April 03, 2009
Danno says his vote on redistricting commission was a mistake

Sen. Jeff Wentworth's SB315, which passed on second reading last week in the Senate, may not make it to third reading because Wentworth no longer has enough votes to suspend the rules and bring it back to the floor. The reason for that is because one of the votes in favor of suspending the rules in the first place was apparently cast in error. From QR:

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) said today he inadvertently cast the vote that allowed Senate Bill 315 by San Antonio Republican Jeff Wentworth to be debated on the floor March 23.

"I've always been a no vote," Patrick told QR. "I just made a mistake when I voted to suspend. But I told the author that had made a mistake and that I'm a no."

Wentworth got the bill to the floor with the minimum 21 votes needed under the Senate rules. In each of the past two sessions, he's managed to pass a version of the redistricting bill only to see them die on the House side.

"I don't have a vote to spare," Wentworth said. "So, I either need to get someone to switch, or wait until someone is absent."

Although the bill passed on the first try, Wentworth was far short of the four-fifths vote he needed to finally pass it the same day. Now, he needs 21 votes to bring the bill back up for final passage.

Not exactly sure how it is that it took Danno a week to figure out that he'd goofed, but I suppose that's not important right now. I'm also unclear on that four-fifths provision - our Senate, like the one in DC, is full of arcana, among other things - but be that as it may, Wentworth appears to be stuck. Unless he can convince Lt. Gov. Dewhurst to bring it up the next time Patrick's taking a potty break or something, which we know is within the Dew's range. But it's not looking too good for this bill's prospects. As usual.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 03, 2009 to That's our Lege
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