May 02, 2006
HB3 hits a Senate speed bump

This is what people mean when they say "Don't count your chickens before they hatch".

HB3, Gov. Perry's proposed business tax expansion, was derailed, at least temporarily, today when Sen. Mike Jackson, R-Pasadena, voted against the procedural two-thirds "rule" on third reading. Jackson voted for the procedural rule on Monday, when senators tentatively approved the measure, before switching his vote today.

Although not necessarily fatal, the setback does slow progress on the bill and forces Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to regroup and twist some more arms.

The suspension vote was 20-11, one short of the necessary two-thirds. Senate approval would have sent the bill to the governor for signature.

HB3 was approved by the Senate without any changes to the House version, which is why it was on a fast track to the Governor's desk. So much for that, though for how long is anyone's guess.

After voting against consideration of the business tax plan, Jackson was escorted to the governor's office by Perry's deputy legislative director, Victoria Ford.

Perry, presumably, will twist Jackson's arm far enough so that the senator will relent and change his vote. If he does, a final vote on the business reform bill could happen later today.

No screams could be heard during Perry's meeting with Jackson.

Ah, to be a fly on the wall. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Here's an AP wire story on the snag. There could be a vote later today, so this could change at any time. And be sure to read the comments for an interesting rumor about Sen. Jackson's motivations.

UPDATE: And the hurdle is cleared.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 02, 2006 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

Just heard from a longtime lobbyist, former state official who is close to Dewhurst that what Jackson wants for his vote is: CD 22.

Posted by: Impulse on May 2, 2006 4:41 PM

Wow. Now there's a twist I didn't expect. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on May 2, 2006 5:10 PM