Second-term state Rep. Jonathan Stickland of Bedford might not score many legislative victories, but he claimed one this week over much more experienced and powerful Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth.
Geren pulled his House Bill 1018, a ban on the sale of powdered alcohol, from the local and consent calendar after Stickland said he planned to talk the bill to death.
Stickland is right. He says it doesn’t make sense to ban a new product when it’s never been offered for sale here and “we don’t even know what it is.”
But the real sticking point was HB 1018’s placement on the local and consent calendar, where measures usually are passed without notice. It’s a useful, time-saving tool for the House, but there’s inherent danger in democracy without debate.
House rules say the local and consent calender is only for bills where “there is such general agreement as to render improbable any opposition … ”
A statewide ban on powdered alcohol deserves debate.
The rules say a local and consent bill is automatically withdrawn from further consideration if any member debates it for 10 minutes. Geren said he didn’t want to waste the time.