Texas House breezes through agendas

Rapid-fire pace of Texas' legislative process

AUSTIN - The Texas Capitol was slow Friday with neither the House or Senate meeting. Most lawmakers were back home with their families, but that doesn't mean the business of the day wasn't taken care of. 

Thursday, members of the House blazed through the local and consent agenda, which is generally made up of bills localized to specific counties and uncontested.

"Requests that members, you be prepared and ready," Representative Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) said before he started to race through the bills. 

The process of calling up bills, letting the lawmakers who authored them to describe what they do and answer questions, then vote to pass the bills to third reading took about 10 seconds per bill. 

Representatives were able to pull bills off the calendar if they had signatures from five members, which postpones the items for a later date. But that only happened a handful of times. Most bills flew through.

Some lawmakers even use their time to give descriptions to instead give shout outs.

"Go Spurs," said Representative Philip Cortez when giving his description of HB2761. No, the bill doesn't have anything to do with basketball but rather the duties of a defense based development authority. Still, the bill passed. 

The House finished its Thursday calendar so quickly that they moved on to the next day.

"Members, I want to alert you to the fact that we are now going on to the Friday calendar," Bonnen said.

The Representatives moved through that calendar just as fast, though one bill did raise some eyebrows-- HCR 32 about the Bowie knife.

"Representative Springer, are you aware that this bill, the knife that you are making the official state knife of Texas, is currently illegal for folks to carry in Texas," asked Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford).

"I do," answered Representative Drew Springer (R-Muenster).

A fact that didn't seem to carry much weight.

"There being 140 I's and no nays, HCR 32 is finally passed," Bonnen said. 

All of the bills still have to be voted on one more time in the House, then go over to the Senate where they'll be assigned to committees and voted on again.

Click here to see the Thursday local and consent calendar.

Click here to see the Friday local and consent calendar.

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