I really love NCSL‘s The Thicket at State Legislatures. Karl Kurtz refers readers to Harvey Kronberg’s Quorum Report, a Texas-based source, for its 5/25/07 post, “Top 20 Reasons You Might have a Bad Bill” (click on Daily Buzz). Non-subscribers get #11-20. The rest, for subscribers only.
20. Lobby firm who brought it to you has business card that reads “Bad-Bills-R-Us”.
19. When asked for names of other members who were shopped the bill first, the lobbyist asks if you have lots of time available.
18. Lobbyist supplies talking points for the bill that begin: “Texans want a bill on this topic real bad – and I have responded to their call with a real bad bill.”
17. The Texas Legislative Council drafter calls you up to ask if you really mean it.
16. The bill draft is sent over from the drafter in a hearse.
15. Your staff draws straws to see who has to work on the bill. The loser starts to cry.
14. You notice buzzards circling outside your Capitol office window every time you open the bill book.
13. The Chief Clerk puts on veterinary cow exam gloves before picking up the bill to file it.
12. The lobbyist calls to clarify what they meant when they promised the bills was “agreed-to”. It seems they kinda, sorta forgot to mention this really meant that every interest group in the state had agreed to hate the bill.
11. House votes new rule change to allow speaker to reserve a special bill number for your bill: HB 666.