Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ramparts 360: Texas Senate Does It's Job, House Drags it's feet

A Must Read Piece from Ramparts 360; re-posted in full:

Texas Senate Does Its Job, House Reps Drag Their Feet

by Sibyl West | May 14, 2013 | Citizen Report
“This is probably the first session I’ve seen in a long time where the Texas Senate has been far more conservative than the House. They’ve [the Senate] managed to pass meaningful legislation that conservatives support while the House has twiddled their thumbs, waiting for time to run out.”
- Eliza Vielma, AFP Legislative Affairs & New Media
What’s up at the TxLege? Well there doesn’t seem to be much sense of urgency in the house. Yet. They’re still in the tease-the-reporters phase. Over at Trailblazers we find this:
“Asked if he was keeping all his options open, Pitts downplayed the referral of the bill by Straus’ office to Appropriations. ‘Uh, they didn’t refer a lot of Senate bills until now,’ he said.” [Pitts is saying Straus didn't refer the bills until now.]
Senators are very concerned about the House’s slow pace with only 13 days left in the 83rd Legislative Session. It’s now or never to push the House to do the job we sent them there to do and get some of these important bills heard.
Details – Great Conservative Senate Bills  that the House needs to push to pass:
  • SB 2 – Expanding Charter School Cap – This bill was placed on the General State Calendar for this week, but just got taken off the agenda and is back in calendars again.
  • SB 7 – Health Care Savings Description here; currently sitting in calendars
  • SB 8 – Targets Medicaid Fraud; sitting in calendars
  • SB 11 – Drug testing before receiving benefitsHasn’t been heard in House Human Services yet
  • SB 12 – Allowing admission of more evidence in a trial re: sexual offenses committed against a child – Background heresitting in calendars
  • SB 21 – Drug screening before receiving unemployment benefits; sitting in calendars
  • SB 149 – Clarifies and Strengthens conflict of interest provisions at Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT);  made it out of committee, headed to calendars.
  • SB 150 – Paying down debt of CPRIT through their collected royalties, etc to help alleviate taxpayer cost; sitting in House Public Health
  • SB 1263 – Parent Trigger (Ed Reform); sitting in House Public Education Committee
  • SB 1406 – CSCOPE OversightPlaced on General State Calendar for tomorrow (5/15)
  • SB 1458 – Revisions to Teacher Retirement System of Texas law in relation to benefits; sitting in calendars
  • SB 1655 – Financial Relief for Electric Customers; Relating to authorizing the Public Utility Commission of Texas to direct the comptroller to return the unappropriated balance of the system benefit fund to retail electric customers; sitting in House State Affairs
I hope you’ve got your rep on speed dial. Let’s get to work. Click here to find out who represents you.

Cahnman's Musings has intended to put together something like this for awhile; thanks to Ramparts360 for doing so.

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