Hitchhiker Bills Start Catching Rides at State Capitol, With Deadlines Coming

On Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor, a House bill on instructional materials was commandeered to carry numerous amendments bearing pieces of other bills that have been unable to pass on their own merits. One such amendment by Sen. Dan Patrick added to HB 6 a short and ugly version of SB 4, the bill on teacher evaluation opposed by Texas AFT that has yet to win House passage. But that Patrick amendment didn’t last long. By 10:15 pm, it had become an obstacle to quick passage of HB 6 and hence was stripped off of that bill at the insistence of the 12 senators who objected to this bad amendment in the first place. However, another bad Patrick amendment, containing his pet project of charter-school expansion without adequate quality standards, contained in his SB 127, remains attached to HB 6. That overloaded bill now returns to the House for consideration of Senate amendments.