"There Just Wasn't Enough Time" is an excuse none of us should be buying
This year, the 60th day of the session falls on March 10th, leaving only a handful of days specifically designated to addressing the governor's emergency items. In case you missed them, they are:
- Cutting property taxes
- Ending COVID restrictions 'forever'
- Educational freedom for all Texans
- School safety - including technology upgrades and more mental health professionals in schools
- Ending "revolving door" bail
- Securing the border
- Fighting the fentanyl crisis
You'd think with the governor announcing his priorities for the 88th session that the Texas House would want to get themselves in order and start working on them...right? Wrong! Two days prior to Abbott's SoS speech, on Tuesday, February 14th - Valentine's Day. The House gave Texas voters not their love, but a slap in the face as they introduced a resolution allowing them to adjourn for five days until Tuesday, February 21st at 2 pm!
When Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) tried to question the wisdom of sending House members home instead of getting to work in committees, the Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) told him to take his seat. You can read more about that here: 'Take Your Chair': Lawmaker Shut Down After Questioning Texas House's 5-Day Weekend - Texas Scorecard. Only TWO of the 150 House members opposed the 5-day weekend and I'm sure you already guessed who they were - Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) and Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City). At least these two wanted to get to work.
Hard to believe, I know, I get it. But wait...there's more! Just yesterday, February 21st, the House passed yet another resolution for another 5 day weekend starting when they adjourn today...Wednesday the 22nd and come back on Tuesday, February 28th. This time, our fearless champions were joined by Rep. Brian Harrison (R–Midlothian) in opposing it.
So where does this leave the Governor's Emergency issues?
With none of the House committees even organized, when the House finally gets back to work next Tuesday, there will only be a handful of business days remaining before March 10th. Once March 10th comes and goes, the Governor's priorities will no longer enjoy any kind of priority status.
Given the House's two 5-day weekends, voters should NOT tolerate nor accept the "We just ran out of time" excuse for this session!
With the 3 exceptions being Representatives Harrison, Slaton, and Tinderholt, none of the Representatives in the House have demonstrated their willingness to do the work of the people this session. When they cannot even get themselves organized in time to work on the Governor's priorities in a timely manner, how concerned do you think they are about working on the legislative priorities of the Republican party? Only time will tell if their campaign promises are kept, or whether we'll get the same old excuses along with the boast of "The Most Conservative Session Ever".
THE BOTTOM LINE
If your State Rep tries to use that "we just ran out of time" excuse, you need to call them on it. And if they tell you they'll do better next time, you need to make sure they don't get that opportunity and find someone else who is actually willing to get the job done. We don't need excuses - we need results!
I have already announced that I am running to replace my Representative. You can help my campaign by filling in the volunteer form or if you're not in the area or volunteering isn't your thing but you'd still like to help, we're accepting donations.
For God, Country, and Texas