for bills to move forward in the House was midnight Thursday, and some 4,000 bills that did not make it onto the floor are basically dead, although some lawmakers have vowed to attach their bills to Senate legislation in an effort to get them passed. Expanding casino gambling and prohibiting colleges from banning concealed weapons were among the doomed legislation.
Another local bill of interest, sponsored by King and Sen. Troy Fraser, would provide cities of Abilene's size "a clear, concise, cost effective alternative method" for calling a local option election. The bill passed the Senate and awaits action in the House.
Fraser, who chairs the business and commerce committee, has written several bills that have passed the Senate and are now up for consideration by the House, including one intended to jump start the development of solar energy and the creation of "renewable energy zones."
King also predicted passage of a bill setting perimeters on land use near military bases.
2 weeks left in session
Another area legislator, Jim Keffer, R Eastland, has worked on legislation that would provide the funding for the Cancer Research Institute. The bill has passed the House and has been forwarded to the Senate.
"We believe this is a deterrent and offers awareness and gives the proper punishment for the indiscriminate and reckless use of a firearm," King said from the House floor Friday.
State Rep. Susan King, R Abilene, said Senate passage is likely for HB 176, labeled the Janie Lynn De La Paz Act, which passed the House unanimously. The bill increases the penalty in drive by shootings.
Big Country legislators are focusing on a number of priorities as they approach the end of the session on June 1. Tops on their Adidas Hat Black And Gold
King, who serves on the appropriations committee, is pushing for funding for the Texas Tech School of Pharmacy, health care for junior college faculty and issues regarding state schools.
Sen. Robert Duncan, R Lubbock, is also pushing for bills that will make health care more affordable for all Texans.
Heflin said there are still about a half dozen bills that would help bring doctors and health care providers to rural communities and he will be pushing for those as well.
One of the most contentious bills this session is the Voter ID bill, written by Fraser, which is designed to protect against voter fraud. Democrats complain that the GOP wants to suppress Democratic turnout by enacting the law. In March, the Senate approved the legislation that would require Texans to provide a photo ID or two approved alternatives before casting a ballot.
Big Country, said he voted for the bill to get it to the floor where he hoped amendments would be made to ensure people are not kept away from the polls.
lists are bills regarding local issues, solar and wind energy, crime, state schools, school finance, health care and higher education.
"It is pro business and based on economic development," King said. The bill would clarify who would vote in a local option election for parts of Abilene annexed since the city went wet in 1978.
"We are trying to change that to put more of the responsibility on those people on the coast," Fraser said.
King said there are issues with state schools as with any large institutions, but she vowed to vote against any bill that calls for downsizing of the institutions.
"We need to pass this because it could affect us in the future as far as base realignment, and this is to protect the base, in our case Dyess Air Force Base, and those people who are developing around it," King said.
This bill finally came out of committee Monday and is now headed to the House floor, after Rep. Joe Heflin, D Crosbyton, became the lone Democrat to side with Republicans on the issue. Heflin, who represents part of the Chicago Cubs Hat Bear
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"West Texas and the Big Country would benefit greatly because we have the sun and we have the transmission lines," Fraser said. Another component to the bill is the creation of renewable energy zones so more transmission lines can be constructed. Fraser is also pushing legislation that would require 14 coastal counties to offer wind insurance. Fraser said that the state fund for this insurance is bankrupt and that if another hurricane like Ike Adidas Cap Style hit, all taxpayers would be on the hook.
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