Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Red Ink: Texas' Legislative Agenda

With the mounting anger at politics as usual in Austin, we appear to be on the cusp of a sea change in State Government. Here are the things we here at Red Ink: Texas (that would be me and my hand puppet...) would like to see addressed in the upcoming legislative session.

First off, the following measures are intended to address the critical issue of immigration reform and the failure/refusal of legal immigrants to assimilate into our culture.

1: I would like to see a bill that withholds all state monies from any political subdivision (city, county, etc.) with a sanctuary policy, or that spends monies specifically on things such as day labor camps, or any other expenditure that is patently intended to aid and abet illegal immigration over and above any expenditures that are required by Federal Law.

2: Require that all school districts receiving state funds must eliminate perpetual bilingual education and replace it with a year long English immersion program.

3: Any person who applies for or receives state services, including but not limited to: education, medical services, Unemployment insurance, WIC, AFDC, school lunch programs, housing assistance, etc. must prove his or her legal residency status or be detained and turned over to ICE for immediate deportation proceedings.

4: Require photo I.D. and proof of citizenship to register to vote. All current voters must reapply with proof of residency prior to renewal of their voter registration. Photo I.D. must be presented again when appearing to vote to prove that the individual voting is the person who registered initially.

5: Levy a 15% surcharge on any money transfer to any country designated as a known source of illegal immigration. That list is to be determined by the legislature, but I expect that Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Colombia to be among those designated countries. The revenues from this surcharge are to be spent on: Border Security and law enforcement, indigent health care and English immersion programs in state school districts.

6: Implementation of a statewide toll free number for employers to verify identity and immigration status of all hires. Anyone knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant or anyone who fails to verify immigration status prior to hiring someone will be subject to a $50,000 fine per violation. Three violations within a 3 year period will result in the seizure of the company and it's assets by the state for liquidation as well as criminal charges of aiding and abetting the commission of felony trespass for all officers of said company. The funds will go into the same programs as Item #5.

7: Soliciting for day labor within 30 feet of a public street is to be made a class A misdemeanor and will trigger an inquiry into immigration status.

8: Lenders must verify immigration status prior to issuing loans, or other credit. Credit of any sort will not be issued to those not in the country legally.

9: Forward a bill for all federally mandated expenditures as well as the costs incurred in the arrest and incarceration of illegal aliens to the Department of Homeland Security. If the Federal government does not pay the bill, then withhold all monies owed to the federal government until the debt is paid. After all, the problem is fundamentally a federal problem, we, the state taxpayer however get stuck footing the bill for the resulting problems.

10: A bill making it a class C felony to be in the State of Texas without the proper immigration status. The punishment for such criminal trespass is to be up to a year in jail followed by deportation.

11: Formation of a state border security force to be paid for in part by items 5 and 6. These are to be armed with Fully Automatic weapons and provided with up-armored humvees from Texas National Guard stores. This force is to be under the control of the Texas Rangers but will have the authority to request TNG/TANG backup as needed. Texas National Guard and Air National guard will train and patrol along the Rio Grande Valley whenever possible.

Now, for some items not specific to border security and/or immigration:

12: Expand monetary caps on non-monetary damages to all lawsuits in the State of Texas.

13: Cap all state taxes and expenditures except for those for border security, to not exceed 2% over and above the rate of population growth or inflation, whichever is higher, similar to “Prop 2”

14: Cap all school district expenditures for non-academic uses, (special wording will be needed to allow expenditures for PE without allowing the proliferate building of massive sports arenas for high school sports.) to no more than 30% of total expenditures.

15: Permanently eliminate the “blocker bill” requiring a 2/3 majority to bring a bill to the floor of the senate for a full vote.

16. Raise the pay of state legislators to $50,000 a year and eliminate all pension benefits for legislators with COLA raises automatically keyed to the rate of inflation. The amount to rise over and above COLA raises by 3% per term of office up to a maximum of 20%. Legislators may pay into a 401K account and must abide by the taxes and penalties the rest of us are subject to. Eliminate the link between state judge salaries and benefits from those of the legislature. If the Leg wants a pay raise, they must vote on it publicly.

