between the House and Senate bill authors.
    • "This is a REALLY dangerous process."
    • Lack of Transparency and tight deadlines.
  • Outside the bounds resolutions: Supposed to ask for permission but usually they ask for forgiveness and it's granted automatically.
  • Read conference reports during the last few days of the session.
    • This is one of the most useful things activists can do; no one has time to go through them all.
    • Dan Flynn tried to use this process last session to sneak thru an anti-Wallace Hall bill.
      • "Dan Flynn Should be censured and removed from the House."
  • You have to trust guy at the front mic to tell the truth.
    • Author's Note: Exactly.
  • You'd be surprised what qualifies as a typo on the last day of session.
  • Short notice periods on all this nonsense.
  • If you catch anything, TELL DAVID SIMPSON.
  • If you see something fishy during the last few days of the session, don't assume anyone else has found it.



Highlights:
  • Event tomorrow to "lean on calendars committee."
  • House killed Pastor protection bill.
  • Dan Patrick is the only reason we got Pastor protection bill thru Senate.
  • SB 531 (American Laws for American Courts) -- Needs to be heard on Senate Floor.



Highlights:
  • SB 2065 needs a House vote THIS WEEK.
  • "It's not done till it's done."
  • We knew the D's would chub if they got the opportunity.
  • Locate Tea Party leaders in Calendars committee members districts.
  • Joan Huffman says she'll move ALAC, but she hasn't done so and she has the votes.



Highlights:

  • Details likely tax relief plans: Likely to be something along the lines of Senate's approach to property taxes and House's approach to margins tax.
  • #2A: If you want to carry openly, and you don't want to be harasses constantly, contact your Senator.
  • The Governor ought to call a special session "on a number of things."

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