Thursday, April 30, 2015

Legislative odds and ends

Here are a few odds and ends from the Texas Legislature to occupy readers' attention while your correspondent is focused elsewhere:
  • The Senate passed legislation ending municipal red-light programs. Here's a good overview of legislation, litigation and activism on the topic.
  • Legislation sitting in Calendars waiting for a House floor vote would require county jails using video visitation to also offer in-person visitation, as they did for generations prior.
  • As far as I can tell, nearly all medical marijuana testimony qualifies as "tearful."
  • See an editorial from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in support of Rep. Ruth McLendon's Innocence Commission legislation, which is scheduled for a House floor this afternoon.
  • The Dallas Morning News runs down efforts to improve police transparency during the 84th Texas Legislature.
  • Another new crime involving drones is sitting in the Calendars Committee, where one hopes it will die. To my knowledge, nobody has been prosecuted yet under the criminal drone statute passed last session. (If you are aware of any drone prosecutions, please let us know in the comments.)
  • Sen. John Whitmire is raising questions about a juvenile corrections program run by the Texas Military Department.
  • See coverage of a press conference this morning calling for abolition of the Driver Responsibility surcharge.
  • Later this afternoon, I'll be at a meeting of the House Select Committee on Emerging Law Enforcement Issues to support a bill by Dwayne Bohac requiring law enforcement to get a warrant to use "Stingray" or "IMSI catcher" technology to track cell phones.


Hope said...

"As far as I can tell, nearly all medical marijuana testimony qualifies as "tearful.""

It's really a sad day in Texas government or any government that people have to plead through tears trying to get permission from a politician to use an herb for themselves or their children.


All those who refuse to help these people need to be run out of representative politics and maybe see if they can't find some group of people somewhere that feel they need an authoritarian tyrant to make all their choices for them.

Peter.Marana said...

This is all progress in its various forms. Often bills take more than one session to succeed and all of these issues will certainly be back in 2017 if they fail at this point. Texas is, grudgingly, moving forward which is a break from the past. As for vouchers, please remember that families without resources cannot afford to send their children to private schools since there are still are significant additional costs.