Craddick Slaughters Amendments
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Quite a battle is going on concerning amendments to the Appropriations bill:
The Democrats have a number of amendments to take money away from the Governor’s Texas Enterprise Fund. The money in the fund is not general revenue but is dedicated by an assessment on employers. Craddick sustained a point of order that these amendments violate the Calendars Committee rule.
The Ds are really mad about this, because their amendments in some cases were drafted by the Legislative Council–for example, Eiland’s amendment. The mistake, or the failure to realize the problem, was the Legislative Council’s. Craddick said to Eiland, in response to a parliamentary inquiry, that the responsibility for the mistake is the legislator’s, not the Legislative Council’s. Gallego went to the microphone to say that the traditional practice has been to let members cure errors. This was done during the special session, Villareal pointed out. Craddick said that this was not the policy of the chair. Eiland is really mad: You mean to tell me that these amendments were inappropriately drafted, and we can’t fix them. Craddick reiterated that it’s the member’s responsibility. Merritt went to back mike and pointed out that the head of the Legislative Council is a political hack. This is an old sore. Craddick had that slow, measure tone of voice that he uses when he is really furious.
I realize that this is a long day, but Craddick’s refusal to allow members the courtesy to redraft their amendments really seems heavy handed. He could have let the Ds have their run. To put the burden on them for drafting errors, and to expect them to do the legal research, is totally unfair.