5/7/2011 8:55 AM
Well, after a long, long night of debating and amending and point-of-ordering and waiting around, the Texas House last night adjourned without passing either of the major bills they were debating. Other major bills went unaddressed completely.
One bill is HB 12, Burt Solomons’ (R-Carrollton) bill to outlaw sanctuary city policies in Texas. Solomons insists that the bill is about uniformity of standards for all local law enforcement in the state. It is a prohibition of a prohibition. It prohibits municipalities from adopting policies that prohibit commissioner peace officers from inquiring into the immigration status of a person lawfully detained. It was popped on a point of order.
The other is HB 400, a bill from Rob Eissler (R-The Woodlands). Speaker Joe Straus sustained a point of order against it this morning.
HB 400 aims to reduce teacher layoffs by allowing schools to, among other things, reduce pay below the state’s current minimum teacher pay schedule. Several amendments were offered, but few were adopted.
Originally Eissler's bill raised the minimum student:teacher ration above the current 22:1. Eissler changed HB 400 on the floor to maintain the current minimum, but give the Education Commissioner greater authority to allow schools to exceed the required 22:1 ratio. Permanently, that is. But Strama brought an amendment to sunset that provision on Sept. 1, 2014. Strama said that if the state still was not in a position to restore school appropriations by they time, the Legislature could extend the sunset date. After some debate, Eissler acquiesced and declared the amendment acceptable. It passed without objection.
Another more sweeping amendment from Larry Phillips (R-Sherman) would have rendered more of the bill’s provisions temporary and require school districts to max out on furloughs and pay cuts before laying teachers off, was tabled. Phillips argued that administrators ought to share in the pain of cuts to education. He said his amendment would require that if teachers were furloughed, administrators would have to be furloughed as well.
Eissler strongly opposed the amendment, saying it removed the flexibility that his bill aimed to give to school administrators. His motion to table was successful.
But alas, Trey Martinez-Fischer (D-San Antonio) raised a point of order on HB 400, which teacher unions have opposed in earnest. Straus said about a half-hour later he planned to take the point of order under advisement overnight. Shortly thereafter, the House adjourned.
The question is whether the constant obstruction by Democrats will endanger bills that remain on the House’s calendar. These include the Texas Windstorm insurance reform bill, HB 272, which is on the House calendar now and itself may be point-of-order bait. Also the last major sunset bill that needs to be passed by the House is Texas Department of Insurance. That’s expected to come up early next week.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Barbara VanHaageng on
5/10/2011 2:47 PM
I am writing to you on the House Bill 12 this bill should be past and upheld. To many illegals are in America and we cannot continue to support them.
Our representatives should up hold the laws of our land and if they don't we will get them out of office.
Sincerely, Mrs. VanHaagen