Tuesday, February 12, 2019

#TXLEGE: Hinojosa telegraphs how SB 2 is likely to pass

"But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
Nehemiah 5:15

Not surprising that the property tax bill is out of committee, but an interesting nugget in how it got there:
(All four Republicans on the panel voted for the bill; Democrat Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was present but didn't vote.)
[Note: Emphasis added.]
In other words, Chuy didn't vote no.

We suspect that, when this bill comes up on the floor, one Democrat will be "excused for important business in the district."  Senate rules require AYE votes from three-fifths of Senators present and voting to consider a bill.   With 31 Senators, that means 19 votes.  But, with 30 Senators, it means 18.

Furthermore, we suspect that, whichever Senator happens to be absent that day will be lavishly bribed with taxpayer dollars pass a lot of "local bills."

Here's the thing: Democrats would, obviously, prefer this bill not pass.  But they know the Republicans have the votes to pass it in a special session (or at least they should).  Moreover, Democrats remember from 2017 that, when Greg Abbott calls a special session, he has a history of loading up the call with conservative items.  If they're smart, Democrats should want nothing to do with a special session.  Especially now that they no longer have Joe Straus to bail them out.  Thus, property tax reform gets done during the regular session.  If that requires a Senator falling on his sword, so be it.

Bottom Line:  We strongly suspect that, whenever SB 2 is debated on the floor, there will only be 30 Senators "present and voting" that day.

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