Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

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Charles L. Cotton
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Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:13 pm

This is the fourth session for employer parking lot bills and in each of the three prior sessions (2009, 2007, 2005) the House version went to the same committee, Homeland Security & Public Safety. (This committee has had three different names in three sessions: Law Enforcement, Public Safety, Homeland Security & Public Safety). The Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee is the proper committee to hear this bill again this session, because its Members are familiar with it and because the subject matter is appropriate for the Committee. But it is not to be this session. Speaker Straus sent this bill to the Business & Industry Committee and his reason for doing so is abundantly clear to anyone familiar with Texas politics.

The B&I Committee is the hub of influence for the Texas business community. The biggest opponents of our parking lots bills have always been business groups and every one of their trade organizations like Chambers of Commerce, Chemical Counsel, etc. vigorously oppose the bill. With 78 authors, joint authors and co-authors, HB681 will pass if it gets to the House floor for debate and vote. There are two ways to kill HB681; send it to the B&I Committee where it will be voted down or simply not brought up for a vote, or have it tagged in the House Calendars Committee. (Another option would be to load it down with unacceptable amendments essentially gutting the bill.)

At first glance, it may appear that HB681 is fine in the B&I Committee. Of the nine Members, 7 are NRA A-Rated, one is a B- and one is a C. In order to get an A-rating, one must answer the NRA Questionnaire by pledging their support of both the employer parking lot and campus-carry bills. So every one of those A-Rated Members have said they will support employer parking lots. Don't let them start with the "private property rights" argument; it's too late. But look closer. Of those seven A-Rated Members three didn't co-author HB681, but they did co-author the campus-carry bill! (If they sign on after the flood of calls, it will mean nothing.)

A plan to kill HB681 has been put in place and we need everyone to get involved in a big way. All gun rights organizations combined cannot come close to matching the money the business community can pour into defeating HB681. But we have something they don't -- VOTES! Industry can put millions of dollars into campaigns, but we can put millions of people into voting booths. Please call and fax each Member of the B&I Committee and very politely let them know that you want to see:

    1) Quick action on HB681;
    2) A very early public hearing and vote on the bill;
    3) HB681 voted favorably as filed without any amendments.

It's fine if you want to send emails as well, but emails don't have near the impact of telephone calls and faxes, so please don't use email as your only method of contact. I also suggest that you call and fax every Monday morning until HB681 is voted favorably from the B&I Committee. We need to let this Committee know that this response is not a flash in the pan and they you will keep an eye on this Bill until it passes.

Here are the Committee Members, their NRA Rating and a link to their contact information:

Joe Deshotel - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=22

Rob Orr - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=58

Dwayne Bohac - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... strict=138

John Garza - B-: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... strict=117

Helen Giddings - C: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... strict=109

Sid Miller - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=59

Chente Quintanilla - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=75

Burt Solomons - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=65

Paul Workman - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=47

This is important folks. If you want to see a parking lots bill pass, then make the calls, send the faxes, and keep doing it until this Committee votes favorably for HB681. Get your friends and family members to do so as well and stress the importance of keeping up the pressure until the job is done. Let me say this, except for the freshmen, the A-Rated Representatives are proven friends of gun owners, so don't treat them like traitors. Like all of us, they have friends who hold opposing views on some topics and we simply need to politely let them know that they need to side with us on this issue. They can still be friends with industry on other issues.

Finally, as I always stress, be polite. If you can't, then please don't contact anyone. If our people take the OpenCarry.org approach, we'll get the same result -- NOTHING!

Chas.

Edited to change the number of co-sponsors.
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74novaman
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby 74novaman » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:35 pm

I was wondering what Strauss would do.

I'll get on the phone and let them know we're watching and would appreciate their support of our rights. :txflag:
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby chasfm11 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:05 pm

I've been on the phone for a while. I'm getting mixed reactions from some of the staff members from the Representatives. Hopefully, they will all get the message as I'm delivering it.

I'm going to try to reach all of the committee members today.
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:09 pm

chasfm11 wrote:I've been on the phone for a while. I'm getting mixed reactions from some of the staff members from the Representatives. Hopefully, they will all get the message as I'm delivering it.

I'm going to try to reach all of the committee members today.


Mixed reactions in what way? Do some seem to oppose the Bill?

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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby pcgizzmo » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:36 pm

Just emailed all of them and asked for all 3 things to happen.

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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby jimlongley » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:38 pm

What are the chances for the Senate version?

