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No! Don’t come back!

Listen to me carefully here, people. Be very careful what you wish for.

Consumer groups are calling on Gov. Rick Perry to order the state Legislature back into session to make changes to Texas’ competitive electricity markets.

AARP Texas and Texas ACORN, which advocates for low-income families, said a bill that died in the final hours of the legislative session on Monday fell short of making the kinds of changes they wanted to see, but would have been better than nothing.

A spokeswoman for the governor said he has not yet decided to whether to call a special session.

Bonnie Mathis, an ACORN board member in Dallas, said in a prepared statement that the group was glad $170 million was returned to the Systems Benefit Fund designed to give some low-income customers some relief.

“But that’s not enough to solve the utility crisis we face in Texas,” she said. ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, wants rate reductions and protection from electricity shutoffs for the elderly and low income who fall behind on their bills during the summer, Mathis said.

AARP Texas State Director Robert Jackson said in a letter to the governor that he wanted legislation in a special session to provide a 20 percent rate reduction for customers and to address a wholesale pricing system that he said inflates rates across the board.

I didn’t follow the saga of SB482, the bill that was supposed to help with electric rates but got killed at the end by a point of order. Maybe it was a good bill, maybe it wasn’t – you’ll have to forgive me for not giving anything sponsored by Phil King the benefit of the doubt. If we could have a special session that did nothing but reconsider SB482, I’d have no qualm with that. But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where the Governor sets the agenda for a special session, and as sure you’re reading this one of the items on the agenda for a special session would be voter ID legislation, which by the way is something that the AARP and ACORN both oppose, for good reason. Is the benefit of one – and again, forgive me for having my doubts about whatever would get passed here – worth the cost of the other? I for one say no, and while I respect the right of AARP and ACORN to think otherwise, I sure hope they’re taking the full cost of what they’re requesting into account here.

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  1. Michael says:

    Two days every 140 years. It’s the only way to be sure.

    My father was a minor aide to a legislator in the 1950s. My grandmother saw the local rep on the street in Austin when she was taking my dad to college, and asked him if he could have a job. He ended up responsible for making sure the local papers always had the latest press releases from Rep. Jones. It wasn’t very serious work, but it was good for the home base.

    At the time, the saying was “no one’s wife, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” Some things have changed. Others, not so much.

  2. norbizness says:

    Don’t worry, I’m sure that a call for any special session not exclusively concerned with mid-decade gerrymandered or business owner enrichment is dead on arrival.

  3. Brooks says:

    Thanks!! And right back atcha. I haven’t commented but I remain a fan – here’s to a nice loooooong interim!