Presumptive Speaker Phelan weighs in on pandemic rules, marijuana legalization & gambling expansion prior to session – Port Arthur NewsPosted by On

Presumptive Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan on Monday detailed what legislating during the coronavirus pandemic may look like this year and how lawmakers plan to balance their agendas with the ongoing public health crisis, saying “we’re gonna take it a day at a time, a week at a time, a month at a time.”

Phelan, a Beaumont Republican, spoke with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith in a virtual interview the day before the Legislature is set to gavel in for its 2021 session. One of the House’s first orders of business today (Jan. 12) will be to elect Phelan as speaker after he secured enough pledged support from his colleagues this fall to assume the position.

The House will pass rules later this week, Phelan told Smith, to help govern the chamber for the next 140 days. The issue of how lawmakers can operate safety while remaining accessible to the public has been a top concern for Capitol observers heading into the session.

“There’s 150 of us in the Texas House, and none of us want to pass legislation that impacts 29 [million] to 30 million Texans without hearing from those Texans,” Phelan said. “But we’re also dealing with the first global pandemic [on this scale] in 102 years.”

While masks are required to enter the Capitol, according to guidance from the State Preservation Board, testing is not required for entrance….

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Presumptive Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan on Monday detailed what legislating during the coronavirus pandemic may look like this year and how lawmakers plan to balance their agendas with the ongoing public health crisis, saying “we’re gonna take it a day at a time, a week at a time, a month at a time.”

Phelan, a Beaumont Republican, spoke with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith in a virtual interview the day before the Legislature is set to gavel in for its 2021 session. One of the House’s first orders of business today (Jan. 12) will be to elect Phelan as speaker after he secured enough pledged support from his colleagues this fall to assume the position.

The House will pass rules later this week, Phelan told Smith, to help govern the chamber for the next 140 days. The issue of how lawmakers can operate safety while remaining accessible to the public has been a top concern for Capitol observers heading into the session.

“There’s 150 of us in the Texas House, and none of us want to pass legislation that impacts 29 [million] to 30 million Texans without hearing from those Texans,” Phelan said. “But we’re also dealing with the first global pandemic [on this scale] in 102 years.”

While masks are required to enter the Capitol, according to guidance from the State Preservation Board, testing is not required for entrance….



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