This evening, the Texas Senate passed SB 29, its version of the anti-TSA groping bill passed unanimously earlier in the afternoon by the Texas House as HB 41, although weakened by several last minute amendments ordered by the House Speaker. The state’s website has not yet reported the recorded Senate vote, but has indicated that SB 29 passed through the Senate and is headed to the House.
Deliberations in the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security committee earlier in the day featured testimony from James Blaylock, Senior Counsel in the State Attorney General’s Office, and Robert Kepple, Executive Director, of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. Both gentleman advised the committee that their constituents supported the legislation and advised on language that eliminated vagueness that would make the legislation problematic to defend if challenged.
Both men advised the Senate committee to remove language (inserted into the House bill) that would cede judicial authority to the federal court system, advising that federal judges are required to consider state law.
A copy of the engrossed bill is available from the state’s website. It is the considered opinion of interested observers of this process that the Senate version of the bill (SB 29) is preferred over the law made/derailed in the Texas House by Speaker Joe Straus.
Speaker Straus, the Republican elected as Speaker with unanimous support of Democrats and a handful of RINO Republicans during the 81st (last) legislative session, was considered a highly controversial and undesirable candidate for this position by the numerous conservative grassroots and TEA Party voters who delivered the Texas Republican Party its current super-majority in the State House. Perhaps they could see this day coming.
All that remains now is for any differences between the legislative chambers to be reconciled in conference committee before sending the legislation to Governor Rick Perry to be signed into law. It is recommended that the public urge the Texas House to adopt SB 29 if it wants stronger resistance to TSA’s despicable policies.
However, it is curious that Rick Perry was on the Glenn Beck Show this afternoon taking credit for passage of HB 41. Those close to the process have witnessed the Governor’s fingerprints (through his proxies Lt. Governor Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus) on multiple efforts to delay, defeat, weaken, and run the clock out on this legislation.
Is this what Karl Rove would call the “Texas Two-Step”?
I guess the soon-to-be presidential candidate has finally noticed the train leaving the station and that the voting public is truly FED UP! Let’s hope the voting public holds him to those words.