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TX: Lawmaker proposes changing rule on quorums

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posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 12:04 AM
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AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas lawmaker is proposing a change to the Texas Constitution that would stop legislators from breaking a quorum by leaving the state.

The proposed amendment is designed to keep lawmakers from the minority party from stalling legislation, such as Democrats are currently doing in Wisconsin. Texas Democrats used the same tactic in 2003.

. . . Read More . . .





This one goes either way for me.

It is good in that it will force the elected to man up and do their jobs.

It is bad, because some see it as taking away a form of protest.

Thoughts?




posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
 


No one has any thoughts?



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
 


Just getting to this.. the earthquake and tsunami have consumed the better part of the morning. Will look into the bill a bit.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 11:00 AM
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I don't know . . . let's take this out of Texas and apply it nationally to all states. Seems like requiring only two thirds present kinda undermines the point of having a minority party. Will probably be exploited too. What if half of the minority party (Dem or Repub) are out of town for a convention or oversees, etc...?

I imagine the schedules for votes work around those due to quorum requirements as it is now but in the future it could be: "Haha! Those dastardly Republicans are in D.C. but enough of them are left for us to have a majority quorum if we set a vote on short notice."

Party loyalists tend to forget that all of these tricks and loopholes that make the winds shift their way are exploitable by the other side too.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by Lemon.Fresh
reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
 


No one has any thoughts?


I posted this on another thread.

What I think might happen in the future is that some sort of "threat" will be announced to the people they don't want to leave and they will be put in "protective custody" until the threat is resolved and the votes are over.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 11:47 AM
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Hmm.. after reading the text of the proposed ammendment.. I tend to agree that it is a sticky wicket.. However, this does not allow for the minority party to try to game the system either.



A JOINT RESOLUTION
proposing a constitutional amendment relating to the determination
of a quorum of the senate or house of representatives.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 10, Article III, Texas Constitution, is
amended to read as follows:
Sec. 10. Two-thirds of the members of each House of the
Legislature, excluding members whom the presiding officer
determines are absent from the state,
shall constitute a quorum to
do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and
compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under
such penalties as each House may provide.
SECTION 2. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be
submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 8, 2011.
The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the
proposition: "The constitutional amendment to exclude a senator or
representative who is absent from this state from the determination
of a quorum needed for a house of the legislature to do business."



As you can see, in the underlined sections, the presiding officer makes the determination. That will always be the majority party. Thus this is a tool that can only be used by the majority. Given how rarely the quorum tactic is used, I see this as a power play and a bit overkill.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 11:52 AM
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Side note: The guy who introduced this particular bill has also introduced a bill to remove the ability for a "straight party vote" from the ballots. I have always thought a straight party vote was a stupid and lazy option anyway, but it has always been legal and part of the ballot system.

Bill for quorums: www.capitol.state.tx.us...

Bill for party line vote: www.capitol.state.tx.us...



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 12:13 PM
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Reply to post by rogerstigers
 


Straight party is for the ignorant, IMO


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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Whatever gives more power to the party in power is not my idea of good government.

The slog and the fight is what brings light to the issues in the public realm... I am not for
big government, I am for smart legislation, the two often get smashed together as one
which is why some can state it is wise to deregulate a binary capital market under the auspices
of big government. That is not big, that is criminal rigging from the inside

and stupid

I don't think this is wise, however Texas does not have worry about a spilt populace tyranny,
so it does not matter much practically speaking IMO.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by Janky Red
Whatever gives more power to the party in power is not my idea of good government.



Question for you:

How did "the party in power" get to be in power?

Wasn't it through a vote of the people?

You seem to think that the losing party should deserve equal voting rights that do not exist.

Not how democracy works, but do you care about that?



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by centurion1211

Originally posted by Janky Red
Whatever gives more power to the party in power is not my idea of good government.



Question for you:

How did "the party in power" get to be in power?

Wasn't it through a vote of the people?

You seem to think that the losing party should deserve equal voting rights that do not exist.

Not how democracy works, but do you care about that?


1 through skillful political manuvering

2 yes

Nope, you seem to think I think that...

I just want to roll my partie's tanks over zee bonez of my enemiez!!!

Back to reality;


Look, there my be a day when things conservatives put into place, might come back to haunt them in the future,
haunt America... It is Texas so it does not mean much as it will never be in contest, but these practices only empower stricter government rule and solidify power, those things are great until the other guy comes in.

But again it is Texas, so...
edit on 11-3-2011 by Janky Red because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
Question for you:

How did "the party in power" get to be in power?

Wasn't it through a vote of the people?

You seem to think that the losing party should deserve equal voting rights that do not exist.

Not how democracy works, but do you care about that?


Actually, for a functional democracy, you have to have concessions for the minority parties. The allow for alternative views to surface and force a certain level of balance in the legislative process. If minority parties are nuetered, then whoever holds a majority can easily steam roll anything they want through. This may not be an issue in a healthy repulic, but in a situation where the majority party is considered to be corrupt or at the very least not acting in the interests of their constituants, then you end up with an out of control government.

And in Texas, the Republicans gained such control because of a combination of "party line" voting (discussed earlier) and brazen gerrymandering.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by rogerstigers

Originally posted by centurion1211
Question for you:

How did "the party in power" get to be in power?

