When the curtain went up on the 83rd Legislature, I thought the state was poised to have one of the best sessions ever. The treasury had oodles of money, there was a feeling that important issues needed to be addressed, and Speaker Joe Straus was in position to dominate the session because of the weakness of the lieutenant governor and the governor. Straus had made it clear that he wanted to do big things—in education, in water and transportation infrastructure, and in increasing transparency—and he had a team of veteran legislators who knew how to get it done.
Then came the vote two weeks ago on HB 11—funding the water plan—and the House leadership couldn't get the votes, and everything fell apart. Now, here we are at the end of the session, with fifteen days to go, and the House has accomplished ...nothing...and will accomplish...nothing. Instead of one of the best sessions ever, it was one of the most depressing.Read More