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House Appeases Dan Patrick by Passing a Bathroom Bill

The House passes what could be called Patrick Lite.

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A unisex sign and the "We Are Not This" slogan are outside a bathroom at Bull McCabes Irish Pub on May 10, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina.
Sara D. Davis/Getty

In hopes of avoiding a special legislative session, House Speaker Joe Straus embraced what might be called Patrick Lite over the weekend—a toned down version of the lieutenant governor’s long promised bathroom bill. The final acquiescence occurred Sunday evening when the House did something Straus had implied would not happen on his watch: approved a bill that addressed who can use what bathroom. Earlier this year, Straus had called Patrick’s premier issue “manufactured and unnecessary,” stating on multiple occasions that he wouldn’t support the issue. But faced with Patrick’s pledge to force special sessions “again and again and again” until a bathroom bill passed, Straus apparently decided that retreat was the better part of valor.

When the key vote occurred on the bathroom legislation, it passed 91-50. Straus cast a white light on the House voting board—present but not voting. As we noted last week, Straus led the House in opposition to Patrick’s agenda until a small group of lawmakers known as the Freedom Caucus used House rules to kill some must-pass legislation. That gave Patrick the opportunity to demand passage of portions of his agenda.

The Senate version, Senate Bill 6, would restrict bathroom use in public schools, colleges, and government buildings to the gender designated on a birth certificate. The House version, attached as an amendment to Senate Bill 2078—which tackles school districts’ “multihazard emergency operations plans”—is limited to providing private bathrooms in public schools and open enrollment charter schools to children who want to opt out of bathrooms assigned to a specific biological sex.

Amendment sponsor Chris Paddie, a Marshall Republican, said the public school proposal will apply to transgender children, but also to children who are shy or are being bullied. Representative Larry Gonzales of Round Rock noted that it also will cover children with colostomy bags. But Representative Celia Israel, a Democrat from Austin, said there is no doubt that the legislation was a different version of the Senate’s controversial bathroom bill. “We’re getting rolled by the Senate,” Israel said.

After the vote, Straus issued a statement: “Representative Paddie’s amendment will allow schools to continue to handle sensitive issues as they have been handling them. I believe this amendment will allow us to avoid the severely negative impact of Senate Bill 6. Members of the House wanted to act on this issue and my philosophy as Speaker has never been to force my will on the body. Governor Abbott has said he would demand action on this in a special session, and the House decided to dispose of the issue in this way.”

Major boycotts occurred when North Carolina passed its own bathroom bill. There have been questions about whether the NCAA would cancel the 2018 Final Four basketball tournament in San Antonio if Texas’s bill passes. Chambers of commerce across Texas have opposed bathroom legislation.

But Straus had to weigh the likelihood that, if the failure of Patrick’s agenda led to a special session, it would be more difficult to prevent the more strident bill from passing in the House. Straus had never referred SB 6 to a committee for consideration.

On Saturday, the Straus team tried to satiate Patrick and Abbott on legislation to restrict property tax growth that finances the state’s cities and counties. The House’s Lite version would give taxpayers more information on which government bodies are raising their taxes. But it would not trigger the rollback elections demanded by Patrick and Abbott. Current law requires a tax election if rising property valuations create an effective tax rate 8 percent higher than the previous year. Patrick wants the rollback triggered at 5 percent. “We still have more work to do on property taxes. The session is not yet over.”

It seems like victory for Team Straus in his session might just be “it could have been worse.”

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  • WUSRPH

    To quote the French Prosecutor at the International Court of Justice at Nuremberg:

    “Cowardice has never been an excuse, much less an extenuating circumstance.”

    Giving in is easy…..Standing up for what you believe can be hard…..The House took the easy way.

    • roadgeek

      Said by someone French? Amusing……

    • Gunslinger

      What a horrible session.

      • WUSRPH

        And as long as Patrick is around they will only get worse. Straus, clearly, will not stand up to him but bends just enough to get by.

        • Gunslinger

          I still want to give Straus the benefit of the doubt, but it’s getting difficult. I expected a little more from him. Oh well. You’d think I’d be used to being disappointed in our lege by now.

          I hope Patrick runs for governor soon. Maybe kicking him to a higher office would be the best way to get rid of him.

          • WUSRPH

            Straus looks like he’s become a classic example of the “give a little to save a lot” philosophy sometimes described as “going along to get along”. The theory behind that is that, if you give way on the “little things” you will still be able to stand up when the “big one” comes along. The only problem is that, if you do it enough, you may not be able to recognize the big one we it arrives. It is an old problem for officeholders……

            It is sort of like the late Romans giving in a little bit here and there to the Barbarians on their frontier, first making treaties with them, then letting them move inside their borders, then taking them into the army and suddenly one day waking up to find that the Barbarians had taken over the empire.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Kinda like many think Obama was doing the last eight years. Just saying…

          • SpiritofPearl

            You are deceived.

          • Jed

            Nope, no party comparing going on here.

          • Patrick wants the rollback triggered at 5 percent. “We still have more work to do on property taxes. The session is not yet over.”

