The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Thursday, July 07, 2005

HB 3- What the Hell Went On?

As many of y'all have probably read over at Pink Dome or at BOR, absolute and utter chaos rules (moreso than during the regular session) over our State House. After initally failing on its second reading 74-73, a vote verification showed that Reps Eiland and Martinez-Fischer and their "no" votes were nowhere to be found and so HB 3 passed 73-72.

Today, HB 3 passed on its final reading 71-66, but as new BOR writer Philip Martin blogs, that's not the end of it either:

After hours of debate and discussion, House Bill 3 passed the House on third reading by a vote of 70-69. Though the floor vote was 71-66, there were numerous machine malfunctions and errors in voting. The House Journal Clerk's office is saying that the final vote was 70-69.

I have spoken with Rep. Hilderbran's office, and they have told me that Rep. Hilderbran was meeting with the Governor during the vote, and once he was out of the meeting he went to register a "no" vote against the tax bill (71-67).

I have spoken with Rep. Anchia, who told me it was "chaos" after the vote, and once he realized he was not registered he immediately went to the Journal Clerk and registered a "no" vote. (71-68).

I have spoken with Rep. McClendon's office, and they also assured me that Rep. McClendon was opposed to the tax bill. Apparently, their voting machine malfunctioned the worse, and she was recorded voting "yes" when she obviously meant to vote "no." (70-69).

So the Leadership's bill only passed by a vote, and that was after considerable arm-twisting by the Speaker. Two Republican Representatives, Rep. Laudenberg and Rep. McCall, switched from a "no" vote last night to a "yes" vote this afternoon. Also, Rep. Hegar and Rep. Truitt, who voted "no" last night, disappeared overnight and were not present on the floor this afternoon.

It was good to see Rep. Edwards and Rep. Bailey remain firm with their "no" votes, despite rumors that they might do otherwise, and while it would have been best for him to be here last night, it was good to see Rep. Eiland immediately return to the House floor.

So, in the end, it seems that the Democrats were caught off guard last night, which gave our illustrious Speaker enough time to guarantee that the will of the Leadership was greater than the will of the people of Texas.

Look over at the Texas State Teacher's Association's website for a full breakdown of who voted how.

But where was Trey Martinez-Fischer last night and today? Well internet speculation has the representative sick, in court, or in Spain. Hopefully not all at the same time. The word coming out of his office however is that he was excused for both days and paired his vote up with Rep. Charlie Geren. It looks as if this all checks out, but this still doesn't answer why Martinez-Fischer missed the vote.

If anyone from the Reps staff would like to answer the question, feel free to post a comment or shoot me an e-mail at thejeffersonian-at-gmail-dot-com