LEGISLATORS USE LAST-MINUTE MANEUVERS TO MOVE BILLS

In the final weeks of each legislative session, the legislature resorts to time-tested ploys to resurrect dying bills and revive bad ideas. This session is no exception.

For example, a bill relating to important immigration issues (S.B. 357 by Patrick) which died on a 4-4 Senate committee vote on April 29 (when a missing committee member in favor of the idea was allegedly in the restroom) was instantly resurrected.1 The author simply filed a new bill, similar to the first, even though the bill-filing deadline was long past. The new bill (S.B. 2568) was immediately referred to the same committee (the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee) on the very same day. The committee then met at a senator’s desk to vote on the bill again, all on the same day. The missing senator, now returned from the restroom, voted in favor, and the bill was approved on a 5-4 vote.

Here’s another example: An effort to subject volunteer firefighters to state regulation—an idea that hasn’t appeared in any filed bill—was brought up for the first time in two committee substitute bills, effectively denying cities the chance to testify against it in the committee of origin. (See the following article for more information.)

There are many more examples. The League staff remains vigilant to uncover these ploys and to prevent damage to municipal authority.

1As reported at quorumreport.com. 

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose.
No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the
Texas Municipal League.

Back to Legislative Update Index