          • anonyfool

            There was another burka blog post that stated Patrick is not interested in governorship, since in Texas the lieutenant governor has an outsize influence in the Texas senate. You’d have to endure him as your US Senator to get him out of the lege at this rate.

          • Gunslinger

            Patrick isn’t interested in good government. He’s interested in getting attention. The U.S. Senate would be too much work for him, I believe. He’s be more interested in the governor’s mansion. Less work. More attention. More of a stepping stone if he’s ambitious…and he’s ambitious.

  • BCinBCS

    Well, at least now all is right in the universe with the passage of this bill and everything will be unicorns and rainbow farts.

    • WUSRPH

      At least you won’t have to carry your birth certificate to go to the bathroom…..It also makes my idea of putting a “Dan is watching” poster of Patrick in every public bathroom a little bit harder to do since it will be limited to schools.

  • WUSRPH

    10 p.m. Sunday passed and SB 2, with the election requirements, did not make the last Daily Calendar for non-consent/local SBs in the House. This means that Patrick will either have to accept the House’s more limited version, as added to SB 669 last week, or force a special session to get it “his way”. Getting any more would require some real rule twisting and busting and perhaps a four/fifths vote in the House, which he cannot get.
    SB 5, the voter ID bill, did make the Calendar for Tuesday……so Patrick/Abbott will not be able to complain about that and use it as an excuse for forcing a special session.

  • WUSRPH

    We all know that Trump seems to love to lie…..he does it enough….but now we find out that the WH is deliberately lying to the media in order to “misdirect”, obtain better coverage or play “gotcha”…..And you wonder why people talk about “post-truth” politics and “alternative facts”.

  • WUSRPH

    Some people believe that 140 days every 2 years (when the Leg. meets) is not enough…
    While Dan Patrick is in office, 2 days ever 140 years is too much.

  • WUSRPH

    Have you noticed how conservatives that usual scream “what do you have to hide?” when someone “takes the fifth” and either silent or saying “it doesn’t mean anything about his guilt” when it comes to Gen. Flynn? But then hypocrisy has never been a problem for true believers.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Please, Wusrph, how can you take this position when I watched Ms. Lerner do basically the same thing? Regardless of party persuasion, a competent attorney would advise his client to do the same thing.

      • SpiritofPearl
      • WUSRPH

        I have no problem with a person taking advantage of their rights under the 5th Amendment. My problem is with the hypocrisy of those who would attack some for using it but not others. For too many years too many conservatives have labeled it a defense for criminals when someone who they disagree with is protected by the Constitution. but now find it a perfectly respectable thing for one of their own. That is pure hypocrisy.

        • SeeItMyWay

          Please forgive me for pushing this forward, but you did not really answer my question. What is the difference in the the Flynn and Lerner situations? Both sides have supported the moves and actions in the exact same manner, have they not?

          • WUSRPH

            I object to hypocrisy by any side or group. If you know of any Democrats who condemned someone of the other party for taking the 5th while defending a Democrat who did, those persons are just as bad of hypocrites. Unfortunately, it is a sin that is not limited to just one party, although it seems to be more common among Republicans.

          • SeeItMyWay

            I have not put one party’s actions vs another’s on a balance scale, but I will take your word for it.

          • José

            Like W says the big distinction here is the hypocrisy of the Republicans. Trump repeatedly equated taking the 5th with admitting guilt. Now his handpicked guy, who he still supports by the way, is doing just that, and for a more serious charge than anything that Lerner might have done. I can’t find where Flynn makes the same sort of assertion but what he did say at the GOP convention was bad enough. When you excite a mob into cries of “Lock her up!” that’s tossing aside the rule of law. Dangerous stuff. You might describe it merely as hyperbole, but I think that a good number of those people were serious. Truly serious.

            Can you find similar language from Clinton herself? Her surrogates? It’s a whole different level. Maybe there are a few loose cannons with questionably wild talk but I can’t recall any offhand and not by candidate herself or her direct assistants. While they have raised questions about the deeds of the Trump campaign, it’s typically in the context of saying that we need a complete investigation, free from political influence, followed by justice according to the law. Every good citizen should be able to affirm that objective.

          • dave in texas

            Maybe there are a few loose cannons with questionably wild talk but I can’t recall any offhand and not by candidate herself or her direct assistants.

            To me, this is one of the main differences between the parties. Both parties have a lunatic fringe, but for the Democrats, it’s just that – a fringe. The Republicans have given their fringe control of the party.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Our biases are real. We can look at something, or hear a comment at the same time and analyze it totally differently. Just the way it is; always going to be this way.

          • SpiritofPearl

            That’s a cop out.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Maybe so. I disagree with Jose and there is no sense in carrying it further. I’m not going to change his mind or yours.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Perhaps you are unwilling to evaluate all sides of an issue. Bias, by definition, means must that:

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias

          • SeeItMyWay

            You go to Wikipedia for definitions??? Interesting.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Yup. There’s an example of your bias. Betcha watch Faux Noise a lot. That’s one of their favorite memes . . .

