House Speaker Joe Straus is ready to have a “serious” legislative session. You know, totally unlike the last one.
Despite organized efforts to unseat him, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus said Wednesday he is confident his colleagues will re-elect him to the post so he can focus the 2013 legislative session on “serious issues” for a fast-growing state.
Straus said his priorities for the upcoming session are broad: education, transportation, water, jobs and budget transparency.
“It’s 2013 in a couple of weeks,” he said. “We have 17 years before 33 million people live here. They need to be educated. They need to have opportunities and we have not done a very good job in recent years of addressing serious issues. That’s what we’re going to do starting in January.”
I’m glad to see that someone in state leadership recognizes that the last legislative session was an exercise in frivolity and perfervid fulminations that not only did nothing to advance any solutions for any of those serious issues, it did a lot to set us back. I trust you’ll forgive me if I lack any faith that Straus will be able to get a majority of his members to address these serious issues in a serious fashion. Even if he can, the chucklehead quotient in the Senate is dangerously high – they could be a clown show to rival the SBOE – and of course there’s Rick Perry all set to veto anything sensible as he fantasizes about another Presidential campaign. So yeah, color me skeptical.
Asked about a so-called fetal pain measure to ban abortions after 20 weeks, legislation touted on Tuesday by Gov. Rick Perry, Straus declined to say whether he would support it, but strongly implied that he doesn’t view the proposal as a priority.
“I don’t see how it directly affects the agenda of education and transportation and water resources and budget transparency and manufacturing jobs,” Straus said. “But there are thousands of bills that will be filed as there always are and it sounds like that may be one of them. But the top of the agenda for me will be education, resources, infrastructure, the things that will help Texans cope with the tremendous growth we’re seeing in this state.”
I’ll say this much, if Straus actually succeeds at deep-sixing any of these bullshit bills, I’ll refrain from saying anything snarky about him until 2015. It’s the least I can do.