“Guns in Cars” passes Senate

From the Tribune:

The bill that I talked about not too long ago is back in the news, unfortunately. It has passed the Senate. Essentially, this bill, sponsored by Glen Hegar and known as the “Guns in Cars” alternative to the “Guns on Campus” bill, would force public universities to allow guns and ammunition to be carried in students’ cars. I don’t want to delineate the reasons why that is an awful idea again, so just click the link.

The measure passed 27-4, with Sylvia Garcia, Eddie Lucio, Joe Rodriguez and Judith Zaffrini being the sole nay votes. Why Kirk Watson, Rodney Ellis or Royce West sold out and voted for this abhorrent legislation, I do not know.

This looks like a classic deal by Whitmire. I expect that it was him, as Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee (who heard the Guns-on-campus bill), who pushed for this compromise legislation. I wouldn’t care if this one also included the opt-out provision as well, but it imposes the conservative agenda on UT-Austin and UH. Hopefully this may be resolved in the House.

Big Jolly has more, on a much different angle. Evidently I am now the stand-bearer of the Houston liberals, being referred to as simply “the left.” I like it–though, after residing in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts for a year, I now know what that word really means, and I am a few stones away from it.

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Teachers with guns

Senator Patrick, ladies and gentlemen! The Chronicle is reporting that the Senate has passed the infamous “give teachers guns” bill, again, with more Democrats than you would think.

SB17, which passed the Education Committee unanimously, was approved by the entire Senate in overwhelming manner (28-3). The 3 Democrats who opposed were Garcia, Watson and Jose Rodriguez. I am really happy that Garcia got in office, I feel like Alvarado would have been a pushover on things like this, for what it’s worth.

Anyways, the bill would have some school districts to send up to two teachers per school to receive special handgun training. According to the Chron article, the biggest opposition came from law enforcement officials, who believed that it could cause problems if police ever thought a teacher was the gunman.

The bill, however, would not apply to School Districts that have their own police force. I found this Trib article that says something like 160 districts have their own police force. Last time I crunched the numbers, something like 1000 school districts exist, but the vast majority don’t operate more than a few schools. So this will pretty much only apply to rural districts.

Senate passes bill to drug test Welfare

The Trib is reporting that the State Senate has voted to require Welfare (TANF) applicants to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits. The bill made sure that if those who flunked the drug test had minor children, the children would still receive money for their welfare.

You can read my extended thoughts upon this topic here. Essentially, results have shown that this program WILL NOT save any money, so I oppose this strictly from a fiscal point of view. I get chewed out regularly by the Left for this position, but oh well. Anyways, needless to say, I am disappointed that it actually got through, because the result will only be to increase this State’s shortfall.

But most perplexing is the fact that this bill passed unanimously. Um, what? Davis, Ellis, Garcia: they all voted for it. I am not even going to pretend that I understand this, because I don’t. Garcia and Ellis are both pretty freaking liberal, and Davis spoke out against this somewhat recently.

Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

Big Government, Texas style

The GOP prides itself on two points. First, it is the party of less government, and, second, it is the part of local control. There are myriad exceptions to these points, however, specifically in examples where another platform of the party is threatened by either less government or local control. These usually have to do with social issues.

For example, Mitt Romney and John McCain frequently stated that they wanted “government out of your life,” but what they really meant is that they wanted it out of your checkbook. The GOP, especially in Texas, has no problem with entangling itself between a woman and her doctor, or between two consenting adults in a bedroom. Further, even though the GOP seems to love the mantra of “leave it to the states,” they have no issue with mandating federal regulations/amendments that would prohibit things like gay marriage or the legalization of cannabis, over the objections of states.

We see another good example of this from the Chron about a recent Senate bill. Senator Hegar introduced a bill, SB 987, which would prohibit cities and counties from regulating gun shows. Specifically, the legislation was raised over the idea that Austin and/or Travis County would ban gun shows from public buildings. In a classic example of the State Legislature bullying the Capital city, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (24-6) to prevent Austin, or any other municipality, from issuing meaningful gun reform measures.

What disturbs me the most about this vote (you know, besides my state’s unhealthy little juvenile obsession with instruments of death), is how many Democrats voted for the measure. 5 out of 11 Democrats voted FOR the bill, mainly the Rio Grande Valley ones (Whitmire, Ellis and Garcia voted NO). Interestingly, Wendy Davis voted for the bill. I like Davis, so I am going to excuse this stupid position as bandwagoning to join an otherwise inevitable vote, in light of her difficult re-election bid next year. Good to know, nevertheless, that the Houstonians are from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

UPDATE: Also, and I include it down here because I don’t have enough to say for a regular post, but WFAA (DFW’s ABC) is reporting that yesterday the Texas Senate voted unanimously to stop ticketing juveniles for classroom disruptions, instead focusing on counseling. It was proposed by Royce West (D-Dallas), and had bipartisan support because of the money it was projected to save.

Sylvia Garcia takes office

Photo: I'm fortunate and proud to be on-hand as Senator Garcia was sworn in today. The people of SD6 and beyond will be well represented!

I have been informed by Rep. Farrar’s office that Sylvia Garcia has officially taken office, just days after the bill filing deadline. How utterly ridiculous is that (or the mere presence of a bill filing deadline), but that is neither here nor there. I haven’t gotten any actual newspapers reporting on this event, so I have not heard any statements from the new Senator, so updates to come.

UPDATE: Lieutenant Governor has appointed Senator Garcia to Government Organization, Intergovernmental Relations, and Jurisprudence and Nominations Committees.

Garcia wins

With 100% of the precincts reporting, Sylvia Garcia won the SD06 runoff with roughly 53% of the vote, to Carol Alvarado’s 47%. 18,000 people voted in this runoff, compared to about 16,000 in January for the original special election.

Kuff has some info that insinuates Garcia will not be taking office for probably another two weeks, thereby disqualifying her from introducing legislation. What a bunch of hooey. However, it seems to be that Rep. Farrar, who was a huge backer of Garcia’s campaign, should just introduce the legislation on behalf of the Senator-elect.

Unfortunately for me, this means no writing about a Special HD145 election, but fortunately for me, my endorsed candidate won. Anyways the election was somewhat anticlimactic.

It’s runoff day!!!

Internet Husband - I told him we could do anything he wants he said he would live tweet the runoff

Well, the runoff is finally here. Contrary to what I might have said earlier, I actually am rooting for one of the sides now (Go Garcia!). I was going to live tweet the results, but then I remembered that they are coming in on a Saturday night, so… you can read about it tomorrow. My guess is an Alvarado victory, but I’ve been plenty wrong about these sorts of things before. Anyways, you can read about this tomorrow.