The Houston Chronicle: Hundreds can’t speak on voting proposal
The Houston Chronicle: Hundreds can't speak on voting proposal
The Texas House Elections Committee abruptly ended its meeting Thursday before about 200 people who traveled to the Capitol could testify on a controversial anti-voter fraud bill.
Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, who chairs the committee and authored House Bill 6, had recessed briefly as he argued with the… committee’s vice chair, Democrat Jessica González.
González wanted to hear from Rep. Nicole Collier, a fellow Democrat and chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.
“Vice Chair González, at this moment, you are not chairing this committee,” Cain said as he overrode González’s attempts to allow Collier to speak. “I’m not recognizing anyone but a member of this committee at this time.”
The meeting’s undoing came to pass for a procedural… reason: Cain had not specified when the committee would reconvene, meaning the meeting must be rescheduled for a later date. He apologized to the hundreds who had made the trip to Austin to share their feedback on the bill.
“Even though I wish very much to continue today’s hearing, the rules prevent me from doing so,” he said. “Please forgive me for my error.” …
Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, said nonmembers participate in committee hearings “all the time.”
“This deviation from standard practice to prevent a Black woman from engaging in debate on a bill that would impact Black communities disproportionately is appalling,” Gutierrez said. “There is… truly nothing more absurd than Briscoe Cain having to adjourn his committee hearing on his bill that would criminalize procedural mistakes people might make while voting because he made a procedural mistake.”