Saturday, June 11, 2005

Looking Back On The 79th Texas Legislature

140 - Number of days served by the Texas Legislature each session. The lack of days of work probably has a lot to do with the lack of high pay and benefits that members of the House and Senate here in Texas receive. That however did not stop House member from going ahead and approving a bill that increased the benefits of legislators after 12 years(or 1,680 work days)

Funniest Quote - "We have a rule in this House where we don't care what Oklahoma does." -Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer(D- San Antonio)

Worst Bill - Although the $139 billion budget wasn't too hot, there has to be a tie between the "suggestive cheerleading bill" and the "cheeseburger" bill. Rep. Al Edwards(D-Houston) introduced the former with the claim that suggestive cheerleading was partly responsible for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and drop-out rates. Edwards' bill died in the Senate. The cheeseburger bill came from the mind of Sen. John Carona(R-Dallas) which bars citizens from suing restaurants as the cause of their obesity. No such lawsuit has ever been filed in Texas.

Smear the Queer - Various bills and amendments are introduced, directed at gays and lesbians to determine what their rights are. Robert Talton of Pasadena says that God told him to create the amendment which would have barred gays from becoming foster parents. The amendment, originally part of the CPS reform bill, is later removed much to the chagrin of Talton.Later on, a constitutional amednment banning gay marriage survived both House and Senate and will be up for vote this November.

Highway To Hell - The Texas Legislature passes a bill which allows rural counties in Central and West Texas to raise their speed limits to 80 mph. Now citizens travelling to El Paso can get the hell out of Craddick country just a little quicker.

What Would Jesus Do? - Festival, fair, and concert attendees will now be able to buy alcohol beginning at 10am on Sundays instead of noon.

Happy Trails - The chuck wagon was made the state's official vehicle. Think of it as the Ford F-150 of the past.

Flip Flop - Sen Ellis of Houston announces he has the support of 12 Democratic senators(himself included), enough needed to block the constitutional ban on gay marriage proposal. Citing their constituents, Sen Madla(D-San Antonio) and Sen. Eddie Lucio(D- Brownsville) have a change of heart. Madla does have an election in '06 ya know.

Looking Forward - HB 2907 by Rep. Warren Chisum(R-Pampa) would have outlawed all abortions in Texas, save for life-threatening cases for the mother, in the event that Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. It did not pass committee.

Parental Consent - Parents must not only be notified but must give their consent to the physician if their daughter is getting an abortion. Governor Perry signed the bill at a Fort Worth church.

That's Rough - Republican proposal to lower property taxes would have raised sales taxes to cover funds needed. Those sales taxes, had the bill been approved, would have made Texas sales taxes the highest in the nation; as if they're not high enough already(8.25%).

In Limbo - Bill and reform pushed for but not passed: property tax relief, school finance reform, teacher pay raise


lgl said...

was this your analysis?

Frank said...

LOL! I just wanted everyone to know how pathetic are state legislature is! :-P