First, we are thrilled to report the large clean-up bill related to the regulation of manufactured housing, HB 2019, was heard in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee this morning. TMHA’s executive director, DJ Pendleton, provided brief testimony in support of the bill.
About two hours later at 10:36 a.m. the committee reconvened with a quorum and voted out HB 2019 unanimously (6 – 0).
Today was another critical step in passing the omnibus bill. HB 2019 passed out of the House on May 25. Since then TMHA’s Lobby Team has been working to get the bill taken up in committee. Now that it has cleared the committee the last two steps are to be voted on by the full body of the Senate and then, assuming it gets at least a majority vote, it just needs the governor’s signature. Session is coming to an end, but with any luck HB 2019 will come to the full Senate next week.
In other news, many are hearing Jaw’s music…
Today will mark the end of the road for hundreds of House bills. Most of you will be sleeping or watching late night TV tonight when the clock strikes midnight, but members of the Texas House will be in the chamber witnessing the very moment many of their bills died.
Today at midnight is the deadline for all House bills to be voted out of the House. If you haven’t made it out by 12 a.m. the bill is dead. The House is in for another long day on the floor as they work through as many bills as the clock will allow.
With the impending deadline looming, those in the House wanting to kill certain bills they see coming on the Calendar have been engaged in a series of delay tactics to further slowdown the House process. Indelicately termed “chubbing,” certain members are running out the clock by engaging in procedural delays to kill bills they don’t like. As a result, the House is still on the list of bills from last Saturday, and the bills added to the Calendar this week just continue to stack up.
For the last several days hundreds of House bills have been desperately treading water trying to stay alive. However, today those bills now hear the Jaws theme music playing. Simply treading water will no longer cut it. With each passing moment, the music gets louder and louder and a very hungry shark gets closer and closer. So “chubbing” has turned into chumming, and the end is near for many bills.
Continuing the somewhat morbid analogy, at this point bill authors are already scrambling to find a passing life raft of other bills further along in the process to amend. A few fortunate ones will be successful in their final fleeting moments to find new life on a new vessel. The rest, well, you all saw how Jaws started right?
Starting next week, the House will only be able to take up Senate bills that have already passed the Senate. The “Jaws-clock” for Senate bills runs out May 23. But just like what we have seen this week, as that final day grows closer, we expect some House members to again work to delay the progress. The TMHA supported SB 1248 that would preserve community owners’ right to replace homes in their communities is among the Senate bills that if they are going to pass must pass before Jaws comes looking for a second course.
Between working on getting HB 2019 across the finish line in the Senate, and fighting for a spot and vote for SB 1248 in the House, we are also watching for amendments. As the time compresses and desperation escalates the next week and a half will be the most intense time of the entire Session.
Stay tuned for more updates as we near the end of the 2017 Texas Legislative Session.