Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Parks up for debate today

About five or six weeks ago, I asked the question: Are the parks bills on the move or not? The answer is that one finally is. (Editor's note: follow the link for more background on the bills)

HB 12 is the omnibus parks bill that combines the two other parks bills in Calendars, and it is up today on the Major State Calendar. Rep. Hilderbran has cut the number of sites to be transferred from 21 down to 18, but much of the rest of the parks transfer to the Texas Historical Commission remains the same.

There will be a number of amendments up today, but the future of the bill remains to be seen: there is question as to whether opponents of HB 7 (basically anyone not on the Speaker's agenda -- the main mover and shaker behind the transfer idea) will try to pull the bill down (since HB 6 is in Calendars) or try to cut HB 7 out of the bill (or maybe just replace it with an interim study, a move that was tried in committee).

There's one provision that expands inmate labor for park maintenance that will be fought against hard, and leadership may actually relent on this one since they were hoping it'd just fly under the radar. But if provisions like are removed, it could be hard to pull the entire bill down.



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