Our legislature is in special session now, primarily to focus on the budget. We are being flooded with emails, blasts, and articles containing partial information, misinformation and requests to demand inclusion of more legislation.
Let’s review the current charges for the Special Session.
The Governor issued a proclamation to set the special session timeframe and define its primary focus. To add other bills on topics outside the stated agenda requires the Governor’s agreement. (The more topics added the less the chance of proper resolution of any and the more chances for mischief.)
As of Tuesday, June 7, the following subjects were to be considered:
Legislation relating to fiscal matters necessary for the implementation of House Bill No. 1 as passed by the 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, including measures that will allow school districts to operate more efficiently
Legislation relating to healthcare cost containment, access to services through managed care, and the creation of economic and structural incentives to improve the quality of Medicaid services. HCC is included.
Legislation relating to congressional redistricting.
Legislation relating to the operation of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
Legislation relating to the abolishment of sanctuary cities, the use of the federal Secure Communities program by law enforcement agencies, and the issuance of driver’s licenses and personal identification certificates. (added June 7)
At last count 135 House and Senate bills have been filed for consideration.
Review these bills at: Bill Search
Select Bill Search; select this session: 82 (1) -2011; in ‘action criteria’ Choose Filed (H001)…Click on the arrow pointing to the blank box directly opposite the list of actions. Repeat this process and choose Filed (S001). At the bottom of the page input a beginning date of 5/30/2011. Choose an end date of the current date. Go back to the top right hand side of the page and click search. This will give you a current list of proposed bills. It does not tell you which ones are approved by the Governor, but actions are posted immediately as they occur.
If your pet bill failed in the regular session plead your case to your Representative and the Governor, but understand that the Special Session is called for specific purposes and for a limited time, it is not intended as another chance for every failed bill. There are bills we’d each like to have seen passed, especially those that passed the House but died in the Senate due to the 2/3 rule. (Hmm, with no 2/3 rule would some Senate amendments be in order?)
Taxpayer fiscal note: Every day of the session costs you 30-40 thousand dollars or so.
More to follow as the bills move through the maze.