          • SeeItMyWay

            Damn. A few of you are really wound up. Want to fight, and roll around in the mud, please go find someone else. I’m not going to parry with you.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Then why do you continue to bait those who disagree with you? If you want to make a cogent argument, please do so. You’ve referred to your unwillingness to do your homework on “bias.”

          • SeeItMyWay

            Asking questions is now “baiting”? I thought it is a form of debating.

            I know what biased means. We are all somewhat biased.

            My point was that if I am looking for an acceptable definition of any word, I do not go to Wikipedia to find it.

          • SpiritofPearl

            That is because folks on the right have been propagandized.

            Who DO you believe?

          • SeeItMyWay

            I get it. Kind of a rewrite of the old book, “I’m OK; you’re OK”, with the new title, “I’m OK; you’re f**ked up”.

          • SpiritofPearl

            You bore me.

          • SeeItMyWay

            There’s a fix for that on this site, I understand, and you probably could have taken it without the rude comment. Some seem to want to go out of their way to pick a fight and get personal. Not my style, so do not expect me deliver a rude comment back. I understand that we disagree, as is the case with others posting here, but was unaware that anyone posting opposing views on this site was going to catch personal flak. What’s the deal? You guys only want like minded commentators on Burkablog?

          • SpiritofPearl

            No. I prefer commenters who are informed.

          • Jed

            Except for every comment you write.

            And your scale has a thumb on it.

          • SeeItMyWay

            I think that is inherent in
            all of us. Some, more than others.

            A quick question – if you say some posters with bad attitude and manners were blocked or banned, what has kept you around? You seem to go out of your way to be offensive.

  • WUSRPH

    The SCOTUS only ruled against “racial gerrymandering” in North Carolina this morning but the ruling is already affecting Texas. The Court in San Antonio, which has found the same flaw in the Texas US House and Texas House redistricting, has not-so-gently suggested Texas might want to take note and fix its mess itself by notifying the State that the:

    “the Court directs Defendants’ counsel to confer with their client(s) about whether the State wishes to voluntarily undertake redistricting in a special session in light of the Cooper (North Carolina) opinion.”

    The message is clear. You have one last chance to do it, BEFORE we do it for you.

    • SpiritofPearl

      And cost the taxpayers of Texas big bucks . . .

      • Jed

        Who cares? Not republicans.

        • SpiritofPearl

          I care. Gouging the taxpayers for RWNJ performance art . . .

          • BCinBCS

            …RWNJ performance art…”
            Very nice!

    • dave in texas

      You’d think the state would get tired of getting its head handed to it by the federal courts.

      • Jed

        What cost? So far we are almost through the whole decade and the maps have been mostly unaffected.

        What’s a few million in court costs if you can steal the lege for a decade or more?

  • BCinBCS
    • SeeItMyWay

      Great link. So true.

  • vietvet3

    This bathroom bill solves a ‘problem’ that didn’t exist until Republicans saw it as an easy way to get primary votes from Ya-hoos. The actual result: Bullies and morality bigots will hang around these separate bathrooms, waiting to harass and ridicule those who enter. Welcome to patrick Texas and the cowards who support hatred.

    • WUSRPH

      But apparently Patrick isn’t satisfied that it only deals with schools……..He used “little school girls” being victimized by evil hairy-legged men wearing dresses to get into the “girl’s room” as the chief argument for the bill—dragging cute little girls before the Senate committee….But that apparently was all a cover. What he has always wanted to do—and what the House bill does not do—is extend this discrimination against transgenders to all the public bathrooms in the state and prohibit any local governments from giving any legal protections to transgenders. As I said before, his paranoia is so sever and so personal that I almost believe that he is still reacting to the shock of having once made a pass at he wrong “woman”.

  • WUSRPH

    Texas’s new “sanctuary cities” law apparently will require local governments in Texas to do more than the federal government is asking for:

    “Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered the government’s first official definition of “sanctuary cities,” acknowledging that Trump’s power to revoke their federal funding is more limited than he had claimed earlier. Sacchetti and Sari Horwitz report: “In a memo addressing grants issued by the [DOJ and the DHS], he said sanctuary cities are those that violate a federal law requiring local and state governments to share information with federal officials about immigrants’ citizenship or legal status. Any city or town that violates that federal statute could lose some Justice grant funding this year, Sessions said, as long as Congress had already spelled out those conditions before the government awarded the grants. Sessions’s memo does not require cities and towns to detain immigrants, they said, and will only apply to Department of Justice and Homeland Security grants..” (Washington Post)

  • WUSRPH

    Tinderholt burns with passion…..which clouds reason..

  • WUSRPH

    Today is the last day on which the House can give tentative approval to anything but a local/consent Senate bill. The hours that are going to be used on SB 5 will kill many of the Senate bills pending behind it.

