NPT Capitol: House adjourns without passing CHIP, TxDoT, host of other bills
The House adjourned last night without passing a series of major bills including ones that would have expanded CHIP, made substantial reforms to TxDoT, and a host of others.
In fact TxDoT is one of a number of government agencies that will actually cease to exist if legislation is not passed today by the House – by going “outside the bounds” and suspending the rules. That is likely to happen in order to prevent the Governor calling a special session – TxDoT simply has to exist (not least because you can’t use federal money for transportation projects without a statewide decision making agency in charge!)
“This is a fitting end to the legislative session,” said Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, who came over to the House to watch the final few farcical minutes of the day.
As Repubs tried to slow the calendar down in order to prevent legislation that would have expanded CHIP from being heard (the Speaker refused to recognize a motion to bring it up early), some Dems seemed to retaliate by chubbing through HB 1959, the sunset safety net bill. Midnight sounded, a point of order was called, was well taken and after a record vote on whether or not to keep going, that was the end of that.
Lawmakers will come back today in order to clean up the sunset mess – and maybe pass a few other bills too – providing they have the needed 100 hundred votes to suspend the rules – something the TxDoT and CHIP bills appear to lack (though they do appear to have majorities.)
“We’ve got one more day,” said state Rep Jim Dunnam, D-Waco.