November 13, 2002
Texas Lege coming attractions

If you didn't already know that the Republicans had won control of the state legislature, you could get a clue from some of the bills that have been pre-filed:

A long-time priority of social conservatives -- a bill banning recognition of same-sex marriages or civil unions in Texas -- was among dozens of bills prefiled Tuesday at the Capitol.

Other bills introduced on the first day of prefiling would require one minute of silence during each school day, limit damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and require informed consent before a woman could have an abortion

I'm actually surprised that a formal ban on same-sex marriages hadn't already been enacted here. It was just a matter of time anyway - though the same bill was filed but never brought up for consideration last year, it would've had plenty of supporters had it come to a vote.

The reality is that most of the bills filed will never become law. In 2001, when the Legislature last met, only 1,621 of 5,712 bills and proposed constitutional amendments passed.

But Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, said he believes his bill to recognize only heterosexual unions as legal marriages will be passed by the House early in the session.

He said the bill would prevent Texas from having to grant rights under state law to same-sex couples who were married in another state. Vermont is the only state that recognizes such unions.

"I intend to get a significant number of co-sponsors and move the bill forward," said Chisum.

I suppose it won't make much difference, since we're not exactly being overwhelmed by gay Vermont expatriates looking for a warmer climate. And it's not like the Lege has more pressing issues, such as a bigass budget shortfall to give priority to, after all.

Yes, I know, they're perfectly capable of doing both, just as I'm sure the US is capable of invading Iraq and exterminating al Quaeda simultaneously. All I'm saying is that the Lege meets for a limited period of time, and in each case one issue would seem to be more pressing than the other. If I knew that they would work nonstop on the budget before considering other lesser matters, then I wouldn't complain. As it is, I expect many of these bills to suck up time that should be spent taking care of finances, and I have a problem with that.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 13, 2002 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

When I return, I plan to write a pretty complimentary piece on the Texas GOP. I have this nagging sensation they are going to undermine just about everything I have to say...

Posted by: Hiatusblogger on November 13, 2002 2:14 PM