The state’s contentious sanctuary cities bill failed to move out of the Senate late Tuesday — a move some senators said effectively killed one of the most controversial measures the Texas Legislature has considered this session.
As late as 11 p.m., an aide to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said the Senate leader was still intent on bringing up the matter for a vote. (The Senate debates bills on the floor in the order they come in. Going out of order requires a two-thirds vote.)
But Republicans’ efforts were unsuccessful on Tuesday. Democratic senators stayed true to their word to block the bill — an item designated by Gov. Rick Perry as an emergency piece of legislation — by voting along party lines to keep the bill from making it to the floor.
“You know, it was a party-line vote,” said state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, who sponsored the bill in the upper chamber. The bill, HB 12 by state Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, would prohibit cities, counties and other governmental entities or special districts from adopting policies that prevent law enforcement from asking persons lawfully detained or arrested if they are in the country legally.
Yes, it was a party-line vote. There have been a lot of those this session, more in the House than in the Senate but still a lot, thanks to the extremely partisan agenda that Rick Perry and the Republicans in the Lege have pursued. We deserved some clarity about who stands for what, and I’m glad we got it. As always, nothing is truly dead until sine die, and there’s always the chance Rick Perry could call a special session for this, or add it to the call for a special on something else like school finance, but I’ll take it for now, and I’ll be more than happy to continue this conversation next November. Postcards, Somos Tejanos, and Stace have more.