Wasn't it through a vote of the people?

You seem to think that the losing party should deserve equal voting rights that do not exist.

Not how democracy works, but do you care about that?


Actually, for a functional democracy, you have to have concessions for the minority parties. The allow for alternative views to surface and force a certain level of balance in the legislative process. If minority parties are nuetered, then whoever holds a majority can easily steam roll anything they want through. This may not be an issue in a healthy repulic, but in a situation where the majority party is considered to be corrupt or at the very least not acting in the interests of their constituants, then you end up with an out of control government.

And in Texas, the Republicans gained such control because of a combination of "party line" voting (discussed earlier) and brazen gerrymandering.



No. In a nicer world, one could hope it would work that way, but in reality there is nothing in the law that says it HAS to work that way. You don't have to offer concessions to the minority. The obamacare debate was a perfect example of how it works when the shoe is on the other foot.

And as for this statement you made:


but in a situation where the majority party is considered to be corrupt or at the very least not acting in the interests of their constituants, then you end up with an out of control government.


Couldn't agree more - as currently demonstrated at the federal level from 2008 through 2010.



edit on 3/11/2011 by centurion1211 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by rogerstigers
Hmm.. after reading the text of the proposed ammendment.. I tend to agree that it is a sticky wicket.. However, this does not allow for the minority party to try to game the system either.



A JOINT RESOLUTION
proposing a constitutional amendment relating to the determination
of a quorum of the senate or house of representatives.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 10, Article III, Texas Constitution, is
amended to read as follows:
Sec. 10. Two-thirds of the members of each House of the
Legislature, excluding members whom the presiding officer
determines are absent from the state,
shall constitute a quorum to
do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and
compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under
such penalties as each House may provide.
SECTION 2. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be
submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 8, 2011.
The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the
proposition: "The constitutional amendment to exclude a senator or
representative who is absent from this state from the determination
of a quorum needed for a house of the legislature to do business."



As you can see, in the underlined sections, the presiding officer makes the determination. That will always be the majority party. Thus this is a tool that can only be used by the majority. Given how rarely the quorum tactic is used, I see this as a power play and a bit overkill.


Dangerous...It might benefit the GOP now, but could hurt them in the future if they ever become the minority.

Besides that...there is a reason a Quorum is required....Many state assemblies don't allow for the Fillibuster which takes a 3/5th quotrum of the members to break...so the alternative is to be absent.

Same as the filibuster, same quorum requirements...

I can envision factions of the assembly or the GOP or Dems in general passing laws when let's say the GOP convention is held in a different state? Simply gather and declare the members out of state irrelevant and pass a law?

It seems dangerous and irresponsible to democracy, but hey...it is TX.
edit on 11-3-2011 by maybereal11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 10:25 PM
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reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
 




Ah, Texas. That state MOST begging to be 'messed with' -- as crazy as Florida, as stupid as Alabama, and with the same unwarranted and overinflated sense of self worth as Georgia.

This is a blatant political move with no consideration given for actual governance. If Wisconsin had never happened, neither would this. But hell, it's not like we expect any better from the south -- morons easily duped into demanding less federal spending... until they realize they get more from the Fed than they pay in. When they realize THAT, it's all naked greed with no bootstraps to be seen.

I think the Austin Lounge Lizards put it best:

By God, we're so darned proud
to be from Texas! (Yahoo!)
Even of our pride we're proud,
And we're proud of THAT pride TOO!
Our pride about our homestate
Is our proudest pride, inDEED!
And we're proud to Amuricuns
Until we can secede!

No, after the horseplop they pulled with our textbooks last year, my opinion is that Texas SHOULD secede, then try to fend for themselves. I give them 2 years before they're a bankrupt Latino state begging for charity.

They can go [BLANK] themselves.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 10:25 PM
link   
reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
 




Ah, Texas. That state MOST begging to be 'messed with' -- as crazy as Florida, as stupid as Alabama, and with the same unwarranted and overinflated sense of self worth as Georgia.

This is a blatant political move with no consideration given for actual governance. If Wisconsin had never happened, neither would this. But hell, it's not like we expect any better from the south -- morons easily duped into demanding less federal spending... until they realize they get more from the Fed than they pay in. When they realize THAT, it's all naked greed with no bootstraps to be seen.

I think the Austin Lounge Lizards put it best:

By God, we're so darned proud
to be from Texas! (Yahoo!)
Even of our pride we're proud,
And we're proud of THAT pride TOO!
Our pride about our homestate
Is our proudest pride, inDEED!
And we're proud to Amuricuns
Until we can secede!

No, after the horseplop they pulled with our textbooks last year, my opinion is that Texas SHOULD secede, then try to fend for themselves. I give them 2 years before they're a bankrupt Latino state begging for charity.

They can go [BLANK] themselves.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 10:29 PM
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reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
 


It's a bill that enshrines the rule of partisan absolute majority. Under this bill, the minority party might as well just stay home and watch the game anyway, since their constituents and their desires will be overridden by whatever the majority party wishes.



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 10:39 PM
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reply to post by Stunspot
 


in the words of the now famous meme . . .

lolumadbro?



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