A bill to end red-light enforcement cameras in Texas received the green light from a House Committee on Wednesday evening.
House Bill 1631 by State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford) seeks to end the practice statewide and made waves in the Texas Capitol earlier this session after the bill garnered over 100 bipartisan coauthors shortly after being filed.
But despite overwhelming support from the majority of lawmakers, and even Gov. Greg Abbott, the bill’s future appeared to be in jeopardy just last week. The chairman of the House Transportation Committee, State Rep. Terry Canales (D–Edinburg), told media he no longer supported the bill and would likely not bring it up for a vote, despite originally signing on as a joint author for the measure early on in the process and making arguments during the bill’s public hearing in favor of the policy.
That all went out the window, however, as Canales ultimately brought forward the bill for a vote during Wednesday’s committee meeting. The bill passed 9-3, with Canales joining two other Democrats legislators, State Reps. Diego Bernal (San Antonio) and Armando Martinez (Weslaco), in voting against the bill.
The bill will now be sent to the House Committee on Calendars, the final hurdle before reaching the House floor.
The Senate’s version of the bill, authored by State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood), has been left pending in the Senate Transportation Committee since Hall withdrew the committee substitute that weakened the language of the original bill and restored it to its stronger, outright ban language several weeks ago following demands from grassroots activists to not water down the bill.