Texas Domestic Violence Bill Vetoed Due to Bizarre Amendment by State Representative
Sometimes a story makes you do a double take so forceful that you almost snap your own neck.
If you've ever sat through a grade school government class, you know that lawmakers at both the state and federal level often try to sneak amendments into unrelated bills in order to do favors for certain people in their districts or pass legislation that might otherwise not have made it in front of the governor or president.
Sometimes these riders make it through. This time, Governor Greg Abbott's team spotted the problem, and Abbott vetoed a bill that had wide support.
The Texas Tribune reports that Senate Bill 1804 would have required the creation of a statewide registry of bond information for domestic violence offenders. The idea was that family violence victims would be sent the bond information of the defendant. If that defendant was prohibited from going near a school or child care facility, the bond information would be sent to those establishments as well.
The bill would have given law enforcement up to three days to enter that information into the registry and distribute it to the appropriate parties. According to State's analysis of the bill, opponents argued that time frame should be decreased, as offenders might at their most dangerous during those three days.
Sounds like a sensible enough bill, doesn't it? So, why did Governor Abbot veto it?
Representative Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez (D-Eagle Pass) added an amendment hoping to secure economic incentives for a nuclear waste facility in West Texas.
I don't know if Greg Abbbot is the kind of guy who facepalms, but I would have facepalmed.
Governor Abbot is, however, the type to issue eloquent proclamations explaining why he vetoes things.
"Senate Bill 1804 was a laudable effort to address domestic violence, until someone slipped in an ill-considered giveaway to a radioactive waste disposal facility," Abbot wrote. "Unfortunately, the bill author’s good idea about domestic violence has been dragged down by a bad idea about radioactive waste."
Abbot's a classy guy, so he says "someone" and not "some wiseass" like I would have.
I get it. Poncho wants to help a business back home stay competitive and get out from under burdensome fees. However, this probably wasn't the best way to try to do that.