To watch the Texas House proceedings online, click here.
The Texas House is discussing the Local and Consent Calendar of about 20 pages of bills at a rate of about 6 per hour right now. Members are taking the full, nearly 10 minutes of discussion per bill to discuss the finer details of what consists of mostly Municipal Utility District bills.
We're excited to see members focus on their bills and show such interest. Of course, it's unfortunate that some Republicans are against debate on hundreds of bills that do far more to benefit the operations of Texas... just because they view voting on a Voter ID bill as more important.
I'd invite our readers to watch the proceedings from the link above and read the following articles and posts to get a flavor of today's debate.
So far, there have been fascinating conversations about navigation commissioners in Matagorda County, the historic impact of MUDS on planning philosophy in Houston, whether there's macadamia nuts in macadam (no, there's not) and the the size of Rep. Rolando Guiterrez's uvula.
I have decided to use this time in a constructive manner, so I have taken up a correction of the spelling of my name on the large House vote panels. Although it may seem trivial to some, I believe it is important that the the House be accurate in it's use of language. As you may note in the photograph, the vote board has the last name Peña spelled without the tilde or Spanish Ñ.
Rep. Jim Dunnam (D-Waco) told members of the press this afternoon that Democrats are more then willing to consent to suspending rules to take up items on the House calendar, in effect turning the Voter ID bill into the House equivalent of the Senate blocker bill.
Creating a de facto two-thirds' rule in the House for the weekend would allow the members to address legislation such as the TDI Sunset bill instead of the Voter ID bill, Dunnam said. It's been 16 years since the last TDI Sunset legislation and he said it was more important to deal with that issue than Voter ID, which he constantly referred to as "voter suppression" legislation.