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.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Proof of Citizenship...compromise?

Today, the impeccable Phil King offered up a substitute for the Proof of Citizenship bill, HB 626, which would water down much of the rhetoric we heard last week on the floor. Instead of spending $220 for fresh copies of naturalization papers, the bill would now simply make the Secretary of State vet birth certificates and naturalization papers when cross-checking voter registration applications with social security and drivers license records.

BurkaBlog reported on it this morning, and Kuff picked it up as well. Whether Anchia, Gallego, and Hochberg sign off on it or not wouldn't change the fact that if the Secretary of State can't find the naturalization papers, then s/he wouldn't approve the registration, hence the application is dropped. From how I'm reading it, it's not much of a compromise since it doesn't change much of what King asked for in the version he laid out last week.