In the waning days of the Texas House’s 2015 calendar, Democrats were given the opportunity to chew up precious time debating a measure (that everyone knew was going to lose) that would impose an economically reckless minimum wage on the Lone Star State. They got that opportunity because of Jason Villalba, a liberal Republican from Dallas.

In the House Business & Industry Committee, Villalba was the lone Republican to join with Democrats in moving the measure to the floor for debate.

House Joint Resolution 26, “a constitutional amendment establishing an increased minimum wage,” was proposed by liberal San Antonio Democrat Ferdinand F. “Trey Martinez” Fischer III.



Villalba was aided in helping the Democrats by State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Spring) on the Calendars Committee. Riddle, along with State Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston), joined all the Calendars’ Committee Democrats in sending HJR 26 to the floor.

In doing so, they and Villalba let conservative policy reforms – like those reforming sanctuary cities – die unconsidered on the Calendar.

It’s fashionable in GOP politics for left-leaners like Villalba, Riddle and Davis, particularly, to claim to be fiscal conservatives while being socially moderate. (Davis is an ally of Planned Parenthood, Riddle killed the “American Law For American Courts” measure, and Villalba sponsored legislation curtailing citizens’ First Amendment right to videotape arrests.) Yet they voted for what conservatives universally agree to be reckless economic policy: hiking the minimum wage.

Their duplicity on the issue is clear. All the Republicans noted above (Villalba, Riddle and Davis) voted against HJR 26 on the House floor. Obviously, their intention was to give the Democrats a measure they could use to chub up the House floor, thereby helping to kill conservative policy initiatives further down the calendar.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

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