81st Texas Legislative Session… plus 1

If at first you don’t succeed, try another legislative session

The beat goes on…

With the exception of a few scattered bills here and there Texas lawmakers couldn’t do “diddly” during the regular 81st Legislative Session. After publicly “hemming and hawing” for a few days of posturing after the session, Gov. Rick Perry today finally stated that he will be calling for a not-so-special Special Legislative session. It will result in a cost of more than $2 million of our nearly extinct tax dollars.

So, what do the governor and lawmakers think will get done in a Special Session that could not get done in the regular session? Good question.

Well, Texans should not collectively “hold their breath” awaiting an exodus of bills being approved resolving our decade-long urgent issues. Chances are more than likely we will see Act 2 of partisan feather-rustling and additional “footsy playing” over the now infamous Voter ID bill, which may be dead but is not easily forgotten by many.

With as much substance and public popularity as a dangling participle, the specter of state agencies with limited life spans will be looming above the heads of our lawmakers, since they failed to extend the legal functioning of TxDOT and several other state departments before the session ended. Was it a purposeful act orchestrated to ensure the calling of a Special Session? Or was it merely the ongoing ineptness of a chaotic Congress enmeshed in irresponsible political power-plays and thus unable to perform the simplest tasks to ensure the resolution of various long-time issues, e.g., reducing sky-high property taxes, providing more adequate and new sources of financing public education, voting once and for all on legalizing gambling or not, decreasing the astronomical costs of health care, and cutting home insurance premiums which remain the highest in the nation — just to name a few ever-lingering issues.

Unfortunately for hardworking and hardly working Texans, Gov. Perry does NOT have a good record when it come to positive Special Session outcomes. Several years ago the governor called for no less than 3 Special Sessions at a total cost of $6 million to ensure the approval of the very partisan GOP redistricting plan, developed and pushed by Washington D.C. Congressman Tom DeLay, who no longer is with us here in the Lone Star State.

So, while the song tells us that “Fairy tales may come true” positive outcomes from the next Special Session would be more of a miracle than a fantasy come true. With all the ongoing special interest lobbying and partisan pandering, Texans will have to “grin and bear” the soon returning pageant of legislative stars, along with the endless array of power-play activities and lackluster political dysfunction.

Sadly, there will be no applause or standing ovations as the Special Session concludes and the final curtain falls, for it will have been business as usual at the Texas Capitol.

THE END. [curtain falls]