Monday, April 18, 2005

HB 254 gains unlikely, unanimous support

I hope Scott of Grits for Breakfast doesn't mind, but I'm lifting his Friday blog entry verbatim. It's great news and I couldn't say it any better than Scott. Here it is:

Who said Democrats and Republicans can't agree on anything?

The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee vote on HB 254 restructuring low-level marijuana penalties was unanimous, 6-0, including three Republicans and three Democrats. The bill provides badly needed relief to county jails and may even boost enforcement.

Taylor reported in the comments about the unanimous vote, but I nearly fell off my seat when I learned who the six were: Representatives Keel, Riddle, Peña, Denny, Escobar and Hodge!

Rep. Escobar is the former head of a federal drug task force, while Riddle and Denny are among the most conservative members of the Texas Legislature. Rep. Peña is a crime victims' advocate who entered politics after his son's drug-related death. Keel is a former Travis County Sheriff. Of the six, only Rep. Hodge has been a long-time advocate for criminal justice reform. That's a really solid, diverse vote. (UPDATE: The Startlegram has the first MSM coverage.)

Many thanks to all.


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