Texas Joins 10 Other States Calling For New U.S. Constitutional Convention

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMay 5, 2017 10:49 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Texas House has approved a resolution calling for a new U.S. constitutional convention. The resolution calls for a series of amendments to limit federal power and spending, as well as term limits for members of Congress. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider has more:

Debate over the measure was sharp and partisan, but brief. In one exchange, State Rep. Roland Gutierrez challenged one of the bill’s leading advocates, State Rep. Rick Miller, regarding the House’s recent passage of the “Sanctuary Cities” bill.

“What do you tell all those good folks about the unfunded mandate that we did last week?” Gutierrez asked.

“We’re here to discuss this resolution. Okay?” Miller said.

“But that’s my point, Representative Miller,” Gutierrez said. “We’re here talking about your so-called federal overreach. And yet your own party just last week suggested to all of us that we want to have more federal government in our backyard. We want to abrogate local control.”

The resolution is now the second of Gov. Greg Abbott’s four emergency items for the legislative session to make it across the finish line, following the Sanctuary Cities legislation. Child Protective Services reform and ethics reform remain several steps from completion.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution requires two-thirds of the states to call for such a convention for one to take place – 34 out of the current 50. Passage of this resolution makes Texas number 11.

Texas lawmakers called on state leaders to help prevent police shootings after Jordan Edwards, a black teenager, was fatally shot Saturday. Former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver fired his rifle at a vehicle Jordan was in as it drove away from the officers.

The Texas Legislative Black Caucus and other lawmakers held a press conference Thursday where they asked Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Joe Straus to address Jordan’s death.

Abbott had released a statement to the Texas Tribune Wednesday that said “…the Edwards family deserves a full and fair investigation into this tragedy.” You can read the full statement here.

A new radio jingle is urging people to support a bill that would make possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil offense – not a crime. The Dallas Morning News reports an Austin nonprofit named Just Liberty is paying for the spot. It’s airing in Tarrant County and other areas of Northeast and Central Texas.

House Bill 81 is from State Representative Joe Moody – an El Paso Democrat. Under it, anyone found with an ounce of pot or less would just face a civil penalty of $250. The measure passed out of its House Committee but it hasn’t been scheduled for a vote with the full Texas House.