  • vietvet3

    This letter covers it nicely:
    Granbury ISD superintendent Dr. James Largent issued the following statement regarding the transgender bathroom issue:

    “We take our responsibility very seriously to take care of the students and staff at GISD. It is never appropriate to bully or discriminate against anyone. However, this issue has turned into a political one, used to gain political points, and in my opinion is a solution searching for a problem. I will not take the bait and play the ‘what if’ games that so many want to play to incite strong feelings on this topic.

    “There are existing laws that address privacy, indecency, public lewdness, and many other child protection laws. Further, from statistics I have read, .003% of people identify themselves as ‘transgender’ and nobody expects a groundswell of people to suddenly declare themselves transgender so they can go hang out in a particular restroom. If we have students who feel they are being bullied or discriminated against in any way, we will work with them and their parents to come up with ways to ensure they are safe at our schools. But, we will not play this out in public and we will not take the political bait.

    “I would urge our political leaders to concentrate on issues they directly control, like the billion + dollars they have spent on a failed testing system, why Texas is near the bottom in the nation in funding public schools, or why we have one of the highest rates of poverty and uninsured children in the country. If they will address and solve those state-wide problems, I feel certain that we can handle the local issue of where our students go to the bathroom.”

    • WUSRPH

      Another school superintendent that Dan Patrick will try to get fired….like he tried in Ft. Worth.

    • Jed

      “I would urge our political leaders to concentrate on issues they directly control, like the billion + dollars they have spent on a failed testing system, why Texas is near the bottom in the nation in funding public schools, or why we have one of the highest rates of poverty and uninsured children in the country. If they will address and solve those state-wide problems, I feel certain that we can handle the local issue of where our students go to the bathroom.”

      poor causal reasoning. obviously, education policy and education funding have nothing to do with outcomes like poverty, insurance, and stupid voting patterns. clearly, bathroom policing is directly targeted at and *will* solve those problems.

      get a clue, granbury.

  • WUSRPH

    SB 5 with one good amendment, taking out the felony, passed the House on second reading, taking away another excuse for a special session. This list is now down to bathrooms, property tax and vouchers.

  • WUSRPH

    On the surface it would look like that it is going to be impossible for the House and Senate to complete their work by Sunday night (which is the effective limit although the session does not officially end until Monday at midnight)….After all, the Senate has yet to indicate what it intends to do about either of the two big measures the House passed on bathrooms and taxes which the House passed to stave off Lt. Gov. Patrick’s threats to force a special session—and time is running out if they have to go to Conference, etc. BUT do not panic YET. The fact is that virtually all conference committees are formalities which, in fact, never meet. 98% of the time a deal has been worked out BEFORE the bill is sent to Conference and the conferees simply sign a piece of paper without ever officially meeting. (I have even seen a conference committee report on a major bill on which the signatures were obtained and the report form signed and dated on the day before the Conference Committee was created.).Time is short, but not too short. Now, if Saturday arrives and the major bills have not been agreed upon…PANIC, but not until then.

    • BCinBCS

      I appreciate your inside look at the workings of the Texas legislature.

      One suggestion:
      When you identify a bill by its number, please refresh our memories by including a descriptor. For example when writing about SB6, it would help if you would write “SB6, the bathroom bill,…”

      • WUSRPH

        Point well made and taken. For reference, the House version of “the bathroom bill” is SB 2078….The original SB 6 is effectively dead. Similarly, the House version of the property tax bill is SB 669. SB 2, the original bill is also effectively dead. Both of those have been returned to the Senate for action but nothing has happened yet. The Budget is HB 1….It is still officially in conference while the committee report is being put together, etc. SB 5 is the “fix” of the Voter ID bill. SB 80 is the House version of the Sunset extension bill. It is also back in the Senate awaiting some official action. HB 21 is the school finance bill with vouchers for special students added. It is back from the Senate but the House has yet to take any action. Some of the delay is cause by “lay out” rules for conference committee reports……but, often talks are going on, while the House and Senate are trying to finish the regular second and third reading on bills.

        • BCinBCS

          W, that reply was perfect. Thanks for the synopsis.

  • WUSRPH

    The Senate author, Sen. Taylor, has said he will not accept the House version of the bathroom bill, SB 2078, Says it is not tough enough….There is little that can be done to change the House version. It would not be germane to extend it to other than public schools and charter schools…..as Patrick would like….nor would it be germane to extend it to ban city ordinances that protect transgenders. So there would appear to be little that can be obtained by forcing the bill to go to a conference committee. BUT the fact that it cannot do those things and Lt. Gov. Patrick’s paranoia apparently makes it impossible for him to give in.

  • Wesley TX

    If the bathroom monitor has stepped away from their post, should I just wave my genitals around in the hallway until someone gives me approval to enter a bathroom???

    • BCinBCS

      Oh, please don’t!

  • WUSRPH

    There has been some talk recently about the need for the GOP to broaden its appeal….even by the resigning State Party chair….well, it ain’t working….In fact, they are losing members every day, particularly among the younger voters..

    http://tinyurl.com/lnxfuzk

    Maybe the reason why it isn’t working is that the public isn’t as dumb as the GOP thinks and wants to see more of an interest in their issues….

