Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 15: Everybody Understand the Rules?

Today is the 15th day of the 82nd regular session of the Texas Legislature. The House will reconvene at 10:00 am, the Senate is in recess and will convene a committee of the whole at 8:00 am to debate voter suppression legislation. The Senate will hear public testimony on the topic this afternoon. Members of the public are invited to register to speak starting at 7:30 am today. Each member of the public will be limited to three minutes for their comments.

Yesterday the House adopted rules after prolong and sometimes heated debate. Highlights include an attempt to change the way the speaker is elected (failed), an attempt to require the committee in charge of redistricting to abide by the voting rights act (failed), an attempt to strip Rep. Howard of her seniority since her election is still being contested (failed) and an attempt to loosen the rule that men wear ties on the House floor (failed).

We are still waiting for committee assignments in both the House and Senate. Those should be forthcoming in the next couple of days. Until that happens all of the bills we are tracking, from bullying to decriminalization, are stuck in limbo waiting for referral to committee. With only 125 days left in the session, time is running out.

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