Texas House passes Red Light Camera ban bill, sort of.

Late Tuesday night May 7th, 2019 the Texas house of representatives passed HB1631 to final engrossment. As it was written Representative Jonathan Stickland's, (R-Bedford), bill was a true red light camera ban. One where when the bill goes into effect all of the dangerous and unconstitutional red light cameras in Texas would go dark. What ended up passing is something different from that.

Representative Armando Martinez (D-Weslaco) offered an amendment to the bill to implement a camera industry favored clause to grandfather in all existing red light cameras until their contracts run out in decades. This amendment guarantees that no red light camera would come down for years to come. Unfortunately, with support from many Republican representatives like Dan Huberty, (R-Kingwood), who was seen rallying votes for it, the red light camera saving amendment was added to the ban bill. This makes the ban bill not really a ban bill. Worse yet, when Huberty had effectively helped pass the Democrat introduced amendment he then voted for the bill to try to clean his skirt so he can claim he supported the ban.

Representative Briscoe Cain, (R-Deer Park), did weaken the grandfather clause by adding an amendment which would mean that any city that has a clause in their contract to allow them to cancel the program has to do so and that the effective date for that was yesterday. This means cities can't go back and change their contract to extend their terms.

There were many state representatives that voted for the amendment to save the cameras but then voted for the red light camera bill once it was added. This deception is not uncommon by politicians that want to CYA on their bad votes. The following Representatives voted for the amendment to gut the ban bill and save red light cameras for decades to come in Texas. This was the real red light camera vote.

Allen; Allison; Anchia; Ashby; Bailes; Beckley; Bernal; Blanco; Bowers; Buckley; Bucy; Button; Calanni; Canales; Clardy; Cole; Coleman; Collier; Cyrier; Davis, S.; Davis, Y.; Deshotel; Dominguez; Dutton; Farrar; Fierro; Flynn; Geren; Gervin-Hawkins; González, J.; González, M.; Goodwin; Guerra; Guillen; Gutierrez; Harless; Hernandez; Herrero; Hinojosa; Howard; Huberty; Israel; Johnson, J.E.; Kacal; King, T.; Landgraf; Larson; Longoria; Lopez; Lozano; Lucio; Martinez; Martinez Fischer; Meyer; Minjarez; Moody; Muñoz; Murphy; Neave; Nevárez; Ortega; Paddie; Perez; Price; Ramos; Raney; Raymond; Reynolds; Rodriguez; Romero; Rose; Rosenthal; Sanford; Sheffield; Shine; Smithee; Stucky; Talarico; Thierry; Thompson, S.; Turner, C.; Turner, J.; VanDeaver; Vo; Walle; Wu; Zerwas; Zwiener

Note; these 27 House Republicans voted against their party platform plank #110 which calls for an outright ban on photo enforcement. 

Allison, Ashby, Bailes, Buckley, Button, Clardy, Cyrier, Davis S, Flynn, Geren, Harless, Huberty, Kacal, Landgraf, Larson, Lozano, Meyer, Murphy, Paddie, Price, Raney, Sanford, Sheffield, Shine, Stucky, VanDeaver, Zerwas.

House members want to take credit for "banning" red light cameras while being able to tell the greedy cities and camera companies that they really helped them by guaranteeing their profits will keep rolling in for years. I don't know about you but I am tired of fake votes and two faced politicians.

Fortunately there are several ways for us to restore the camera ban bill to actually being a ban bill. The next steps are the House bill will go to the Senate Transportation Committee where Chairman Senator Nichols has already said he was waiting for the bill and approved a similar Senate version of it. But the camera companies and greedy cities will have their chances to stop it there too or on the floor for a Senate vote. Most likely they will try to add further amendments to add new ticket cameras such as school bus stop arm ticket cameras to the bill. This would not only replace one red light camera program with another but it would also create a conflict with the House bill and force it to a conference committee further delaying it to run out the clock. 

Texas Campaign For Liberty will be there all the way to make sure your voices are heard that we don't want a fake camera ban. 

Fortunately, the likely Senate sponsor of the bill Senator Bob Hall, (R-Rockwall), has already made several promises to not accept a grandfather clause in the Senate version of the bill and even removed the grandfather clause in his bill when it was heard in the Senate House committee a few weeks ago. Our hope is that Senators Hall and Nichols will keep their promises to move a real red light camera ban bill through the Senate quickly with no grandfather clause. Make sure you are signed up for email alerts at the top of the page so you can receive more updates on this and other important Texas updates.  

In Liberty,

Byron Schirmbeck
State Coordinator
Texas Campaign For Liberty

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