May 20, 2009
Gearing up for the voter ID showdown

SB362 was not on the calendar today, but it is expected to be brought to the House floor before the Tuesday deadline for approving Senate bills, perhaps as early as tomorrow. House Dems had a press conference today, accidentally pre-empting a Republican presser in the process, to decry voter ID and vow to fight it tooth and nail if it does come to the floor. None of that is new, though the hints that there might be a quorum-busting maneuver, plus the suggestion (on Twitter) that the Dems have the votes to defeat SB362, are. I suppose if the latter is true then there's no need for the former, though given Rep. David Farabee's comment that he could support a voter ID proposal that had a phase-in period, I suspect no one wants to take any chances in the event the Republican hardliners decide to grab the half a loaf that's almost surely available to them. The clock is the Democrats' friend on this (at least until Governor Perry calls a special session), and they emphasized the short amount of time remaining till sine die and the long list of things like windstorm insurance reform that still need to get done. I think in the end it will come down to counting noses. If the Dems really can beat this thing, which I think they can do as SB362 stands (remember, the GOP is a vote short right now), it'll die. If the Republicans give a little, they can probably peel off enough support to get something passed. I'd say the choice is theirs.

UPDATE: Via Twitter, voter ID is not on the calendar for Friday. This is just a guess, but maybe Jim Dunnam is right and the votes aren't there to pass it, and the delay is to give the Republicans time to get a majority. At which, needless to say, I want them to fail. Keep hope alive.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 20, 2009 to That's our Lege
Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)