    • SeeItMyWay

      Is it the GOP in TX that is losing membership or the radical right wing of the party losing people to a more moderate stance. I think the latter.

      • WUSRPH

        Based on the story I posted…..and other evidence, I would say that it is losing the more moderate people, especially those whose views on social issues are not as 12th century as he like of Patrick.
        Nothing this session has done indicates that the GOP has moved anywhere but further to the extreme on those kinds of issues……And all indications are that there will be a well-funded and directed campaign against anyone deemed soft on a number of the less extreme traditional or business conservatives in the primary next year. If that succeeds your view of the party’s direction will be shown to be incorrect. All the evidence to date is that the GOP….nationwide and in Texas…is moving further from the center at every election..

        • SeeItMyWay

          The radical TP arm in Texas has loaded up precincts with their own and drive the platform.
          Moderate GOP’ers don’t get close to those meetings.

          The silent group, like me, still have a vote and it is not going to be given to one of them, and I am not switching over and becoming a democrat. There still are a lot of compassionate Republicans.

          This last election was an outlier. We had terrible choices and had to choose between Cruz and Trump nationally, and at home, many of the Dunn backed candidates got defeated.

          I think that this session will drive more away from Patrick and his insane way of prioritizing.

          • WUSRPH

            Until such time as your more moderate “General Election Republicans” vote in the primaries the Dunns are going to gradually increase their strength. I have seen no sign of that happening…..As to Dunn’s candidates losing, the fact is that they have added two to four seats in the Texas House each of the last several primaries. They don’t win them all, but they win enough to increase their strength. They are in this for the long run. As demonstrated over and over again this session, they virtually control the Senate. They are not there in the House, but, if Straus were to retire, there are enough of them to play a role in the selection of the next speaker. They won’t make one of their own Speaker, but they can possibly insure that whoever wins allows more of their legislation to the Floor. Even if they do not pass it, they will get “hit lists” of members to go after at the next primary. Getting those lists and forcing votes on issues is one of their primary tactics.

          • WUSRPH

            The message above had to be edited to pass the censor. Seems that using the word that begins with a f and ends with a s to described an unborn violates some rule.

          • WUSRPH

            The section I had to cut from the post above dealt with how Tinderholt would use votes on the animal cruelty bill to attack members for carrying more for a animal than a child. I did not know at the time that he would actually threaten to do that in debate on the House Floor, but it was fairly obvious that he was trying to get a hit list vote.

          • BCinBCS

            SeeItMyWay: “I am not switching over and becoming a democrat.

            Two comments concerning this statement:

            (1) One of the problems with the Republican party is that most its members put party above country. They vote according to what benefits the party rather than what benefits the people. When voting only for candidates from one party, one is frequently forced too vote for a candidate that puts the party above the country. This perpetuates the problem.

            (2) Thirty-five to forty years ago, voting for a Republican would be the equivalent of voting for a Democrat today. The Overton window has moved that far to the right.

            Blind allegiance to a political party rather than to the candidate that best represents your beliefs, whatever the party, is one of the reasons that our country is in the mess that it is in today. Be open-minded and flexible.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Your post made me chuckle a bit. I declare myself to be a Republican. if I have ever voted a straight ticket, I do not remember it. You have a party you affiliate with over another?

          • BCinBCS

            Nope. I consider myself an Independent and I vote for the candidate. (Sometimes that means voting for the lesser of two evils.)

          • SeeItMyWay

            Who is the last state office Republican you voted for, if you don’t mind my asking?

          • WUSRPH

            Jerry Patterson

  • WUSRPH

    Interesting piece from by Ross Ramsey of the TT on the demise of the “ethics” bills…..

    http://tinyurl.com/kl9h69d

    • BCinBCS

      From that article:

      …at least 71 of Gov. Greg Abbott’s appointees gave the governor more than $2,500; together they gave at least $8.6 million, or an average of more than $120,000 each.

      That death-by-Senate [to prevent this] removes a potential heap of embarrassment that would have been facing this governor in particular, a prodigious fundraiser who is also the loudest proponent of strong ethics laws in Texas.

      Texas politics in a nutshell.

  • WUSRPH

    We’ve talked about how governments can use “little things” to send a signal. Pope Francis did it masterfully….His gift to Trump on their meeting was a copy of the pope’s encyclical on Climate Change. To bad Trump won’t read it.

    • BCinBCS

      Too bad Trump won’t can’t read it.
      FIFY
      (snarkily)

  • WUSRPH

    Update: The House has voted to go to conference to try to save something of HB 21, the school finance bill that the Senate gutted and into which it put a limited vouchers program for special students. It will be interesting to see how far the House conferees will go. You’d like to think that they will stay firm….

  • WUSRPH

    Is the Senate really going to let, HB 28, the bill to kill the franchise tax, die in Committee……Today’s the last day for the Senate to pass it but as of last night it was still in Senate Committee…That alone should have killed it……Is there another vehicle? The SB never got a hearing in the House. Is this another method for Patrick to create the need for a special session?

