5/29/2011 9:14 PM
It's 11 o'clock on Sunday. Do you know where YOUR senator is?
Well, they were in what earlier appeared to be a filibuster, being led by Sen. Wendy Davis (R-Fort Worth). Now, Senators are (slowly) debating the merits of a must-pass fiscal matters bill -- SB 1811 -- just one hour before the deadline to accept a conference committee report.
Senators spent a long time discussing SR 1260, which would allow senators to go outside the bounds of SB 1811. Sen. Rodney Ellis is saying he wonders why some of the matters to be discussed couldn't have been discussed in the SB 1811 conference committee.
Earlier, Ellis expressed concern that greater Department of Public Safety powers in SB 1811 will be used to restrict who can and cannot get a driver's license. This is particularly important to Democrats after Voter ID was passed by Republicans last week. Just last week, Republicans assented to a bill that would comply further with the federal REAL ID program, which sets federal standards for state driver's licenses.
The clock is ticking. Tomorrow is sine die -- the last day of the 82nd Legislature. Only corrections to bills will be allowed, so SB 1811 must pass tonight if at all.
Hours ago, the press was reporting that a special session on TWIA reform might be called for some point after sine die.
UPDATE (10:16 p.m.) The House passed the SB 1811 conference committee report 84-63.