NPT Capitol: Voter ID, the Ethics bill, and a special session
With the House grinding through the local calendar in order to stall the 2nd reading of Voter ID, other bills, including the El Paso ethics bill are in danger of dying too.
Those bills include the TxDoT sunset bill, a pet project of state Rep Joe Pickett, the TDI sunset bill, a clean air bill, and the El Paso ethics commission bill.
The Ethics bill is on the Local Calendar for today but way down the pecking order. If a Sid Miller point of order is successful later this evening, all Senate Local bills (like the ethics bill) could get bumped, presumably until Dems are satisfied Voter ID is dead. That would mean those bills could be heard on Wednesday. They would need to be heard by midnight otherwise they would die too.
The problem though is that come Wednesday the House needs to be talking about the budget – not a backlog of Local bills. When you add to that the backlog of major Senate bills – such as TDI, TxDot and Windstorm Insurance (and possibly Unemployment Insurance and the Top ten percent admission rule at UT) – you have the potential of finishing the session with a lot of unfinished business.
Could that mean a special session? Gov. Perry said that he would call a special session over the issue of windstorm insurance if a bill didn’t pass. Would he call one over TxDoT, TDI or any of the other issues that look like dieing if things continue? And would he add Voter ID into the pool of subjects a special session could tackle?
Update: Sen. Eliot Shapleigh told Quorum Report this afternoon that the TxDoT sunset bill might be the target of multiple amendments as desperate Senators try to tack their bills onto it.
“A lot of members will have their whole session in the transportation Sunset bill,” told Quorum Report. Because the House has ground to a halt, many Senate bills are in danger of dying in the lower chamber. The hope is that those bills can be added as amendments onto House bills that have been passed onto the Senate. Otherwise, after midnight Tuesday all those bills will be dead.
Update: House is about to recess, both caucuses set to meet (presumably to discuss tactics.)