‘Lost’ Bill Makes Way to Abbott’s Desk

transparency bill
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A transparency bill that was intentionally held back by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has now been sent to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott.

After more than a week’s delay, House Bill 30 has been signed by Lt. Gov. Patrick and now awaits Gov. Abbott’s expected signature.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, HB 30 was found on May 30 to be missing from a stack of over 60 bills sent to Patrick for him to sign as required by the Texas Constitution.

Originally, it was thought lost, and Senate Journal Clerk Lourdes Litchfield suggested that the bill “was never delivered back to the Senate.”

“It seems that HB 30 was left in the possession of the House when the Senate adjourned Sine Die on Monday,” said Litchfield, per KXAN.

However, Lt. Gov. Patrick announced in a press conference earlier this week that he had set the bill aside, explaining that the House had initially promised to pass a Senate priority if HB 30 was advanced. The House allegedly reneged on the deal after the Senate held up its end of the bargain.

Patrick asserted that he was unaware of the negotiations between the chambers and “didn’t know anything about it until the next day.”

Once the bill reached his desk, Patrick “pulled it out of the stack” since the House “played games” by killing the Senate’s bill, he said. Patrick indicated that he set the bill aside long enough to “see what it was about” and promised that the matter would “take care of itself before you know it.”

Cait Wittman, a spokesperson for House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), denounced Patrick’s actions, claiming that it “absolutely is political,” per The Texas Tribune.

She added, “The bottom line, he has a constitutional duty to sign this bill. … You don’t make deals off the constitution.”

The bill’s author, Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), suggested that the week-long delay was not a major problem.

“I don’t mind waiting another week for the bill to come to the governor as long as Texas families don’t have to wait any longer for the answers they deserve,” he explained, per the Texas Tribune. “I appreciate Speaker Phelan making it a priority to shine this light on something that should never be in the dark in a free society.”

HB 30 would close the “dead suspect loophole” that enabled the redaction or withholding of law enforcement records related to suspects who died, committed suicide, or were killed prior to conviction. Supporters of the bill claimed that the loophole allowed the government to hide information from the public.

The measure received broad bipartisan support and passed the Senate unanimously. Gov. Abbott is expected to sign the bill.

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  1. ‘Lost’ Bill Makes Way to Abbott’s Desk – Round Up DFW - […] Dallas ExpressJune 8, 2023Uncategorized […]

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