Austin, April 1 – The Texas House of Representatives on a 148 to 1 vote (Representative Jonathan Stickland dissenting) and the Texas Senate on a 31 to 0 vote passed House Joint Resolution 666, which proposes a sweeping amendment to the Texas Constitution, which will ban taxpayer-funded lobbying and radically reform the structure of the Texas Legislature and the Office of the Governor.
Under House Joint Resolution 666, the Texas Legislature adopted the Republican Party of Texas legislative priority of banning taxpayer-funded lobbying and takes the following additional actions, which the voters will need to approve by referendum on Tuesday, November 5, 2019:
- Bans taxpayer-funded lobbying in the State of Texas;
- Citizens will no longer elect the Governor, members of the Texas Senate, or members of the Texas House of Representatives;
- The Texas Municipal League’s Board of Directors will select all 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives with the League’s President to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives;
- The Texas Association of Counties’ Board of Directors will select all 31 members of the Texas Senate with the Association’s President to serve as Lieutenant Governor; and
- The Texas Association of School Boards’ Board of Directors will select the Governor of Texas.
Governor Greg Abbott, who will become homeless and unemployed upon passage of the Constitutional Amendment, was reportedly enraged and fired a shotgun 179 times inside of the Governor’s Mansion.
Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Republican of Angleton, explained the rationale behind the sweeping amendments to the Texas Constitution. “TML, TAC, and TASB already control the Texas Legislature. By allowing them to run the Texas Legislature directly, we’ve killed two birds with one stone. First, we’re bringing an end to taxpayer-funded lobbying, so that no other interest group will have the opportunity to contradict the decisions of those three organizations. Second, we’re saving a lot of money by establishing a system where those three organizations can provide joint transportation and housing for their members who will serve in the respective Houses of the Texas Legislature,” Bonnen said.
As for Stickland’s dissent, Bonnen dismissed the one negative vote. “He’s always been a troublemaker. Why do you think he hangs out with Kelli Cook, Amy Hedtke, and Byron Schirmbeck? Fortunately, that will be Representative Stickland’s last vote in the Texas House.”
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick did not return telephone calls seeking comment.