Texas Senate OKs revisions to Texas contentious voter ID law

An Indiana Senate panel has advanced a House bill making the state schools chief an appointed position, despite a similar proposal's defeat in the Senate earlier this session.

Committee Democrats argued the amendment did not change the substance of the bill enough to allow a vote based on Senate rules.

So Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, allowed an amendment moving the effective date to 2025; requiring a person tapped for the role to live in IN for at least two years and meet some education and licensure requirements.

The Senate rejected the bill last month - on the same day the House passed it. Senate rules say there must be "substantial" changes to allow a second try with the House bill.

Bosma's original House bill had set a date of 2021 for the now elected position to become a post appointed by the governor.

Despite being first proposed by the Republican attorney general's office, Senate Bill 580 fell flat in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Sen. Currently, those members are jointly appointed by the governor and the state schools superintendent. On Monday, a Senate committee heard the bill that passed the House.

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To opponents, the bill would strip power from voters.

"My intent with the bill is to take the roadmap that the 5th Circuit gave us", Huffman said.

The move follows a previously contentious four years between Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic superintendent Glenda Ritz, who were frequently at odds over education policy. "I just don't believe this is a need we should be prioritizing".

While debating legislation to keep the Texas Railroad Commission in operation, the Republican-dominated House adopted a watered-down version of the amendment Anchia offered targeting the top officials of companies that hire undocumented workers. However, public universities, as well as private colleges and universities receiving state and federal funds, were not included in the list of "governmental entities", Young said, and SB 423 was meant to bring those schools into compliance with the existing state laws.

It would effectively undo the so-called "Boeing decision" in 2016, where the Texas Supreme Court ruled that such records didn't have to be made public, citing competitive advantage concerns.

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