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It turns out that Republicans hate bipartisanship here in Texas too. Via the Quorum Report :
“No Democrats or minorities on conference committees for HB2 or HB3
Speaker Tom Craddick named the following conferees for HB2: (Chair) Rep. Kent Grusendorf (R-Arlington), Rep. Dianne White Delisi (R-Temple), Rep. Bill Keffer (R-Dallas), Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas), and Rep. Rob Eissler (R-The Woodlands).
The Speaker named the following conferees for HB3: (Chair) Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton), Rep. David Swinford (R-Amarillo), and Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Ft. Worth).
Kino Flores (D-Mission) got on the back mike inquiring why there were no Democrats or women on the conference committee. Craddick answered back, “Five members of the House,” meaning that there is no rule requiring he appointment of members of both parties.
(Of course, much of Judge John Dietz’s decision that precipitated HB2 & HB3 was about shortcomings in educating African-Americans and Hispanics. It may or may not prove to be relevant that neither are represented by the House conferees on education or school finance.)
Immediately preceeding the announcement on HB3, Will Hartnett (R-Dallas) moved this afternoon to instruct the conferees on HB3 to reject gambling, in particular an amendment added in the Senate that would expand electronic bingo.
Many believed that that the expansion in bingo was a backdoor entry to slot machines.
Chairman Jim Keffer argued that the issue was about process and encumbering conferees. Fred Hill (R-Richardson) reminded the members that the process is what the membership makes it and that there instructing conferees is not an uncommon procedure.”
“OLIVEIRA COMMENTS ON LACK OF MINORITIES ON HB2
Public Education vice-chair questions, “Who is going to believe…”
“Minority children make up 60 percent of the students in our public school system, so obviously we have a great stake in any changes made to the school finance system,” said Rep. René O. Oliveira, D-Brownsville and Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Public Education. “Denying minority House members a seat on the education bill conference committee eliminates any voice those children need. Politically, the lack of minorities greatly undermines the credibility of the committee and the legislation. Who is going to believe that the bill is as helpful as it can be to minorities, when minorities had no input in its development?”
No Democrats in the House voted for HB2.”
So, a bunch of rich, white conservatives get to make the decision to worsen our public schools and cut our children’s programs and opportunities for a better future. How would these guys feel if hard-working voters like us surrounded their mansions and prevented them from going out to get food and cut off their gas and water lines? Isn’t this similar?