The regular session of the 79th Texas Legislature ended yesterday. For the third time since 2003, they failed to fix the state's school finance system. That was the top campaign issue last year. No doubt, heads will roll.
Sure, the lawmen finally gave state workers a pay raise. But as usual, it is too little, too late. Sure, they increased spending for health insurance for kids and protective services for kids and needy adults. But that was damage control from the last session when they slashed those services. Sure, they gave jurors the option of sentencing the guilty to life without parole. But in doing that, they actually narrowed juries' choices. And the innocent are still dealing with 'life without payroll' (i. e., unemployment and underemployment).
That 'good news' hardly makes up for the fact that this session became known near and far for wacky lawmaking aimed at:
1. stopping school cheerleading that is too sexual (cartoon #168: Cheerleading);
2. preventing gay folks from being foster parents (cartoon #180: Straight by Choice);
3. banning gay marriage (cartoon #187: Same-Sex TRMPAC Marriage);
4. ending the widespread abuse of cheeseburgers, or at least lawsuits over them;
5. assuring that kids will be able to sell cupcakes (and other sweets) for school fundraisers;
6. naming the state cooking device: the dutch oven;
7. naming the state vehicle: the chuck wagon.
Ahhh, Texas! Gotta go.