Texas GOP legislators flex new political clout in first bills filed
What fun. Looks like the next few years here in Texas will be filled with even more idiocy.
Republican lawmakers flexed their clout and highlighted their agenda on Monday, showcasing bills that would create an Arizona-type immigration law, further restrict abortion, allow guns on campus and require voters to present ID at the polls.
The ambitious lineup, filed on the first day for new legislation, probably has its best chance in years because of GOP supermajorities in the House and Senate.
But these issues also must contend with the biggest tasks of the session that begins Jan. 11: filling a huge budget gap and redistricting.
For a bunch of supposed fiscal conservatives, it’s funny to me how the incoming GOP class is not immediately focused on the budget shortfall, but rather on things like ending straight-party voting, allowing guns on college campuses, and forcing everyone in this state to carry their citizenship papers:
A sampling of bills filed for the legislative session that begins Jan. 11:
Voter ID: House Bill 16 would require voters to present one form of photo identification or two forms of ID without a photo.
Immigration: House Bill 17 and Senate Bill 126 would allow law enforcement to ask for proof of citizenship and create an offense for criminal trespass by an illegal immigrant.
English-only: House Bill 176 would make English the official state language.
Gun rights: House Bill 86 would allow concealed handguns on the campuses of public college.
Abortion: Senate Bill 130 would require doctors performing abortions to offer a sonogram to the pregnant woman prior to the procedure. House Bill 85 would prohibit public hospitals, without exception, from performing abortions.
Lobbying: Senate Bill 128 would prohibit ex-lawmakers from lobbying the Legislature for four years after they leave.
Distracted driving: Senate Bill 138 would prohibit using a cellphone while driving, except when using a hands-free device or making an emergency call.
Straight-ticket voting: Senate Bill 139 would eliminate straight-party voting.
So much for anything getting accomplished in the next few years. If this is what they’re focused on, getting our very serious budget issues under control isn’t going to happen.