The message below was prepared and sent out by Senator Dan Patrick on Tuesday, June 28, 2011:
I have been sent several e-mails that are circulating today concerning Sanctuary City and the TSA bill. They are either biased due to a friendship with someone, or they simply are mis-informed and don’t know the facts. The facts do not lie. This is long, but you need the facts and the full picture. I appreciate all you do for Texas. I don’t want a feud between the House and the Senate. But, when people send out false information it has to be answered. I appreciate the work the House did this year. I am frustrated how the final two weeks ended stopping us from passing Sanctuary City and TSA bills. I’m not blaming anyone, or pointing a finger, simply setting the record straight based on the facts.
First, let me be clear. Rep David Simpson did all he could to pass this bill. He gets great credit and my respect for never giving up. He is a good man. The facts contained do not reflect his desire to seek delay at any step of the way. I will let him speak for himself…
1. Early in the week of June 13th, I believe the 13th or 14th, Rep Simpson, who has worked his heart out on the TSA bill, told me he had the votes to pass his bill out of committee and asked me if we had the votes in the Senate. He passed the bill out without opposition that week, on Monday or Tuesday I believe. 13th or 14th He can confirm date.
2. I worked to get the votes again and on June 14th. I had my votes again. On June 15th I delivered a brief letter to the Governor’s office letting him know I had the votes in the Senate and David had the votes in the House. I once again asked him to put the bill on the call.
3. Perry was traveling that week and was not aware of my letter until a few days later when a gentlemen approached in on June 18th, Saturday, in New Orleans and asked him to put TSA on the call. Gov Perry said there was not time or the votes. The gentlemen told Perry that Dan Patrick sent him a letter. (I had posted on my Facebook pg of the letter) Perry answered he was not aware. The Governor returned to Austin Sunday, June 19th, read the letter and put the bill back on the call the next day Monday June 20th.
4. I met with David Simpson and we agreed for him to lead on the bill and pass it. He asked House leadership to schedule the bill for the floor.
Let’s put this in perspective: He passed the bill on June 13th or 14th, a week later the bill was still not scheduled for the floor. On June 20th Perry adds the bill to the call, but the bill is not set for a House vote until Friday June 24th. WE LOST TWO WEEKS from passage out of committee to scheduling for the floor. The Senate had nothing to do with that scheduling issue. We were ready for the bill as soon as we received it.
Rep Simpson was hoping to bring it up sooner, but on Monday June 20th there was not a quorum and no House business was conducted. Rep Simpson was then hoping the bill would be set on Thursday, but it was set for Friday June 24th.
5. On Fri June 24th, the Speaker announced the bill was a publicity stunt and a laughingstock. This despite the fact nothing was said previously in regular session when the bill passed 138-0 (or close to that number) And anyone who knows Rep Simpson knows he was sincere on this issue. He would never launch a publicity stunt.
In addition, this was a bill that was written in large part with input by the A.G office. Rep Simpson agreed to all of the language except changing “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “reasonable suspicion ” which was favored by the majority of House members, police, and the district attorneys. It apparently wasn’t going to pass the House without it. It is said that the Speaker did not like that and that is why he was upset. I don’t know, but it could have been fixed in an hour and passed on Friday, June 24th.
RESULT: WE NOW LOST FRIDAY AS THE DEADLINE APPROACHED.
6. In the Senate we were waiting for his bill. David knew the plan was to take his bill. We had a hearing scheduled originally for Thursday, June 23rd, hoping it might come over early, but when the bill was set for Friday, we scheduled Monday. THERE WAS NEVER A PLAN TO PASS THE SENATE BILL SB 29, but to take his bill. Everyone involved knows that is the truth, including David Simpson.
7. When the bill did not move on Friday, and the Speaker saying it was a stunt by Rep Simpson, I assumed it might not come up at all, and even if it did, the clock would be against us. We shifted gears and moved our bill out of committee on Monday morning, June 27, to give us a chance to pass a bill. We did not know what they were going to do. We couldn’t amend the bill in committee because of time, so we amended it on the floor Monday night.
