81st Texas Legislative Session: Lawmakers Continue to Let Down Texans

“It ain’t over til the fat legislator sings”

Lawmakers Continue to Let Down Texans

While there were some small victories during this 81st Legislative Session, for the most part the people of Texas were let down again by their elected officials. It appears to be a reoccurring theme every 2 years when the legislature meets.

The reason for these poorly orchestrated and unsuccessful legislative sessions appears to be the ever-increasing power of the wealthy special interest lobbies, who continue to dominate the allegiances of Texas lawmakers.

The days seem long gone when the first priority of government officials is to their every day constituency. Now that hard-working Texans are hardly working, diligence and intelligent decision-making should be the priority of our lawmakers, but as we have just witnessed during this session, our legislators failed miserably — again. Consequently, the games will continue when Gov. Perry calls for a Special Session at an additional cost to taxpayers of at least $2 million. That’s not very smart during a tight budget crisis.

While many, if not most, of legislators are experienced attorneys, our lawmakers failed to provide the “safety net” that would keep open certain state agencies in trouble, e.g., TxDOT and a few others. In addition, the House realized too late that it did NOT provide TxDOT with an available Federal stimulus of $2 billion. What happened?

Lawmakers were too busy most of the session playing partisan “footsy” on the now infamous Voter ID bill and each party blamed the other for dancing the Texas Two-step on the issue. As the clock ran out on the session, once again lawmakers ran out on Texans. The decade-long urgent issues were again placed on the back-burners.

I have long promoted that if Texas legislators can not do the job they were hired to do, they should step-down and let someone else do it.

Perhaps, the days are forever gone when the House and Senate work in the best interests of the people of Texas. Certainly, the only possible solution to this once every 2-year catastrophe [legislative session] would be to provide real quality salaries to lawmakers and prohibit all private campaign contributions. Maybe then our lawmakers can return to the extinct art of making laws to protect and better the lives of all Texans, instead of continuing the political partisan game playing and special interest pandering.

Will it ever happen? Probably not in our lifetime.