"Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy."
Good grief; they do this EVERY session.
Last week, the Democrats in the House (ie. Joe Straus' base) held a press conference alongside organized labor to agitate in favor of a higher minimum wage:
“The minimum wage needs to rise significantly. Raising the minimum wage will give more Texas families a fair shot at realizing their dreams. On the other hand, paying full-time workers a wage that keeps them mired in poverty is wrong and should not be the Texas way,” Patrick said at a news conference that included workers earning poverty wages and lawmakers seeking to raise the wage.Of course, this isn't about the minimum wage (it never is); it's about the clock.
“We are asking the Legislature to act now. To help them, we are also asking Texans who agree that the minimum wage needs to rise to sign our petition at www.RaisetheWageTexas.org and let lawmakers know that Texans believe a full day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”
“The state labor federation comes here every two years asking for fundamental decency for the hundreds of thousands of Texans at or near the minimum wage level,” Patrick said. “We are in good company, but not only with the working people, lawmakers and allies in this room. The people of Texas have expressed strongly in polling that they want the Legislature to raise the minimum wage.”
[Author's Note: The Patrick to which this press release refers is the Texas AFL-CIO president, not the Lieutenant Governor.]
Every session, the House Democrats make a push on the minimum wage. Every session, under Joe Straus' leadership, this push moves "farther than expected." Then, all of a sudden, we just 'happen' to find ourselves discussing the minimum wage as the clock runs out in May.
Last session, former Rep. Ferdinand "Trey Martinez" Fischer carried HJR 26: "Proposing a constitutional amendment establishing an increased minimum wage." The bill eventually died in a party line floor vote, but not until they wasted 3 hours on the final day to pass bills debating the minimum wage. Indeed, the fact this made it to the floor in the first place is revealing.
[Author's Note: The fact that they did this as a constitutional amendment (ie. where you need 100 votes) instead of as a regular bill (ie. where you need 76 votes) further illustrates the degree to which this was only ever intended as a time wasting measure.]
Bottom Line: And the more things change....