The Legislative Cocktail Hour: Coffee and buns, CPR, hit and runs
So we have a new Pope and Rick Perry dodged the “will he or won’t he” campaign questions at the Conservatives Political Action Conference this weekend. But none of that matters here. 'Cause this is a column about the 83rd Texas Legislature.
A hearing took place on Tuesday for a bill that would make it a requirement for all Texas high school students to pass a CPR class before graduation. Proponents of the bill point out that CPR can double — and sometimes triple — the chances of survival for someone in cardiac arrest.
On a side note, when I was in ninth grade, I had to pass a CPR class in order to begin volunteering. I was the only person to fail (ever!) and had to have private tutorial sessions with the school nurse during my lunch period. It was humiliating — so if does pass, I urge all students to pay attention. Let me be the lesson.
Hit and run
One bill that’s received a lot of attention this week has to do with the hit and run loophole. Under current Texas law, if an intoxicated driver hits someone and flees the scene, they are likely to receive a lesser sentence than if they stay and administer aid. Drunk drivers who render help to victims are more likely to be charged with DUI or, if the person dies, intoxication manslaughter. Drivers who leave are less likely to have their blood tested and are usually only slapped with a third degree felony. The new bill would drive up the penalty to a second-degree felony.
The Paul Qui Resolution
Top Chef, hometown hero and maker of the finest buns in the land, was officially lauded by the Texas House on Monday for his achievements as a chef and restaurateur. Congrats on having your very own bill, Paul!
Legislation was passed in the Senate on Tuesday that would limit the number of consecutive terms a person could serve in certain offices, such as Governor and Lt. Governor, to two. Noticeably absent from the list of restricted offices? Senators.
We heard from an official, unnamed source that the Appropriations Committee does not always have coffee in their meetings. Because I’m a taxpayer, I say that’s awesome, but because I’m a person, I say that’s pretty low.
Tired of budgets yet?
Well don’t be! Last week we told you about the Senate-approved budget poised to head down to the floor for a final vote. Well, it did and it passed! The House still has to pass theirs. Once they do, the two chambers have a duel in the Capitol building hilariously titled, “Duel in the Dome.” (You can read last week’s recap of all the things in the budget here.)
Hopefully, these tidbits are enough to get you through the weekend. Read them, think about them and use them. Don’t be afraid to saunter up to that special person you’ve been eyeing across the bar and drop a load of Texas legislative facts in their lap. You’re welcome in advance!