With the Texas Legislature now sworn in, the Texas House is set to consider a new rule change that would make it more difficult for citizens to know how their representative votes.
Currently, the Texas House rules allow any single member to call for a “record vote,” in which the names of each member and how they voted on a given bill, amendment, or other action is placed into the journal.
The proposed House rule would raise the threshold, requiring three members to request a record vote.
If passed, this change could result in far fewer record votes being placed into public record, obscuring lawmakers’ actions in office, and work to shield them from accountability by their constituents.
Former State Sen. Don Huffines blasted the move, saying lawmakers were “terrified of accountability.”
— Don Huffines (@DonHuffines) January 12, 2021
Other proposed rule changes include requiring face masks in the chamber and gallery, creating a process for citizens to submit public comments electronically, and a new “consensus calendar”—which bills can be placed on in order to limit amendments.
House members are scheduled to vote on the proposed rules, as well as any amendments, on Thursday, January 14, before recessing until January 26.