17. All votes in either house of the legislature MUST be recorded by name and must be available for review by the public ASAP via the internet.

18. A statewide database of all public notices and announcements keyed to zip codes is to be formed and made available to all citizens on the internet. No public notice will be legally valid without being submitted to the database. This will eliminate a public notice being made in a shopping circular 40 miles away in order to circumvent the public’s ability to comment on such notices or hearings.

I will add more as I think of them…


Blogger Dennis Fullenkamp said...

All elections in Texas will be on Tuesday in November unless a run off is required. No more bond elections that are only widely known to people interested in seeing it pass.

February 21, 2006 6:14 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

I LIKE that....

February 22, 2006 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know number 10 will cause them to do other acts of violence (to keep them from being deported) and then they could stay here in jail with 3 hots and a cot. Things like killing fellow inmates, ... Ok, never mind.

February 22, 2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

ah, but that is what KCl is for....

February 22, 2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger NAT PIERCE said...

Don't we have some sort of petition & refferendum here?

This Texas' Legislative Agenda would get everybody out to vote and it would pass.

February 24, 2006 12:31 AM  
Anonymous bweldon said...

How about this one...

All public School districts are subject to a full public audit every 5 years. 20% of all districts are chosen for an audit by the state comptroller’s office and then if they pass the audit financially they are exempt for 4 more years. If they fail they are back in the pool again for the next year. Also eliminate the TAKS test. Have the state board of education along with a select committee modify the TEAKS that the teachers currently use and develop a comprehensive exit exam that you need to pass to graduate. The test would be given to juniors in the second semester, and they would have till their senior year to pass. It would be along the lines of the Iowa Test of Basic Skill that many of us took. Also the test would be in ENGLISH ONLY. If for some reason someone comes over here as a Jar in high school and cannot speak English they would be given a waiver to take the test AFTER an English Immersion course was completed.

Also, School districts would be required to keep by law the student to teacher ratio below 25 to 1 for all grades. Teachers would have the option of opting out of TRS and have their money deposited into a 403b instead. (This would eliminate the current Social Security issue) Next tenure be lost if you (as a teacher or administrator) were ever found guilty of mismanagement, inappropriate behavior, or any other offense that would get someone fired in the REAL world.

Administrator salaries would also be capped to no more than 10% more than what a Teacher with the same experience would receive.

Oh, and one more thing...

The requirements for being labeled as a “Special Ed” student would be tightened up. If a student has a learning disability, like dyslexia, they would be eligible for extra assistance but not the free ride they get today. Included in this change is the elimination of immersion of the severely disabled and mentally retarded children. The final piece of this change would be that the parents cannot refuse to have their child either placed in or taken out of Special ed if the school and district can prove that the child does/does not belong there.

February 24, 2006 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Texas move thefts of a vehicle back to a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Reducing these criminal acts to a misdemeanor has just given a green light to these lowlifes. If there is no room in the prisons ... build more!

And to bweldon ...

The bigger issue with special education is the intentional withholding of services from kids who really need it. It is certainly not a need to "tighten" up the criteria. I know this varies from school district to school district. But, as a parent of a child with dyslexia, I can assure you there is NO free ride.


February 24, 2006 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Bill Foster said...

I believe you have covered it all but most especially your article #9 above. Keep up the good work. Would incarceration of illegals and especially of employers who hired them be involved with a mesquite eradication problem using grub hoes on school lands in West Texas? I believe it will save the state a lot of water and allow for better grazing read higher lease fees from ranchers for those properties. I have always felt that positive motivation such as grubbing mesquite is a much better rehabilitator(SP)? of convicts that the current psychobabbe! Just a thought.

Like your column.
Bill Foster
Red Oak

February 26, 2006 3:00 PM  

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