    • WUSRPH

      I would like to think that the apparent decision to let the bill killing the franchise tax die is because someone in the “leadership” was suddenly struck by a blot of “fiscal reality” that convinced him that you do not just cut your revenues by $8 billion with on plan to replace them unless your goal is to strangle the ability of the State to meet future needs. But, since that has been Dan Patrick’s goal for years, I have to assume that it was because he wanted something to be able to hit the House with and/or get the governor to call a special session.

  • WUSRPH

    For those who follow bills, the bill to which the Senate added bathrooms and property taxes in HB 4180. The author, Rep. Coleman, says he will let it die.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Good.

    • BCinBCS

      I had to do some reading following your comment about the bathroom bill because I thought that it was a done-deal. That effort got me to thinking about whether all of this fuss and hair pulling was necessary. Just how many transgendered people are there?

      The last survey done was in 2016 by the research group, The Williams Institute. They determined that the transgender population is 0.6% or 1 in about 160 people. This number is double what the institute surveyed as the population five years ago. Despite the relative acceptance of people who are transgendered, this number may still be low because the anonymous survey got results as low as 0.3%. mostly in states that are less accepting, and as high as almost 0.8% in the trans-friendlier states. Interestingly, the rate found in the state of Texas was 0.66%, fairly close to the national average.

      Back in the stone age when I was in high school, my class had about 500 members and there were three grades in my school. With a high school population of about 1,500, we would have had almost 10 transgendered students.

      So the question becomes: Should a high school with ten transgendered students accommodate them?
      My answer would be: Should a high school with ten physically or mentally handicapped students accommodate them?

      • WUSRPH

        The line now is that the House bill, to perryphrase our beloved governor, is good in that it protects children if does not protect women “everywhere”…..from some hairy-legged man in a dress sneaking into the women’s rooms…He says there is still time to do that…Theoretically, he is right…..the lege could pass a bill doing what Patrick wants but it would take a four-fifths vote…..which they cannot get. So, if he is serious, there will be a special session……Of course, making it just for bathrooms would be a little bit embarrassing I would think, so Patrick has to make sure something big does not pass. That could be property taxes or maybe even the budget.

  • WUSRPH

    I assume you saw the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate on the impact of the House-passed version of the AHCA….Only 23 million will lose their heath care. And that does not count the impact of Trump’s “budget” (SIC).
    I have said for some time that the goal of the Ryans, Mulvaneys and their ilk was to repeal the accomplishments of the 20th Century…..but they apparently do not want to stop there…

  • WUSRPH

    Hey, JJ, who is your boy Krause doing? You still believe he is the future of the Texas GOP? Seems he spent most of his session on guaranteeing the right of people with “sincere religious beliefs” to discriminate against others…..plus voting for the TLR bill you hated so much……..

  • WUSRPH

    Add HB 21, the school finance bill, to the pile of DEAD bills. Sen. Taylor and Patrick have both pronounced it DEAD. The Senate will not go to conference. The House will not accept the Senate’s changes. NO BILL.
    Of course, a major part of the bill called for increasing spending on public schools by $1.6 billion which the Senate never wanted to do. All it wanted this session was vouchers. In fact, the Senate budget called for cutting the amount of State Tax Dollars by over one billion. Any “increase” in total spending was to be financed by the local taxpayers. I never thought the House believed that it could pass the bill, but, at least, it went on record as trying.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Do you think the Patrick crowd gains strength or loses strength by ignoring school funding while pushing bathrooms?

      Many TP’ers live in rural areas where vouchers are never going to work.

      Many moderates don’t want public schools reduced to what you see in places like Louisiana.

      I think this is Patrick’s Achilles heel. He has developed an agenda without a full grasp of the big picture. He seems to be jumping to what Dunn wants, which I feel, is not what the majority of his base wants.

      • WUSRPH

        I think that Patrick knows that the hard core of his voters will not know much more than that he has been fighting the godless liberals, cutting taxes and defending God…….That image will be enough to carry him thru the primary.. Plus a good number of them believe that we probably spend too much on public education as it is….”all that waste, fraud and corruption” we all know makes up most of public spending. He will tell them, again and again, how his property tax bill would have saved them $20,000 in property taxes—-not true but that makes little difference—and how that RINO Straus wanted to raise their taxes. Having won the primary he will then coast thru the General Election when all you “moderate” Republicans turn out and vote the straight ticket. That’s what I think.

        • Jed

          thanks for the scare quotes around “moderate.”

          • WUSRPH

            Some of our posters, such as the departed JJ, kept claiming that such a species as a “moderate Republican” , as those supposed moderates or RINOs or whatever they might be called, really existed. They even claim to be such….BUT all I can do is judge them by their actions, including the fact that they willfully with all forethought voted for people like Patrick and Abbott. If there really are such people, I guess they have taken over the role once assigned to the “liberal Republicans” (of which there were actually a few sightings up to the early 1970s) that being to follow the conservatives into battle in order to shoot the wounded so they would not suffer.

