No surprises: Chisum, Gattis, Guillen, Kolkhorst, Turner.
The Democrats ran with four motions to instruct the conferees. All failed. The biennial plea not to tie the hands of the conferees was made. Herrero asked that full funding for the CHIP bill, including twelve months eligibility, be retained. Heflin wanted the conferees to defend his rider prohibiting funds for school vouchers. Noriega sought to instruct on his teacher pay raise amendment. In the discussion, he was asked how many of the conferees had voted for his amendment. At that point, the conferees had yet to be named, and Noriega said, “Who knows? The speaker may put me on the conference committee.” At that instant, WHACK! Craddick’s gavel fell to indicate that the member’s time had expired. In more ways than one. “I guess that’s my answer,” Noriega said. Chisum’s motion to table prevailed, 84-54. Burnam wanted full funding for parks. That too went down, 89-44. The Republican caucus met before the House convened, and the word was given to stick with Chisum.
I don’t have the vote for the vouchers instruction yet–it’s not up online–but it will be interesting to see how the Parent PAC Republicans voted on it. Unlike merit pay, which is not a Parent PAC issue, vouchers is probably the biggest single issue on the Parent PAC agenda. Readers know, of course, that members of the majority are supposed to stick with the chair on procedural issues, but voters might not be so understanding.