Remember SB1317, the anti-clean air bill that could have been stopped in the Senate but wasn't? And remember how I was worried that it might get routed to a friendly committee for a clear path to passage in the House? Over the weekend, I reported that it was instead routed to the Urban Affairs Committee, where an identical bill had been locked up. Unfortunately, it's not there any more.
Upon passage, Jackson's bill was referred to Urban Affairs, which is chaired by Houston Democrat Kevin Bailey. A few hours later the bill was re-referred to the Environmental Regulation Committee, which Angleton Republican Dennis Bonnen chairs. Bonnen has not heard any of the air toxics bills filed by Democrats this session. Let's see if he puts Jackson's bill on the fast track.
The makeup of the committees suggest the bill has a better chance coming out of Environmental Regulation, which has five Republicans and two Democrats. Urban Affairs, in contrast, has five Democrats and two Republicans.
Look, it's very simple. Remember what Sen. Jackson said during the floor debate?
"This isn't over air quality. It's over city sovereignty," said Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, who carried the bill. "This is a policy issue, not an environmental bill."
At this time, I'd say the best thing that could happen is a point of order. There's got to be something in there if someone can find it. It'd be nice to know what role Kevin Bailey might have played in this bill's removal from his committee. Remember how being a Craddick Democrat means you get to have power to do good? This is one of those times when that power was needed, and unless someone can explain to me otherwise, I'd say Bailey flunked the test. When this bill passes, you can add him to the list that starts with Mike Jackson and Eddie Lucio of people to thank for it.Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 07, 2007 to That's our Lege