Hundreds Of Texas House Bills Have Met Their Likely Demise

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Democrats in the state House prevailed this week in killing an anti-gay, unconstitutional bill that would prohibit the use of state funds to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Republican led-effort was designed to supersede federal law in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down same-sex marriage bans in June.

Democratic representatives used parliamentary procedures and delay tactics, known to politicos as "chubbing,' to prevent a House vote on the proposal before a Thursday midnight deadline to pass legislation introduced in the lower chamber. 

The anti-gay marriage bill is one of hundreds pieces of legislation that failed to be passed before deadline. Some measures we're glad to see die, but there are a number of worthy proposals that we're disappointed won't make it to law. 

Here's a brief round-up of bills that we're sorry to see go.

THE WORTHY EFFORTS 

Minimum Wage Increase
Legislation introduced by Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, proposed raising the minimum wage in Texas from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. The proposal, which should be a no-brainer in this climate of decades-long wage stagnation and growing income inequality, never made it out of committee. 

Marijuana Decriminalization
A proposal to decriminalize the possession and delivery of marijuana made it out of the committee stage last week, but the bill, authored by Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, was not put to a vote before the midnight deadline.

Tesla
An effort to allow direct-to-consumer vehicle sales is also a no-go. HB 1653 was designed to sidestep the car dealership model and allow Tesla Motors to sell its electric vehicles to consumers in Texas. Currently car manufacturers are not allowed to own dealerships. Efforts to change that law are strongly opposed by dealership owners who want to protect their position as vehicle sales middleman. 

THE NOT-SO-WORTHY EFFORTS

Recording Police Officers 
An effort to criminalize recording of police officers in public never made it out of committee. The bill, introduced by Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, sought to make videotaping police officers from distances of less than 100 feet a misdemeanor offense.

Preventing UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation For The San Antonio Missions
Ultra-conservative kook Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, led a crusade against the New World Order by filing legislation to prevent a United Nations takeover of The Alamo. The bill would have complicated efforts to add the San Antonio Missions to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. World Heritage Site status could mean a boost in tourist revenue and increase in jobs for the Alamo City. 

A Free Pass To Ignore Supreme Court Rulings
Rep. White spent much of the 2015 legislative session demonstrating that she has little understanding of the U.S. Constitution or our country's system of checks and balances. She filed a bill that would allow the state of Texas to ignore any unfavorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

This is but a brief sample of the hundreds a bills that failed to be put to vote before the Thursday deadline. Lawmakers can still insert failed legislation into bills that still have a chance at becoming law, but doing so could undermine a bill's chance for passage.  

Let us know in the comments which bills you are glad or disappointed to see die. This year's legislative session ends on June 1.

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