July 18, 2005
Postcards from the Lege and the Quorum Report are now saying there's an agreement in principle on both HB2 and HB3. Presumably, if the powers that be are happy with what they've hammered out, the looming deadline of this session's end won't matter - Governor Perry can simply make good on his promise to call another session and pick things up from there. So if this is all true, and there's no looming gotchas to torpedo things - I mean, it's not like we haven't heard this sort of thing before - then the question becomes "can this sucker pass?" What will Rick Perry's next move be if either or both of them fail?
You know the drill - stay tuned.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 18, 2005 to Budget ballyhoo
It may not be so easy. If they can't get a deal before Wednesday midnight, they have to start all over in a second called special session. That means a few things: (1) There will be more analyses produced of the effects, mostly negative, of the impact of whatever crappy deal is reached. (2) Lobbyists will have more time to work their "magic," that is, to threaten and cajole. (3) There will be yet another chance for Democratic senators to disallow a tax or education bill to reach the floor.
It looks like they might get a deal on HB 2; I'd give it about a 10% chance b/c I don't believe Branch and his gang of 16 will compromise their principles in defending the bleak future of the downtrodden kids of Highland Park. It's supposedly being printed tonight, but if Branch & Co. are opposed, it would die in a House vote.
Even if HB 2 passes, HB 3 would still have to be passed. HB 3, though, even if Dewhurst approves it in the morning, would have to be printed throughout the day, then presented to both houses and held for 24 hours before a vote. That means even with speedy printing it couldn't be heard until Wednesday afternoon, meaning a filibuster would be very easy to pull off. And according to lobbyists for the oil and gas companies, they've got 20 Republican no votes on HB 3 in the House anyway.
Methinks, at this point at least, they're still very much in trouble.