They were against it before they were for it before they were against it… Sometimes legislators votes are enough to give constituents a case of public policy whiplash. Such is the case with State Reps. Vicki Truitt (R-Southlake) and Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock).
 
Re-cap: A Democratic lawmaker was able to amend (remarkably, without a record vote) an education bill so that it would have inappropriately raided the Economic Stablization Fund (the so-called rainy day fund). The next day, conservatives voted overwhelmingly — a majority of the House — to strip off that amendment. But conservatives fell short of the two-thirds necessary to remove the wrong-thinking language.
 
So here’s where it gets interesting. Both Mrs. Truitt and Mr. Gonzales were first recorded as voting (SB 2, House Record Vote 58) with the conservatives to protect the state’s savings account. They both shortly thereafter inserted statements in the official record, saying they actually meant to side with the liberals and raid the fund. That is, they voted with the conservatives, but then wanted to be on-record standing with the liberals.
 
That was last week. This week, on Thursday, June 16, on SB 2 House Record vote 94, they both were recorded as voting with the conservative majority “instructing” the bill’s conference committee to remove the reckless amendment. That is, they again flipped their position.
 
(Mr. Gonzales, remarkably, has suggested this week on Facebook that his statement supporting the Democrats’ RDF grab was all about choosing between school children and ObamaCare… Getting there requires something of a stretch of logic, being neither relevant to the legislation, the vote, or the debate on the floor. And, again, he is now recorded as voting — again — in contradiction to that statement.)
 
It would appear Reps. Truitt and Gonzales are caught between the majority of Texas taxpayers who want the budget balanced responsibly (without tapping the RDF to artificially bolster future spending), and a small number of loud bureaucrats and liberals demanding that it be irresponsibly spent forward.
 
Despite the flip-flop, we’re glad to see that they have for the time landed on their feet, standing with the conservative majority in doing what conservative movement leaders, the governor and taxpayers expected all along. We’ll anxiously see if a new day finds them holding strong, or flipping yet again.
 


Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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