March 07, 2007
A little do-gooding

According to the Texas Observer blog, there's some good news for CHIP in the near future:

Rep. Sylvester Turner told reporters this morning that the House Appropriations Committee will add money to the budget later today to fully restore cuts to the Children's Health Inrurance Program. Turner spoke at a press conference convened by the Texas IAF Network. Interfaith leaders from all over the state have traveled to the Capitol today to advocate in favor of CHIP and against strict immigration bills.


The scuttlebutt at the Capitol has it that Turner's bill to restore CHIP was one of the legislative goodies the Craddick Democrats received for their decisive support of Speaker Tom Craddick's reelection.

This news comes on the heels of some other good work being done by fellow Craddick-crat Rep. Harold Dutton in matters such as making criminal case files public records and notifying former inmates of their renewed right to vote. Like many of my fellow progressive bloggers, I have been critical of the Craddick Dems for their role in ensuring that Tom Craddick remaining in place as Speaker. I continue to believe that they will be unable to do enough good to balance out the bad of having Craddick in power. That doesn't mean that I'm not grateful for the good that they are able to do. Kudos to Reps. Turner and Dutton for what they will hopefully be able to accomplish.

I confess that my cynical side wonders just how much credit these gentlemen should receive if their measures don't make it all the way to the Governor's signature. Of particular concern is CHIP, where as we know there is far less sentiment for reform in the Senate. One could easily formulate a conspiracy theory in which Craddick agreed to go along with full-bore CHIP restoration, knowing fully well that it would be killed or at least scaled back by David Dewhurst's gubernatorial aspirations. I'll still take half a loaf - and getting full funding plus a return to 2003 asset testing would be more than half, even if the 6 month renewal requirement remains - but I'll also wonder if the fix was in from the beginning. I hate to be so distrustful, but I think I have ample reason for being so. Stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 07, 2007 to That's our Lege