Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Shadow hearings and Eeyore's birthday

I've been to two "shadow hearings" over the past few days. The first one is discussed in my last post, concerns HCR 64. It's a concurrent resolution, which differs from a bill. A bill is filed to change state law. With a concurrent resolution, the state asks the federal government to take some sort of action.

In this concurrent resolution, the State would ask Homeland Security to free the immigrant women and children in the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor, or at least find a more humane alternative to the prison.

Since Representative David Swinford refuses to let the CR have a hearing, a group came together to discuss the issue and come up with a plan of action. Here's an article about the hearing from the Daily Texan.

Perhaps it will be a moot point after the United Nations makes it's investigation. Yep, that's right, a UN human rights investigator is due at Hutto on May 7. Read about it here.

The blog Eye on Williamson has more on the story.

The shadow hearing on HB 1534, the medical marijuana bill, was held in the Annex last night. About 50 people attended, but there was only one press person, and I don't believe she actually wrote a story about it. If the media had been there, they would have heard some moving testimony from patients and their caregivers, as well as a minister and an ex-DEA agent.

In both cases, the legislators holding up this proposed legislation are Republicans. It's a mystery to me how these people can be so cold-blooded.

Although HB 1534 won't get a hearing, there IS hope for some relief on this front. HB 2391 passed handily in the House. It would give police officers discretion to cite and summons instead of arrest for a handful of the most common petty crimes, including Marijuana possession up to 4 oz.

Saturday after the hearing there was some time for fun. Eeyore's Birthday was the usual blast. Hoops and I took her very sheltered niece, who certainly got an eyeful. They don't have parties like this in Near Walmartland where she was raised. Hoops and niece didn't stay long, but I enjoyed several hours of dancing, listening to music, and people watching.

Sunday afternoon Davis and I went to play in Bull Creek. It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

But now I have a cold and am taking a couple of days off work. Kinda nice to just lie around and snooze on this rainy day.


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