The assault on the will of the voters takes another step forward.
The Texas Senate voted 30-1 for Sen. Dan Patrick’s bill to broaden the exemption from Houston’s drainage fee to cover non-profit groups and expansion by churches and schools.
The City Council on Wednesday agreed to exempt existing church and school facilities, and most county government facilities.
“They didn’t exempt new churches and schools in the future, or if a school or church were to expand. They call it a fee. It’s a tax,” Patrick said. “Their bill didn’t include exempting non-profits. This is a time when we need our non-profits to be spending their money on services as government is cutting back.”
Patrick said the Texas Medical Center had testified that it believed a non-profit medical center should be exempt from the fee.
“The city has said this is a local control issue. Had they just gone the next step in their bill yesterday, there wouldn’t have been a need for this legislation,” Patrick said.
First of all, what do non-profits have to do with this? Far as I know, they weren’t even brought up during the election, certainly not to the extent that schools and churches and county-owned buildings were. You’d think that the Medical Center, which suffered terrible flooding losses, including a couple of deaths, during TS Allison back in 2001, would be eager to do what it can to help the city improve its drainage capabilities. And the richness of Dan Patrick, who is doing his level best to increase the burden on charities by cutting off all other forms of social support, piously telling the city to cut them some slack is enough to make my head explode. Does the man have any self-awareness at all?
So now it’s off to the House, where its prospects are unknown to me. If it does get passed, there will surely be expensive and time-consuming litigation to follow. And when Rick Perry signs it into law, I hope Annise Parker tells him to take that meaningless unfunded mandates commission of his and stick it where the sun don’t shine.