  • WUSRPH

    Legislative procedures update:
    The House and Senate have finished passing bills on second and third reading….If you were interested in a bill and it has not been passed by both Houses (effective Wednesday at midnight) it is dead UNLESS it has been added to another bill.
    The last 5 days of the session will be dedicated to acting on House or Senate amendments—deciding whether to accept the changes made by the other committee or whether to go to a conference committee to “adjust the differences”. The House must make its final decision on which way to go on all House bills that were amended by the Senate by the end of Friday.
    The conference committee report on SB 1, the budget, must be filed by midnight Friday so that it can be acted upon before midnight Sunday. The deadline for filing ALL other conference committee reports is midnight Saturday
    All conference committee reports must be adopted by midnight Sunday. If the House or Senate have not concurred in the other’s amendments or adopted a conference committee report by that time, the bill is dead.
    Monday is limited to passing resolutions making “corrections” in any of the already passed bill.
    Monday is “sine die” the last day of the session….Assuming (hope, hope) there is no need for a special session, this means we won’t see the legislature in session again until January of 2019.

  • WUSRPH

    If the House surrenders, there is a “vehicle” to avoid a special session, HB 4180. This is the bill the Senate amended to include both its version of the property tax bill and the bathroom bill. The problem is that its author, Rep. Coleman, says he will let it die. However, he could be convinced to change his mind. The Senate is so desperate to see this bill passed that it sidestepped its own rules to give it final passage today—when the deadline for passing bills was officially last night. We now have a real opportunity to find out whether Straus will give in just to avoid a special. He could think that the bills are more likely to pass in a special session and throw in the towel…..but?

  • WUSRPH

    One of the reasons we have not heard that much from RG lately is that he is probably deep into a series of interviews with House and Senate members, lobbyists, staff and interested individuals to help him identify the “10 best” and “10 worse” legislators, plus those who are “furniture”, etc. His predecessor Paul Burka used to use a standard of how effective the legislator was—how well the rep. or senator could maneuver through the system to accomplish their goals. I always found that standard to be a little too strict as it made it possible for a member who spent his time passing bills that were poor public policy or killing those that were good policy to become a “best”. I wonder what standard RG will use.

    A couple of sessions ago in my other life I created what I called “The Oliver Cromwell Award”. It was based on the statement Cromwell made in dismissing The so-called “Rump Parliament” in England in which he told them “You have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!.”

    With that statement in mind, I symbolically bestowed the award on the three house members and three senators whose absence would do the most to improve either body. I had not planned to make any awards this session because of the fact that, as I view it, there would be just too many nominees to pick out only six. But, if anyone, has any suggestions for possible recipients please feel free to let me know.

  • WUSRPH

    Rep. Bonnen was over in the Senate a few minutes ago talking with Lt. Gov. Patrick….They could have been talking about where they were going to dinner tonight, but Speaker Straus often uses Bonnen as his “fixer” or
    “enforcer” and Bonnen is the author of the House version of the property tax bill. They just might have been trying to see whether there are any grounds for compromise…..Bonnen was not smiling when he left, but then he rarely smiles anyway.

  • WUSRPH

    I suppose you saw that Trump has officially nominated Mrs. Newt to be ambassadress to the Vatican. Isn’t she the one who had a flaming affair with Newt while he was still married to his second wife. (BYW, was that the wife he told he was divorcing while she was in the hospital or was that the first one?)…..I guess it is good that Catholics believe in the forgiveness of sin thru a good confession…..

  • WUSRPH

    Is anyone keeping count of how many times in conference committees the House yields to the Senate? It would be useful in helping the pundits make their usual “The x won” pronouncements at the end of the session.

    PS The Senate has sent SB 5, the voter ID bill, to conference. Apparently they don’t like that the penalty for giving a false reason for the reason you did not have a voter ID was reduced from a felony to the same penalty as perjury…..They probably want violators drawn and quartered.

  • WUSRPH

    SB 1. the state budget bill, has been officially reported by the conference committee. It can be voted on by both chambers on Saturday. This suggests that Patrick will not use it as a bargaining chip in trying to get his demands fulfilled. It also means that, if there is a special session, one of the major reasons will be that he wants to regulate what bathrooms we use. This gives me hope for my project to put a poster of Patrick with the slogan: “Remember, Dan is watching!” in every public bathroom in Texas.

  • WUSRPH

    All you good GOPers better rush out and buy your new BMW, Porsche or Mercedes while you still can…The Donald is threatening to block their sale in the US (it applies to you Audi and VW buyers as well)…..I figure if he is as successful in implementing this threat as he has been with all his other promises you have no longer than 100 to 150 years left to buy one.

    • Too Sweet

      What about the German cars made in the U.S., like Mercedes. Would those become export only?

      • WUSRPH

        The Donald didn’t talk about them, probably because he doesn’t know that many of those “foreign cars” are built in the USA. That’s one of the features of a global economy…..

  • WUSRPH

    Does this mean anything:

    In the special House elections so far this year, Democrats outperformed their 2016 finishes by 23 points in Kansas, ten points in the first round of voting in Georgia, and ten points in Montana.

