The Long Hot Summer
Thu May 3, 2007 12:03 am

One of the truisms about the Legislature is that the game is played in multiple arenas. You can lose in committee and win on the floor; lose in the House and win in the Senate; win in both houses and lose in the governor's office; beat the governor and still lose. We are about to learn this lesson anew on the transportation bill. House Bill 1892 will not become law in its present form. Governor Perry will veto the bill. He will never accept the primacy of the metropolitan toll authorities over Tx-DOT. I believe the Senate will fail to override the veto. Even if both houses override, however, the game is not over. Perry will call a special session on transportation. If the Legislature fails to send him a bill he can live with (which repeals the objectionable provisions of 1892), he will call another special session. And another. This is war. The Legislature can avoid the showdown by recalling 1892, in which case Perry could allow the stand-alone moratorium to become law. I don't believe the Legislature has the stomach for this fight.

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