With the help of conservative grassroots activists across the state , State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford) and his “Bad Bill of the Week” segment helped to kill off multiple pieces of legislation that would have broadened the scope of government and put unnecessary burdens on Texas taxpayers.
Of the 18 bills highlighted by Stickland, only one managed to make it to Governor Abbott’s desk this session—House Bill 1260, by State Rep. Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont).
If Abbott signs the bill and it becomes law, HB 1260 would require shrimp unloaders and fishermen to obtain occupational licenses in order for them to perform and keep their job. The licenses would start at a cost of $1485, and the bill would also give discretion to a group of unelected bureaucrats to raise that fee.
Representing a bevy of conservatives in the legislature and across the state, State Rep. Stickland has called for Governor Abbott to veto the bill.
Legislation that creates extraneous barriers, such as occupational licenses, often faces staunch opposition from Republicans of all types and opposition to such practices is laid out in the party platform. However, HB 1260 managed to pass easily through both chambers of the Texas Legislature.
All eyes will be on Abbott who has largely opposed increases in occupational licensing, arguing they often “results in less competition, fewer choices, higher costs, and the potential to thwart innovation.”
If Abbott decides to veto the legislation then Stickland, and more importantly the grassroots conservatives in Texas, will be successful in stopping all of the Bedford Republican’s “bad bills” of the session.