"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage."
2 Peter 2:19
In the Texas House, the "Local and Consent" calendar is a mechanism that is supposed to be used to efficiently pass non-controversial bills. When used properly, it's a good idea. But, under Team Straus, it is often abused to sneak through special interest bills.
The good news is that any member can knock a bill of the L&C calendar simply by talking about it for ten minutes; Jonathan Stickland has made an art form of this.
The House heard the first local and consent calendar today and, between Stickland and Tony Tinderholt, they knocked off the following five bills:
- HB 92 GuillenRelating to the entitlement of spouses of certain veterans with disabilities to a veteran's employment preference.
Tinderholt knocked this off because the term "disabled veteran" was so poorly defined that his own wife would have qualified for the program; Tinderholt wants this bill to come back on the regular calendar so he can offer an amendment tightening the language.
- HB 1264 Burkett / ButtonRelating to the concurrent jurisdiction of certain municipal courts in certain criminal cases punishable by fine only.
Stickland knocked this bill of because it would create new mechanism for municipal police departments to perform traffic stops outside the area of their municipal jurisdiction; it doesn't take a genius to see how this practice could go horribly wrong.
- HB 1355 WrayRelating to the enforcement of commercial motor vehicle safety standards in certain municipalities.
Stickland knocked this off because it created a special authority for one city to collect revenues "for the state." Unfortunately, 90% of the cities that already have this authority don't remit those revenues to the state. Larry Phillips has a bill to address the underlying issue statewide that Stickland supports.
- HB 1570 BurnsRelating to the enforcement of commercial motor vehicle safety standards in certain municipalities.
Withdrawn by author after Stickland explained it was similar to the Wray bill listed above but for a different city.
- HB 2413 BurkettRelating to certain identifying information regarding career school or college students.
Stickland knocked this off because it was potentially a sneaky attempt to forestall future Wallace Hall-style investigations under new "privacy" protections; Stickland scores extra points for the fact that Dan Flynn was visibly having a fit on the House floor.