Senate Republicans Vote to Proceed Quickly With Texas Medical Board Sunset Legislation

July 19, 2017

AUSTIN – In a series of 20 to 11 party line votes, the Texas Senate suspended the rules to allow the Legislature’s sunset bills, SB 20 and SB 60 to be heard in the Business and Commerce Committee, chaired by Senator Hancock (R-North Richland Hills). The bills were then voted out unanimously back the Texas Senate for second reading today at 1 PM.

Bill author Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano) explained these two bills were scheduling, and other legislation to keep the Texas Medical Board and other agencies in operation after September 2017. “These are noncontroversial bills that I expect everyone in the Legislature to vote for,” Senator Taylor added.

The controversy occurred when Senator Rodriguez (D- El Paso), the Senate Democrat Caucus Chair, filed a tag motion in writing, to prevent the senate committee from meeting for 48 more hours, and then Chairman Hancock moved to override the tag and proceed with the hearing.

“The Senate is suspending the necessary rules to get our Texas doctors their needed licenses starting in September,” Senator Hancock said in response to parliamentary inquiry on the subject by the Senate Democrats.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick then ruled the motion to suspend valid, and the Senate proceeded with the record vote, which was 20 to 11 along party lines to suspend rules 11.10, 11.18, and 11.19, and allowed the posting.

Interestingly Democrat National Committee Chairman Perez and former State Senator Wendy Davis came to the Capitol yesterday. “I am glad Chairman Perez could see the efficiency of the Texas Senate yesterday,” quipped Texas Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). “As I knew it was going to be a party-line vote day anyway due to their visit,” he added.

“Lt. Governor Patrick has repeatedly informed membership and the public about the need to suspend these rules so that these bills could be heard yesterday, and his desire to proceed as quickly as possible with legislation in the Special Session. I know the Senate Republican Caucus members will come to work and vote on these bills as Texans expect them to do!” concluded Caucus Chair Paul Bettencourt.

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