Texans would vote in November on whether the Legislature should “submit a plan for leaving the United States of American and establishing an independent republic” under a bill filed today (Tuesday) by Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg). House Bill 1359 would be described as a “referendum proposition” and be printed above proposed constitutional amendments on the November 2 ballot.

If the referendum were passed, a joint interim committee would be established to “study and make recommendations regarding the most effective and expeditious method by which Texas may be returned to its status as an independent republic.” Independence must be achieved within five years of the referendum election.

“This decision is too big to be monopolized solely by the power brokers in our Capitol,” Biedermann said in a statement. “This is not a left or right political issue. Let Texans vote.”

It is unclear if such a referendum is permissible under state law. The only types of referendum election expressly authorized by statute are those sanctioned by a home rule city according to its charter and those included on a political party’s primary ballot by the state executive committee.

House Democrats: Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) said today (Tuesday) would be her last day as chair of the House Democratic Campaign Committee. Rep. Chris Turner (D-Arlington), the caucus chair, will appoint her successor.

Local Elections: We are about halfway through the filing period for the May 1 general election ballot. Candidates must file by February 12.

Term Limits: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) re-filed a proposed constitutional amendment (PDF) that would limit U.S. representatives to three two-year terms and U.S. senators to two six-year terms. For those members currently in office, none of their past service would count toward those limits, which would permit Cruz to serve two more six-year terms and potentially three more terms depending on when the proposed amendment would be ratified by the states.

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