Michael Cargill is a Texas concealed carry instructor who has been spending time at the capitol lately. He just called and introduced me to Ben Wind of Students for Concealed Carry, who reported breaking news on Senate Bill 1581, which had been amended in the Senate to include Jeff Wentworth’s (R-25) campus carry legislation. The following is based upon Wind’s report.
Today, the House Appropriations considered SB 1581, which originally focused on funding primary and secondary education. Diane Patrick (R-94) proposed an amendment striking campus carry language from the bill. She believes any language not dealing with fiscal matters bill are not germane. Patrick also argued the Wentworth language is “unfair” because only it only addresses public schools. Her amendment lost 5-15. Aycock (R-54) and Darby (R-72) voted in favor of Patrick’s amendment (against campus carry).
No more amendments were proposed, at which point SB 1581 passed as is, 17-3.
Jim Pitts (R-10) chairs the Appropriations Committee, and voted yes on SB 1581. Many consider him the 2nd most powerful House member after Speaker Joe Straus, because Appropriations controls the budget.
The bill now goes to the Calendars Committee, chaired by Todd Hunter (R-32). He sounds very positive about SB 1581 making it to floor.
It’s very likely that points of order like Patrick’s will arise, once SB 1581 reaches the floor. This tactic helps delay bills until time runs out on the legislative session. Considering this, the most important person to call now is Speaker Straus. Despite overwhelming support for campus carry among House members, how Straus rules on points of order will determine whether campus carry reaches the governor’s desk.