So after yesterday's fun and games in the Senate, things will be quiet for a while, for the simple reason that the Senate stands adjourned until Monday, January 26. It'll be interesting to see what the mood is like when everyone comes back. I think we can be sure of three things: One, this "exception" to the two-thirds rule will not be a one-time thing; two, the Democrats are not going to take this lying down - expect them to find some creative countermeasure, if not on the inevitable voter ID bill then on something else that is a priority for Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and the Republicans; and three, expect things to be a lot less collegial this session in the Senate. Clearly, there can be only one calm chamber.
Which leads to the question: What happens to voter ID in the House? I think we'll have a better idea of what might happen once we see how Speaker Straus assigns committee membership and chairs. I expect him to be fair in general to the Craddick loyalists, but that doesn't mean he has to retain Leo Berman - who was vocally putting Straus down in the immediate aftermath of his nomination - as the chair of the Elections committee. If Berman gets the chair again, then the fix is in and you can expect there to be a lot of unhappy House Democrats once again. If a more sane Republican than Berman gets it - not a high bar to clear here - then it could go either way, but at least there's a chance it could get killed. If a Dem gets it, it's all over and the Senate posturing was just theater. If I had to guess, I'd bet on option #2. We'll know soon enough. Lots more on yesterday's action from Burka, Evan Smith, BOR, Vince, Muse, Houtopia, EoW, and Stace.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 15, 2009 to That's our Lege