The Texas House of Representatives tentatively approved Senate Bill 6 (SB6) Friday which requires large cities hold elections in areas before they annex them, letting those residents decide if they want to be annexed.
A bill with the same language was killed with a filibuster by Senator Jose Menendez (D-Dallas) during the Regular Session. Representative Dan Huberty (R-Houston) sponsored the bill in the House and spent hours fending off amendments to avoid the same fate.
"We have been at the finish line on this bill for so many times. I am very concerned that we are going to take a bill that we have carefully negotiated, putting in the rational reasons for the caps we have to start this first steps in this process," said Huberty.
"Members, I believe that ultimately an amendment like this could create the opportunity for the bill to go down. I'm very concerned about this," he added.
Ultimately, the House approved adding four amendments to the bill, including one to allow smaller communities to opt in for an election before being annexed and another aimed at protecting military bases.
"Texas has a strong tradition of answering the call to support our nation's armed forces,' said Representative Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), who is Chairman of the House Defense and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, in a statement. "Given the uncertain landscape of today's international climate, I am happy that the Texas House ensured that protections for our military installations remained intact in Senate Bill 6 as it cleared our chamber. This prevents undo harm to our bases and the missions they are charged with at this sensitive moment in world history."
The House is set to take the final vote to approve the bill Saturday. If that happens, the author of the bill, Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) can opt to concur with the amendments or request a conference committee to hash out the differences.