The House concurred in the Senate’s amendment to House Bill 25 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton), sending the measure to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. The bill would end the practice of voting for all of a party’s candidates using a single punch, mark or other action. Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), the bill’s Senate sponsor, added an amendment delaying implementation until 2020.
The unofficial final vote was 89-45 in favor of concurring. The ayes included several Democrats and Republicans who opposed the measure earlier this month. Democratic Reps. Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio), Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville), Mary Ann Perez (D-Houston), Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), Richard Raymond (D-Laredo), Shawn Thierry (D-Houston), Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) and Hubert Vo (D-Houston) voted for concurrence. Of those representatives, only Pickett previously voted for the bill.
Reps. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake), Lance Gooden (R-Terrell), Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), Larry Phillips (R-Sherman), Mike Schofield (R-Katy) and Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) voted against concurrence. Gooden, Klick, Phillips and Schofield previously voted against the bill.
Once a fairly common practice, single-punch straight-party voting is currently available in just 10 states, including Texas. If Gov. Abbott signs the bill, Texas would become the 12th state to pass legislation or otherwise administratively act to end the practice since 1994.
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