The first non-redistricting bills have begun to trickle in at the state capitol for the special session.
So far none of the legislation has been placed on the special session agenda by Gov. Rick Perry, but the first bill unrelated to the focus of redistricting was filed by Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands.
Toth's bill was modeled after a bill filed in the regular session that makes it a crime to enforce any new federal guns laws.
"The new bill now is House Bill 12, virtually the same bill [as HB 1076] but it goes from an A Misdemeanor down to a B Misdemeanor, so the teeth aren’t quite as sharp. But we are actually going to do an additional bill and see which one the governor likes if he is going to go with anything in special session," Toth said.
Toth said the other bill, which has yet to be filed, doesn’t focus on punishing police for enforcing any new federal gun legislation, but rather targets any governmental official enforcing any future gun law.
"So it’s not as threatening for the governor and lieutenant governor and the attorney general to get behind. It would basically include anyone that violates your second amendment rights, and that would be a B Misdemeanor," Toth said.
He said the new bill even caters to some fears brought on by Democrats:
"The only concern that they have with a lot of this legislation is that there are all these federal officials and state officials that are working border security and they are arresting drug gangs, and when they arrest them they are taking away their guns. Well, that’s not a violation of the Second Amendment," Toth said.
Toth said that’s because police can take a person’s gun when they are about to commit a crime.
The second non-redistricting bill filed this session was authored by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Murphy, and would prohibit doctors from performing an abortion after 20 weeks.
On the Senate side, lawmakers have filed bills addressing transportation and higher education funding, a bill that would force welfare recipients to take a drug test, and legislation that creates a school voucher program for students with disabilities.