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When the Texas Department of Transportation was up for its periodic legislative review in 2009, the must-pass bill became a magnet for every legislative idea that had not already passed on its own.|
“There were, like, 200 or 250 amendments,” recalled House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, in an interview last week. “I couldn’t even see the parliamentarian for the stacks of amendments everywhere. It was just ridiculous.”
He has a pretty good memory: An aide looked it up and found there were 222 amendments. The most important thing to remember, however, was that after months of work on one of the state’s biggest and most important agencies, that so-called Sunset legislation failed.
“It makes a mockery of the whole Sunset process, and it makes me question whether or not it still serves a useful purpose,” Straus said. “So, let’s give it a try, to try to refocus and instill some discipline, and see how we do.”