Austin, Texas – Texas Lieutenant Governor. Dan Patrick On Tuesday, he signed legislation aimed at increasing the transparency of the state’s public records law yet delayed delivery governor for a week.
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His belated move comes amid public broadcasts of increasingly strained political relations between Patrick and his Republican counterparts in the state leadership, the Speaker of the House. Dead villain and gov. Greg Abbott.
If the bill is signed into law by the governor, it would close a long-standing loophole in state law that allows government agencies to withhold or significantly redact law enforcement records if a person is not convicted or subject to probation. Government agencies have used the exception, dubbed the “killed suspects loophole,” to withhold information in cases where suspects die in police custody, are killed by law enforcement, or until he commits suicideas reported by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune last month.
At the end of a Tuesday news conference spent mostly criticizing Phelan and Abbott’s property tax plans, Patrick told reporters that Senate and House lawmakers agreed to pass Moody’s bill if other Republican legislation is also approved.
Modi told news organizations that he held up his end of the deal for not opposing Republican legislation in the House of Representatives, but in the end it did not pass. Do Public Records Bill.
When he found out the next day that the House “played games there,” Patrick said, he pulled a Moody’s bill from another pile he needed to sign. “I said, ‘What’s the bill all about? Let me see the bill.'”
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Patrick said he “stuck” the legislation on his platform, where it has remained ever since. He said Tuesday that he always planned to sign her.
The deputy governor’s office did not respond to questions about his late signature.
Phelan’s director of communications, Kate Whitman, said Tuesday that the bill’s suspension is “definitely political.”
The Texas Constitution requires that the top leaders of the House and Senate sign off on all legislation in order for it to pass to the governor for consideration. Patrick fell for everyone but Moody.
“Bottom line, he has a constitutional duty to sign this bill,” Whitman said. “You don’t make deals out of the constitution.”
Whitmer also accused Senate officials of lying about what happened to the bill and blaming it on the House. said Senate Journal writer Austin TV station KXAN in an email stating that the bill was never submitted to the Senate for signature in the first place. House officials kept the bill and presented it to the Senate for signature.
Modi’s agency declined to comment publicly on the status of the bill even after the legislation was on its way to the governor’s desk on Tuesday. In a statement to ProPublica and the Tribune, Moody did not address the delay, focusing instead on the eight years he spent trying to plug the loophole.
“I don’t mind waiting another week for the bill to come to the governor as long as Texas families don’t have to wait any longer to get the answers they deserve,” Moody’s statement said. “I appreciate Speaker Phelan making it a priority to highlight something that should not be kept in the dark in a free society.”
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