8. On Monday afternoon I had hope again when the House took up Rep Simpson’s bill. However, they did not suspend the rules to pass it to third reading meaning it would not pass until today, Tuesday, June 28th. If the House wanted to give the HB 41 a chance they needed to at least suspend the rules on Monday to third reading and send it over to us. We could have taken it up Tuesday in committee, and then on the floor Wednesday, but the time was still tight. Once they delayed until today for final passage, the bill was dead coming over to us because of various rules on time.
AT THAT POINT, I DECIDED TO TRY TO SUSPEND ALL RULES TO GET OUR BILL OVER TO THEM ON MONDAY NIGHT. It’s a bit complex, but this was our only chance to suspend the rules. I needed to convince 2 Democrats to suspend last night. I did and we passed it our about 9 pm last night. So, the Senate passed the bill out of committee and all the way off the floor in 12 hours, while the House took two weeks from committee to House passage, and actually never finally passed it out as of tonight. Even if they did there was not time. We would need to suspend rules several times and would not have had the votes to do as we had last night, when I only needed to suspend once with 2 extra votes.
9. Today the House did not gavel in until 2 pm. Because they adjourned yesterday they could not take the bill last night. We could not send it over to them until they gaveled in today at 2 pm. We sent the bill over about 2:20-30, along with HB 79.
THE HOUSE REFUSED TO ALLOW OUR MESSENGER TO DELIVER EITHER HB 79, a court reform bill, or SB 29 TSA bill. Veterans who have been in the legislature a long time, nor the media, could remember one chamber keeping a messenger out from delivering important bills, especially with deadlines only a day off. It may have happened once a long time ago, but one has to sake why the House refused to accept SB 29 and HB 79. I believe they finally accepted it later in the day.
10. Instead of taking up our bill, a strong bill that was written with the help of district attorneys, to be sure they could prosecute, the AG office, to be sure they could defend in Court, and removed some language opposed by citizens, and the exact language Speaker Strauss and the House required changing from “probable cause” to “reasonable suspicion with an unknown or unlawful object.”
11. Sanctuary City bill. The Senate passed over SB 9 a Sanctuary City bill almost two weeks ago that required proof of citizenship to get a drivers license, requiring all people arrested go through a Secure Community Check for citizenship, and allowing local police to inquire on a person being legal present in the state and country
THIS BILL HAS NEVER BEEN VOTED OUT OF COMMITTEE. IT HAS SAT FOR TWO WEEKS WITH NO ACTION.
The House wanted the Senate to add some weak immigration language to Senate bill 1, the fiscal matters bill. That bill is a must pass bill. Adding sanctuary city language, even with weak language, would have killed the bill because the Democrats would have filibustered again and we would be back in another special session. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS PASS SB 9 during the last two weeks.
I have laid out the facts. I cannot address those who have a friend in the House or a bias and who are trying to defend these actions. These are the facts, HB 41 TSA passes out of committee June 13th or 14th, and it takes 10 days to get a floor vote, and when it comes up the Speaker pulls it down. Then when they pass it on Monday, June 27th, they don’t pass it to third reading, waiting until today, which kills the bill, with only one day left in session and time lines we could not has suspended. If we could have suspended it would have been only with a few hour left on Wednesday night and the Democrats would have filibustered it.
We passed our bill as a last resort to keep the issue alive. The House could have suspended rules, they have 101 Rs, and the bill was supported without a no vote previously. They could taken up the Senate bill by tomorrow, passed it, and send it to the Governor.
Instead they refuse to accept the bill at first from our messenger with the clock ticking.
Why there was a long delay on both TSA and Sanctuary City bills in the House is for them to answer. They clearly had plenty of time to pass both. A lack of quorum on several days didn’t help, but they still had time.
The Senate passed every bill we were asked to pass during Special. We finished our work and with no time left to accept any bills and pass tomorrow, we concluded today.
This isn’t about a battle between the House and Senate, it’s about doing the job people asked us to do. I have given you the facts. I will let you decide the truth. I can tell you we did all we could in the Senate to pass both the TSA bill and Sanctuary City bills. I think the facts show the House did not.
Senator Dan Patrick