House Republicans Lose Major Rule Right, House Democrats Protect the Institution of the House

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Even though there are 101 House Republicans in the 150-member Texas House, House Democrats just scored a major victory for open government today.

As I wrote below, House Republicans were about to create a rule that ended all public testimony on legislation. However, House Democrats, led by Rep. Yvonne Davis and Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer, managed to save the practice of the Texas House of Representatives and maintain that the public should give testmony on legislation, and not on issues.

The ruling from the Chair in the House rolled back the points of order and ruling from the Speaker that almost set up the dangerous precedent of ending public testimony. Thanks to the attention of Rep. Davis and Rep. Martinez-Fischer, a deal was struck to send House Bill 15 back to Committee — so they could do it right this time — and bring the bill back to the floor tomorrow.

Process can be easy to miss, and very messy. But today, two House Democrats in a body of super-majority Republicans scored an impressive and essential victory for democracy in Texas. For everyone who ever wondered what we could do this session, this is it.

Well done, Rep. Davis and Rep. Martinez-Fischer!

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