Friday, May 15, 2009

Bad bills

A lot of bad bills bit the dust last night up in Austin and I couldn’t be happier.

Casino gambling crapped out. Texas hold ’em had to fold ’em. Hands-free cell phones in cars crashed. And handguns on campus bit the bullet as the first major legislative deadline started killing bills.
All were pieces of House legislation that had to be debated by midnight Thursday or else hope of passage in this year’s legislative session vanished under House rules heading toward the June 1 closing.

I’m most especially happy to see the heinous “Guns and Campus” legislation get deep-sixed. I’m am terribly frustrated with Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, for sponsoring the Seante version of that bill. Wentworth is someone who I have long respected in spite of his being on the other side of the political aisle from myself. But this bill was too much. My wife teaches on a college campus and the last thing I want is for her to have to be in a classroom with a lot of stressed-out, gun-toting students.
I am also no fan of gambling because far from being a panacea of resources for cash-strapped governments, it tends to prey on the poor, the desperate and the downtrodden. And social problems aside, it does nothing to contribute to the economy other than suck up discretionary spending money that people might have used more beneficially elsewhere.

I once thought Texas was kind of backwards for having just a part-time Legislature that meets only every other year. But seeing the bad bills that come out of Austin these days, I am thankful that they don’t have more time to get stuff like this passed.

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