Empower Texans released its Fiscal Responsibility Index for the 82nd session of the state legislature, and my state senator, Jeff Wentworth, scored an “F.” Last year Wentworth was bucking for a job as a chancellor of the Texas State University System, but he didn’t get it. I hope he’s planning to spend part of his summer polishing his resume and taking another run at that job, because after five years as a member of the House and eighteen years as a member of the Senate, it’s time to move aside for a more fiscally conservative Republican.
The Texas anti-TSA groping bill died in the House of Representatives today, the last day of the special legislative session. The bill’s champion, State Representative David Simpson, gave a personal privilege speech after the bill failed:
The text of Rep. Simpson’s speech is available on his web site [PDF]. He directed much of his criticism at House Speaker Joe Straus, who is serving his second term. He was elected to his first term by a coalition of the House Democrats and a few RINOs. Tea Partiers and conservatives voiced opposition to re-electing Straus as Speaker, but the Republican super-majority in the 82nd legislature elected him to a second term anyway. That was a mistake. Not only did Straus work against Rep. Simpson’s anti-TSA groping bill and resort to revenue gimmicks to close the budget shortfall, but there was no attempt, as Empower Texans points out, to enact spending limits, prune state agencies, or reform taxes.