Having a day off today has made it convenient to email the various members of the committee, but my phone calls have been, as chasfm11 said, kind of mixed reaction. " . . . will pass your concern . . ." and "Your comments are noted." without any real positive OR negative reaction. I have not spoken to any committee member direct. I am not as good speaking on the phone, so I will try to work up a suitable fax and send that.
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:12 pm

jimlongley wrote:What are the chances for the Senate version?

Having a day off today has made it convenient to email the various members of the committee, but my phone calls have been, as chasfm11 said, kind of mixed reaction. " . . . will pass your concern . . ." and "Your comments are noted." without any real positive OR negative reaction. I have not spoken to any committee member direct. I am not as good speaking on the phone, so I will try to work up a suitable fax and send that.


The Senate companion bill is Sen. Hegar's SB321.

Sometimes staffers will comment on their boss' position on bills, but it's far more common for them so say something like you are hearing. The important thing is that they keep a record of the calls and the Representative or Senator knows the tally.

Chas.
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby Keith B » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:02 pm

As of now, the Texas House Website Committe page for each member says only Workman, Miller, Giddings and Garza have not co-sponsored HB681. Garza hasn't co-sponsored anything, and Giddings only one. Out of the 4, with Garza and Giddings receiving less than an A rating, I might expect them not to support it, but Miller and Workman should.

No matter, my calls will be to all of them, and especially to Workman and Miller. My calls to those that HAVE co-sponsored the bill will be to ask that they persuade the other committee members to get this out and to the floor ASAP.
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby jimlongley » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:05 pm

On further reflection, I would characterize the responses as "non-committal" at best.
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby Keith B » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:21 pm

I was just told by Rep. Orr's office that he was a strong supporter of this bill and they felt he would work to get it out of committee. I advised it needs to come to the top of the list and moved out of committee in order to give it ample opportunity to be read and voted on by both the House and Senate. Will see if it is lip service or if he will really try to help push it out.
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby The Annoyed Man » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:39 pm

Keith B wrote:I was just told by Rep. Orr's office that he was a strong supporter of this bill and they felt he would work to get it out of committee. I advised it needs to come to the top of the list and moved out of committee in order to give it ample opportunity to be read and voted on by both the House and Senate. Will see if it is lip service or if he will really try to help push it out.

I was additionally told that Orr had signed on as a co-author. :thumbsup:
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby Keith B » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:42 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Keith B wrote:I was just told by Rep. Orr's office that he was a strong supporter of this bill and they felt he would work to get it out of committee. I advised it needs to come to the top of the list and moved out of committee in order to give it ample opportunity to be read and voted on by both the House and Senate. Will see if it is lip service or if he will really try to help push it out.

I was additionally told that Orr had signed on as a co-author. :thumbsup:


Yes, per the info on the House website as of about 3:30 the only ones of the committee who had not co-authored the bill were Workman, Miller, Giddings and Garza. Garza and Giddings may be questionable on their support as they are not TSRA A-rated, but the other two should be signing on and all of the ones who sign on need to help kick this thing out of committee to the floor quickly. :thumbs2:
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby boomstick » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:53 pm

Called them all today! Will do again every Monday till we get er' done!
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby The Annoyed Man » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:05 pm

Okeydokey... I called everybody. I have to say that all the people who answered were friendly and polite, and a few seemed to indicate a personal inclination to be in favor of it - not so much in terms of specific statements of their own opinions, but in enthusiastically identifying their bosses as coauthors.

In each case, I introduced myself by name, and explained that while I am not a direct constituent, I am a Texas resident who is phoning all of the members of the committee to express my concern over this bill. One of the ladies who answered said, "Well, you're doing it exactly the right way. Keep on being involved." Several asked for my phone number with the explanation that their chief of staff might want to phone me back, which I cheerfully gave them. I was surprised that even Rep. Gidding's staffer seemed genuinely glad to hear from a citizen, even regarding a bill that Ms. Giddings likely may not support. All in all it was a pretty painless experience.
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Re: Action Needed: Employer Parking Lots

Postby cowboymd » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:25 pm

Called every one of the offices. Even called my Rep. Phillips, to voice my concern over his supporting Straus as Speaker. The workers responded from "had to look up the bill" (Deshotel) to "he wants the same thing" (Solomons) when requesting that the bill gets pushed through for a full vote on the floor without delays and no amendments. Most responded they knew the bill, and they were getting flooded with calls :hurry: (hopefully for the bills support ) :txflag:
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