Now that the 75th session of the Texas Legislature has officially come to a close, we constituents are left to reflect on some serious key issues — questions of abortion notification, property taxes, water quality, electric deregulation, and the zero tolerance laws concerning teen smoking and drinking — until the partisan party starts up again in 1999. Surely some state politicos will be spending the next two years reminiscing about the last days of the session where bucket loads of bills were canceled on point of order technicalities. Of course tough issues take time, and months and months of swathe-cutting through thorns and stickers to forge a path to bureaucracy can be downright depressing for lawmakers. Luckily there was also some tiptoeing though the Congressional tulips.

House Bill 568: Congratulating Gilbert “Lefty” Turrieta on his 40th birthday. Lefty, also known as “Pony,” “Pench,” and “Pancho,” also has the distinction of being “a diehard Washington Redskins fan.” For his 40th birthday, the bill states, “Gilbert went middle-aged crazy and bought a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, proving he is still a kid at heart.”

House Concurrent Resolution 21: Wherein rodeo, (not football), was resolved to be named the official Texas State Sport.

House Concurrent Resolution 23: Designating the guitar, though it originated in Spain, as the official State Musical Instrument of Texas. (The fiddle was hotly debated but didn’t make the cut.)

Senate Resolution 782: Recognizing Actor Ed Asner on the occasion of his visit to the State Capitol. “Whereas one of his most famous roles was as the gruff but lovable Mr. Grant on the ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show.’”

House Bill 145: Prohibiting hospital employees and medical staff from wearing surgical attire or hospital uniforms on the premises of certain food-related businesses.

House Concurrent Resolution 5: Designating picante sauce as the Official State Sauce of Texas. Aside from regaling this congratulated condiment for the industry it has spawned, apparently hot sauce also has patriotic qualities. “Picante sauce is as distinctive as the proud state from which it originates, and it would undoubtedly serve as a fitting symbol of the industrious and innovative spirit with which Texans are justly identified.”

House Concurrent Resolution 39: Declaring May 1, 1997, the National Day of Prayer. “Texans everywhere are encouraged to acknowledge the deep spiritual significance of this occasion.”

House Resolution 22: Giving special recognition of the citizens of Seymour, TX for hosting the 100th Old Settlers Reunion and Rodeo. “Whereas this year’s centennial reunion had many highlights, including three rodeo performances, an impressive downtown parade, and an appearance by up-and-coming country and western singer Wade Hayes, who thrilled area residents with many popular songs from his debut album”