companies, a matter that was supposed to have been settled in 1993. Rules were suspended on a 20-10 vote on May 11 to take up this bill. A no vote is a progressive vote. 2. S.B. 28, the joint-and-several-liability bill, restricting the ability of plaintiffs to recover damages in cases where there are multiple defendants. This bill was passed on a 26-3 vote March 1, despite strong objections from environmental and consumer advocates. A no vote is a progressive vote. HUBs 1. S.B. 373, the Public Utility Commission reauthorization bill. This amendment by Jane Nelson to strip a provision for historically underutilized businesses was approved on a 16-15 vote. A no vote is progressive. Labor 1. H.B. 1863, the welfare reform bill. David Sibley offered amendment 15 to give the governor the sole authority to name the commissioner of workforce development. A motion to table Sibley’s amendment and preserve a role for a labor representative in naming the commissioner failed on an 1120 vote on April 25. \(The final version included the provision that organized labor House Education Amendment 171 was an attempt to allow prayer in school. The motion to table the amendment failed on a 36-101 vote May 5. A yes vote was a progressive vote. 2.S.B. 1. This was a vote on amendment 70, which reinstated the 22:1 studentteacher ratio in public schools. It was adopted on a 77-68 vote May 5. A yes vote was a progressive vote. 3.S.B. 1. This was a motion to table amendment 118 to uphold state certification of schoolteachers. The amendment was tabled on a 81-60 vote May 5. A no vote was a progressive vote. 4.S.B. 1. Motion to table amendment 66 that would have removed a home-rule provision from the education bill. The amendment was tabled on a 81-64 vote. A no vote was progressive. Guns 1. S.B. 60. The conference committee report on the bill allowing concealed weapons was adopted on a 101-46 vote May 16. A no vote was a progressive vote. Capital Punishment 1. S.B. 440, habeas reform, restricts the right of convicts on death row to pursue appeals. Passed to third reading on a 124-19 vote May 18. A no vote is a progressive vote. Hate Crimes 1. S.B. 141, hate crimes. The bill was tabled on a 70-68 vote May 22. A no vote is progressive. Welfare 1. H.B. 1863, amendment 18, relating to the responsibilities of welfare recipients. The amendment was tabled on an 118-21 vote April 6. A no vote was a progressive vote not to shame welfare recipients. 2.H.B. 1863, amendment 37, requiring welfare recipients to work 40 hours a week. Tabled on a 75-64 vote April 6. A yes vote is a progressive realization that not all welfare parents can get full-time jobs. 3.H.B. 1863, amendment 23, allowing vouchers for day care of children. Tabled on a 100-32 vote. A no vote is progressive. 4.H.B. 1863, amendment 15, caps extra welfare benefits after two kids rather than one, adopted on a 83-53 vote April 6. A yes vote is progressive. 5.H.B. 1863, amendment 42, requiring welfare recipients to learn English. Motion to table failed on a 60-79 vote on April 6. A no vote is progressive. Environment 1. H.B. 2473, the polluters’ secrecy and immunity act. Amendment 2 would have provided that information from company audits done in industrial plants could not be used in lawsuits against polluters. It was tabled on a 85-59 vote. A no vote was progressive. 2.H.B. 3193, an “Austin-bashing” bill, exempting Circle C from Austin’s water quality protections. The motion to concur with Senate amendments passed on a 81-55 vote. A no vote was progressive. 3.S.B. 14, the “takings” bill. Amendment 14 to exempt state and local governments from reimbursing property owners for land values lost to rules that protect public health or safety. The amendment was tabled on a 91-43 vote. A no vote was progressive. 4.S.B. 1017, provided more exemptions from Austin’s water quality protections for suburban developers, including Freeport McMoRan. The bill was passed on a 10515. A no vote upholds local environmental authority and is progressive. Tort 1. S.B. 25, limiting punitive damages. An amendment by Corte to deny recourse to the courts for uninsured motorists who are injured in car wrecks, regardless of fault, was tabled on a 116-27 vote. A yes vote is a progressive vote for equal access to the courts. 2. S.B. 28, joint-and-several liability. Amendment 3 by Combs would restrict an injured employee’s claims for an injury on the job to the employer’s workers’ compensation benefits if a “safety consultation” had been done within the preceding 12 months, regardless of whether the safety plan had been implemented. The amendment was adopted on a 135-13 vote. A no vote is a progressive vote for workers rights. HUB 1. S.B. 373, the Public Utility Commission reauthorization. An amendment to the amendment would have stripped the provision for minority-owned HUBs \(historically table that amendment failed, 30-107. A yes vote was progressive. Labor 1. S.B. 1, the public education omnibus bill. Amendment 74 would have provided that in case of a local election on home rule schools, there also would be a referendum on collective bargaining for schoolteachers. The amendment was tabled on a 91-53 vote. A no vote was a progressive show of support for organized labor. This is Texas today. A state full of Sunbelt boosters, strident anti-unionists, oil and gas companies, nuclear weapons and power plants, political hucksters, underpaid workers and toxic wastes, to mention a few. BUT DO NOT DESPAIR! r d ,,,, THE TEXAS It o server TO SUBSCRIBE. Name Address City State Zip $32 enclosed for a one-year subscription. Bill me for $32. The Texas Observer 307 West 7th Street Austin,TX 78701 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19
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