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Day 105 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“I feel sorry for his kids. When they start reading history, this is going to be an embarrassment.”
State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, on freshman Rep. David Simpson.

Texas’ infamous anti-sodomy law—the subject of the historic Lawrence v. Texas decision by the U.S. Supreme Court—is still with us. The court ruling means the law can’t be enforced, but the language remains on the books. So does a section of the health and safety code that identifies homosexuality as a not an “acceptable lifestyle.” As Eileen Smith writes in her latest column, two House Democrats have filed bills to remove these outdated statutes. But some right-wing lawmakers are reluctant to do so.  

With cuts to mental health services looming, officials are beginning to worry that large numbers of mentally ill Texans will begin pouring into already overcrowded jails. As the Houston Chronicle‘s Joe Holley reports, “[Harris County] jail already has more than 1,000 of its nearly 10,000 inmates housed in jails outside the county because of space problems. An influx of the mentally ill would exacerbate the problem.”

Texas lawmakers are taking the day off today to recover from Easter revelries. But things will pick up quick this week with the House scheduled to take up redistricting, and the Senate expected to debate its version of the budget bill.



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