Top 10 bills to follow in the 2013 Texas Lege reduced by 7

Austin television station KXAN has an interesting Top 10 list of proposed bills to follow in the 2013 Texas legislative session. Some are downright playing-to-the-right-wing-base ignorant. Here are my top five from that list:

1. Drug testing for welfare — There will be no epidemic of poor folks using drugs by the time this bill, filed by GOP Sen. Jane Nelson of Flower Mound, passes than there is now. It’s a “feel-good” elixir for the right wing. It’s demagoguery plain and simple.

2. Ten Commandments in Class — Republican Rep. Dan Flynn of Van wants copies of the Ten Commandments placed in “prominent” places in the classroom. I’ve got nothing against the Ten Commandments, but they violate laws separating church and state. This will wind up in court(s) and cost the taxpayers untold dollars while losing the case.

3. TSA Anti-groping — It could only be a guess but I bet when the Twin Towers et. al. came down on 9/11 probably some of those hollering the loudest for the federal government to stop such a thing from happening were some of our friends on the right. And on the left. We have security now in airports and many think they are too important to be inconvenienced by precautions which often leads to them getting groped in the first place. Yes, it might be random. So what? You don’t have to fly. GOP Rep. David Simpson of Longview tried to pass this last session and Gov. Good Hair had it brought up in Special Session. Jeez, prohibit TSA groping? Can we also prohibit Fox News?

Well, I only got to three that were out-of-the-Solar-System-Stupid. That doesn’t mean the remainder are all winners, or losers for that matter.

–Open Carry — Republican Rep. George Lavender of Texarkana may file a bill similar to one he pushed last time which would allow those holding licenses to carry a concealed handgun to optionally carry the weapon in the open. I’ve often thought that this made more sense than allowing concealed carry only. At least if someone is openly carrying a gun one can see it and do all that is possible to either ignore that person or make sure that you have something twice that person’s firepower. No seriously, I don’t know but the proposal seems to have some good points as well as bad ones. I know a lot of folks who would like guns outlawed. I can see how that would be a good thing in a different world. We are unfortunately stuck with the world we have.

— Texting while driving. The GOP former House Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland is pushing this bill, which Good Hair vetoed, again. It needs to be not only passed, but signed by our idiot governor.

–Tuition freeze. Dan Branch, the Republican House member from Dallas wants college tuition in state institutions frozen for students for four years from the time they enter school. UT Austin currently freezes tuition for two years. This is to encourage finishing in four years. I think this is a good idea, perhaps with a fifth year available in emergency situations.

–SJR 6 — Casino and slot gambling. Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and others want a constitutional amendment to let voters decide whether a small number of casinos should be allowed in Texas. Limited numbers of slot and video gambling machines at horse tracks would be allowed as would gambling at the state’s Indian reservations. I have no moral reservations about this, pardon the pun. I wonder if it can pass what with surrounding states and the large gambling interests behind those states.

–The rest — I have no opinion on the other bills listed. You can read them your own-self.





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