Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 22: Senate Bills Start to Move

Today is the 22nd day of the 82nd regular session of the Texas Legislature. The House reconvenes at 10 am, the Senate at 11.

The Senate began referring bills to committee yesterday, SB 42 (transfer of cyberbullies), SB 66 (transfer student loophole) and SB 205 (anti-bullying policy) have all been referred to the Committee on Education, which has its first hearing this morning, as has SB 245, the big anti-bullying bill sponsored by Sen. Davis.

The Senate Committee on Education will likely form a subcommittee to deal with these bills when it meets today. The subcommittee will then hold a public hearing and report its findings to the whole committee. With only 118 days left this session it's important that that happens as soon as possible. I expect the subcommittee to offer a substitute (a way of amending the bill by replacing it completely with a new bill) that incorporates ideas from some or all of the four Senate bills that have been filed on the subject.

We still do not have committee assignments in the House. Until that happens all of the House bills are in limbo waiting to be referred to committee.

It's pre-kindergarten day at the capitol! There are a number of events, including a model pre-K classroom in the basement (it's not as creepy as it sounds). Also, Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) will be meeting with lawmakers today and a rally of people opposed to paddling children will be held this afternoon at 3 pm. With all the events centered around children's well-being it's a good day to call your elected officials and remind them about the importance of anti-bullying legislation. You can find the contact information for your representatives HERE.

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