Just hours after a number of bills in the Texas House went down in flames, members stepped up to kill even more measures.
Dozens of legislative proposals died at midnight Tuesday, the deadline to pass Senate bills out of the lower chamber.
When members returned to the House about 10 hours later, several members began using parliamentary moves to scrap previously uncontroversial Senate bills.
Some Democrats said privately that the moves, mainly by Tea Party Republicans, were retribution for the death of a GOP proposal to prevent certain insurance policies from funding abortions.
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Several of those involved said their decision to knock bills off Wednesday’s local and consent calendar, essentially killing the proposals, were policy based.
“Are we disappointed we didn’t get to the pro-life bill? Absolutely,” said said state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, who teamed up with state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, and others to remove about a dozen bills from the calendar. “It’s our duty to do what’s right.
“Democrats thought it was retribution. It was all policy based,” he said. “We have been here for five months. We are not going to ruin political equity over juvenile things like retribution.”
Some proposals initially scrapped — touching on issues such as allowing the use of video cameras in classrooms for special education students and teaching about prescription drug misuse in health classes at Texas schools — were later returned to the calendar and approved.
Others, such as seeking alternatives to using euthanasia on shelter animals, were not.
House members gave final approval to a revamp of the state’s ethics policy, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s top priorities, signing off on changes such as requiring more disclosure for “dark money” groups and limiting the ability of lawmakers to become lobbyists soon after leaving the Legislature. The measure that also makes it easier for anyone at the Texas Capitol to sue people who film them without their OK heads back to the Senate for consideration.
The Senate, meanwhile, approved a number of bills, including measures to ban the sale or possession of shark fins in Texas.
Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610