Friday, April 15, 2005

HB 254 gains unlikely, unanimous support

Who said Democrats and Republicans can't agree on anything?

The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
vote on HB 254 restructuring low-level marijuana penalties was unanimous, 6-0, including three Republicans and three Democrats.
The bill provides badly needed relief to county jails and may even boost enforcement. Taylor reported in the comments about the unanimous vote, but I nearly fell off my seat when I learned who the six were: Representatives Keel, Riddle, Peña, Denny, Escobar and Hodge!

Rep. Escobar is the former head of a federal drug task force, while Riddle and Denny are among the most conservative members of the Texas Legislature.
Peña is a crime victims' advocate who entered politics after his son's drug-related death. Keel is a former Travis County Sheriff. Of the six, only Rep. Hodge has been a long-time advocate for criminal justice reform. That's a really solid, diverse vote. (UPDATE: The Startlegram has the first MSM coverage.)

Many thanks to all.

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