Tuesday, June 27, 2017

#TXLEGE: Abbott begins to roll out #SpecialSession Bill Sponsors....


"The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the lazy man will be put to forced labor."
Proverbs 12:24

A couple interesting press releases out of the Governor's office this morning.

First, on state spending caps:
In the upcoming special legislative session, Sen. Kelly Hancock, Reps. Tan Parker and Mike Schofield will file legislation to limit the growth in state spending to no more than the growth of population and inflation. This is one of 20 items that Governor Abbott previously announced will be added to the special session agenda.
Next, on local spending caps:
In the upcoming special legislative session, Sen. Craig Estes and Rep. Jason Villalba will author legislation to limit the growth in local spending to no more than the growth of population and inflation. This is one of 20 items that Governor Abbott previously announced will be added to the special session agenda.
A few thoughts:

  • Estes and Hancock both have histories of sometimes doing good things and sometimes doing bad things.  Thus it's not surprising that they're doing this.   Good on them both.
  • Schofield carried a similar bill during the regular session, thus his presence isn't surprising.
  • Tan Parker carrying the state level bill is very interesting.  Parker's previous shortcomings as GOP conference chair have been well documented.  We suspect Abbott has taken Parker to the woodshed, but regardless the dynamic of seeing Parker caught between Abbott and Straus will be very revealing.
  • Villalba carrying the local bill is...disappointing.  We suspect he'll try to push a bill with more loopholes than Swiss cheese.  This bill might very well need to be fixed via floor amendments.
  • That being said, there's a certain savvy in working with House members of have historically been supportive of leadership, but not part of the inner circle, that could make life very uncomfortable for Joe Straus if we get 8 or 9 days into the special and bills aren't moving.
Bottom Line: We'll have to see what happens, but today's announcements strike us as a reasonably positive development.

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