May 06, 2004
Senate to House: Thanks for nothing

Now that the House has punted, the Senate is trying to figure out what to do with the mess they've inherited.

"They didn't leave us much to work with. They may as well have sent us a piece of paper saying, `Howdy,' " said Sen. Kyle Janek,R-Houston.

"The Senate is basically torn between two possibilities. We go ahead and write a comprehensive plan with high likelihood the House will kill it, or we do nothing," said Sen. Steve Ogden,R-Bryan. "I don't know what we're going to do."

I'm already on record endorsing the latter option, as long as that means that no bill passes. Given the relatively minimal effects of the House bill anyway, especially as far as the schools are concerned (remember them?), it would be no big loss from a practical perspective.

Seems the House is a little touchy about its role so far.

Rep. Kent Grusendorf, author of House Bill 1, told representatives he "misspoke" on Tuesday when he called the measure a "shell bill" after key revenue provisions were removed.

"HB 1 is not a shell bill. HB 1 has not been gutted," said Grusendorf, R-Arlington. "We're not punting to the Senate. We're moving the process forward."

"And my manhood is just fine, so quit asking about it!" Grusendorf did not add.

I have no idea what the Senate will do, though I suggest keeping a close eye on what Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says and does. As I've expected, Dewhurst has been a critic of Perry's approach all along, though he's kept his mouth shut during the House's flailings. He can take several paths, including a revisit of the sweeping plan from last year that Perry pissed on, declaring the problem intractable given the restrictions placed on any legislation by Perry, or do his best to make lemonade. I'd kinda like to see him choose Door #1, just to see how Perry spins it to his advantage, but again, at this point I think doing nothing is the best answer. We'll see.

Andrew D at BOR has some more details, including a few choice bits from the Quorum Report.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 06, 2004 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

Is there any way that Texas Monthly can go ahead and reserve about 6-7 slots in its "Ten Worst Legislators" list for Grusendorf alone?

Posted by: norbizness on May 6, 2004 10:35 AM