When the 87th Legislature convenes in January, expect the usual high drama, hot air and occasional comedy typical of Texas politicians whenever they gather in Austin.
However, while politics may be a spectator sport, there are still some serious issues legislators in the Republican-controlled Capitol must address.
This session will be even more noteworthy than most, as the gavel comes down at the beginning of a post-Trump era and under the cloud of a debilitating pandemic, vaccine or not.
While all of this is going on, we would also like to suggest some initiatives lawmakers should consider as part of their agenda:
Enact tougher criminal penalties when protests turn violent and/or destructive; take a step back from the “defund the police” rhetoric and instead focus on equitable criminal-justice reform, while also providing more resources to officers; pushing more law-enforcement accountability; decriminalize marijuana; eliminate or reduce reliance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness; enhance public-broadband access; and create more assistance for small businesses and workforce development.
The Legislature is scheduled to conclude May 31, barring a special session. Let’s hope they can get past the posturing and act on some of these measures.