    They have to win any, but Georgia is still to be determined.

  • WUSRPH

    On other bad bill that appears to have died is SB 25 that would have allowed doctors to lie to patients about the state of the fetus. It died in House Calendars so, unless someone stuck its provisions into another bill, you won’t have to ask your doctor to put his hand on a bible or take a oath when he gives you his diagnosis.

  • WUSRPH

    As you may have heard, Straus the House has done as far as it willing and will not go to conference on bathrooms. This puts Patrick in a take it or leave it position for THIS SESSION. Now we will find out how paranoids Patrick is about where people go to the bathroom and whether he is willing to force a special session to get another chance. He could let everything else go thru and hope the governor will call a special on bathrooms (and perhaps property taxes) but the only way to insure that happens is to kill a vital bill, such as the sunset measure.

    • WUSRPH

      Patrick, as expected, threw a fit and says Straus is forcing a special session on bathrooms…Of course, the only way he can guarantee that is to sabotage something big. Otherwise he has to rely on the governor agreeing with him since, the last time I checked the state constitution only the governor has the power to call a special session.. Assuming no sabotage—and that is a big assumption—if I were Abbott I would stand up and show Patrick who is the governor and, while saying how he had wished the bill would have passed, say that it does not justify calling a special session. But that would require Abbott to be a leader.

      If there is special session on bathrooms (masquerading as being for some bigger reason because of sabotage by Patrick) I certainly hope that someone picks up my idea for the Patrick posters in every affected bathroom with a picture of Dan in all his loveliness and the slogan “Remember, Dan is watching!”. It would make a nice House Floor Amendment.

  • WUSRPH

    Tonight is another one of those important deadlines in the closing days of the legislative session. This one is the deadline for the House to decide what the do with senate amendments to House bills. It has till midnight to decide whether to (a) accept the Senate changes and send the bill to the governor (b) reject them and request a conference committee or (c) the rare one—do nothing and let the bill die. Sometime tomorrow I will produce a status list for the remaining major issues for those who are interested in such things.

  • WUSRPH

    I’ve been giving sort of a running reporting of what the legislature is doing…with no feedback from anyone……should I drop it?

    • BCinBCS

      Absolutely not. You’re doing a great and necessary job.

      I don’t think that most readers and a lot of commenters realize how much time and effort is required to research and write the summaries that you are posting. I appreciate your time and effort.

  • WUSRPH

    Here is a summary of the status of most of the major legislation produced by the Texas Tribune.

    http://tinyurl.com/yce7zn8d

    Another major bill it does not mention is SB 80 which the House amended to include the necessary Sunset date changes. The Senate has had it back since last Sunday but has yet to decide whether to accept the House changes. This is one of the so-called “must pass” bills that Patrick could kill to produce a reason for a special session.

  • WUSRPH

    A conference committee report on SB 5, the voter ID bill, has been filed, but the text is not yet available. It will be interesting to see if the House gave in on the reduction of the penalty. The House had instructed the conferees not to change that provision, but “instructions” are often ignored, especially when you know you have the votes to pass it even if you did not follow the House’s expression desire.

    I have done a quick count of the status of Patrick’s program—as expressed in the first 30 Senate bills. As of this state, 13 have passed either as SBs or the House version or are fairly certain to do so, 13 have DIED and 4 are still up in the air.

    • WUSRPH

      SB 5 conference committee report suggests that the House gave in, partially at least. One of the penalties that the House had set as misdemeanor is now a state jail felony. This will not go over well with the Democrats in the House who pushed the change cutting it from a 3rd degree felony…which I believe King accepted….but they do not have the votes to make any difference. PS…It is easier to accept an amendment if you know you can take it out in conference.

      • WUSRPH

        It has been pointed out that a state jail felony is not as bad as a 3rd degree felony so some progress was made. To me that is like saying losing two fingers is not as bad as losing three.

  • WUSRPH

    Sunset date bill. SB 80 (house amendments)….This is a “must pass” bill. Unless it passes 5 state agencies will effectively go out of business…..The House passed it last weekend….The Senate has had since Monday to act on the House amendments. It has not done so yet. IF it wants to go to conference it MUST do so today as the deadline for the filing of ALL conference committee reports in the House is midnight tonight. This does not kill the bill, assuming that by midnight tomorrow the Senate concurs in the House amendments. If it does not, that kills the bill and creates the need for a special session. Patrick is probably holding the bill hostage at this stage. Whether he will let it die to create a bathroom session is not known.

    • WUSRPH

      If Patrick creates or gets a special session on bathrooms (and some other item), it would be wonderful if the House followed the precedent set by the House in a special session on workers compensation (the second session after a failed effort in the regular). What it did was to pass its version of the bill and then sine die, effectively telling the Senate to take it or leave it. In the end, they reached a compromise….but it might not have happened without the House drawing the line like that. In this case, the House could pass whether other bill is required–other than bathrooms—and then sine die and go home. Won’t happen…but it would be nice if it did.