Posts Tagged ‘calendars committee’

Texas Poker Bill to Get Its House Vote

Austin game violently robbed

by , May 7, 2009 | 12:13 pm

As Kevin noticed early this AM (before my post from yesterday doubting the notion went live), Texas’ HB 222 has moved out of the Calendars Committee and is scheduled for a vote on the House floor tomorrow … which means it really should happen by Tuesday at the latest. Woot! Started to get worried there for a bit, but thanks to readers like you and probably the PPA and many others helping the capitol hallway soldiers … The People of Texas, man! … Step 3 of 6 has been successfully completed.

Step 1: Introduce bill
Step 2: Pass through committee
Step 3: Calendars committee

Step 4: House vote
Step 5: Senate vote
Step 6: Governor’s sig

You can see we still have a long ways to go, but Steps 4 and 5 have to be done for sure by May 23, so this is it … we’re about to see if our hard work first steps in the process properly position us to make it through the next all-important three. And by all means, we have to go undefeated … one loss and we’re dead.

Go here or here to send the whole House of Representatives an email letting them know you hear they’ll be voting on HB 222, and that you will really admire them for seeing the sensibility of this legislation.

Meanwhile, as a reminder why this bill is important, RobD in Austin lets us know:

To put a final nail into the coffin of [any] argument against HB222, I was at a Austin poker game last night and we got robbed at gun point (5/7/09, early morning). It was in a nice neighborhood and is known to regulars as FPC. At least two people got beat up. We’re all lucky to be alive. The Travis county sherrif was called and filed a report.

Vote on Texas poker bill on Friday House calendar

by , | 9:15 am

For those wondering when HB 222 would make the Texas House calendar, this coming Friday is your lucky day. I’ll leave it to Dan or other Texas legislation experts to interpret the fact that it’s buried on the calendar, but it looks like it’s made some progress, so fingers crossed poker fans

Amy Calistri = Socialist, Closet OU Fan

by , May 5, 2009 | 4:59 am

It’s true. And she’s been palling around with druggies and convicts just so she can “write about it” and (don’t tell anyone I said this) I’m even hearing unconfirmed, squalidly detailed rumors from an imaginary source that she’s got a thing for Somali pirates! I’ll pull short of calling her The Ann Coulter of Poker … but she certainly touched a nerve by questioning the “good fight” behind our beloved little Texas HB 222.

Player safety, protection from shady games, capitalist personal freedom not real enough issues to vote on?

I might be extra-sensitive because, frankly, the bill seems to be stalling in Calendars Committee. Why that is, I’m not sure … they’ve heard our message, they know it has passable support … throw an amendment on if you need to, but c’mon … put us on the agenda already! I’m a little removed from what’s going on in Austin during this hectic part of the Session, but I’m pretty sure if we don’t move the bill forward in like the next -2 days, we might be in trouble … Just sitting there for like two weeks seems odd, assuming it’s ready for a simple yay or nay. I suppose it’s possible we’re getting Fristed somewhere in the process. Or, perhaps they’re just having a sincere intellectual dilemma, inspired by Amy Calistri’s question:

Why Do I Want to Pay a Rake?

Why is the PPA wasting time feigning a “grass roots” issue over a Texas bill whose only beneficiary is commercial poker – in a state where poker is unquestionably legal? … It doesn’t exactly meet my definition of fighting the good fight. I mean, even the banking lobby doesn’t ask me to petition my legislators for higher ATM fees. And they can be shameless.

[OK, deep breath, find peace … no tilt]


Reports of Texas Poker Bill’s Looming Death: Greatly Exaggerated

by , Apr 29, 2009 | 12:21 pm

Our little Texas poker bill was chugging along well, and then I blinked … poof, and we were supposedly down to the proverbial chip-and-a-chair yesterday. For all our hard work to get it to the Calendars Committee and then let them know how much support it had from a diverse group of constituents … it was just sitting there? The blinds were eating us up, and, supposedly, we were about to take a bad beat from some arm-twisting higher-ups who had had just about enough.

(Note to self: politics is hard.)

But politics is about compromise — I truly believe that the more I learn about the game — not to mention perception of intent. Our opponents apparently didn’t have a problem with poker so much as they did with the amount of poker we were trying to make possible in this bill. So as we speak/type/read, Austin politicos are “ratcheting back” HB 222. If you were a bar owner hoping to get your hands on a license for some live or electronic tables … well sorry, you’re out of luck. The slimmed-down poker bill the Calendars Comittee will (hopefully, fingers crossed) be sending to the House floor in coming days will allow for poker only at parimutuel race tracks and on Indian Reservations.

OK, imho, we can definitely live with that. And great to hear that any opposition is working with us, not against us, in pursuit of a win-win for poker and the people of Texas. Because that’s really what it’s all about, right?

(C’mon river …)

Write Your Congressional Calendars Committee

It just got easier

by , Apr 21, 2009 | 11:11 am

Jeff over at LegalizePokerinTexas has updated his site to make it even easier for you to reach out to the 13 key members of the Texas House of Representatives who currently hold the fate of poker in their hands.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to let them know that you’d really like to see our issues — HB 222 — put to a vote on the House floor so poker players from the great state of Texas can finally have their say.

Here’s the new link:

Click that, and you’ll see a button for “calendars committee” … click that, too, and it will instacheck the right people … so then, all you have to do is press send. You are, of course, welcome to customize the message to your personal liking.

We’re almost there, gang … we’re driving down the field … we need this first down.

RE: Calendars Committee

Three guys who really need to hear from you

by , Apr 20, 2009 | 2:11 pm

While looking through the list … I realized there are a few people on that committee whom we might need to be extra ass-kissy persuasive with. Most specifically:


Rep. Brian McCall (R-Plano) — He’s the chair, so he has the power to make our lives difficult. He’s also a very moderate Republican … so he’s open to our ideas, but you may recall we (poker people) unpleasantly bumped heads with him back in 2007. He doesn’t respond well to threats of not voting for him because he won’t go a certain way on a single issue. So the key with McCall is to let him know that yes, this may be a single issue that matters to you personally, but really it might well matter to Texans who don’t even play poker — because of the revenue it stands to generate, the police and DA resources it stands to free up, the state-pride freedom it represents, and the protection it offers citizens who are attending unsafe underground games or even being robbed in their own homes.


Next Step for Legal Poker in Texas: Calendars Committee

by , | 1:27 pm

Selective aggression … that’s the key here. And it’s again time to make a move. This time, we need to hit up the Calendars Committee. What we’re asking for with them is to get a vote on HB 222 and get it soon. I haven’t crafted my letter yet, but will do so today … in a nutshell I’ll be running down the basics in a single sentence — this bill protects citizens, honors personal freedoms, brings back some pride to Texas, and along with it a bunch of money being dumped in Oklahoma. Will also remind them that this bill has the overwhelming support of the people as well as police and prosecutors, who would greatly appreciate a law that is up-to-date with the 21st century.

Will probably end with something reminding them that this is a perfect example of the kind of sensible government legislation that will show our representatives are capable of looking beyond any controversial rhetoric and doing the right thing … and hey, if we get a vote and we’re wrong, we’ll stop with the email barrages. After all, this IS a grass-roots effort by the people, which makes it very different from the big-money casino bills pending … and they should recognize that.

But really — because this is grass roots and we don’t have the money to pay for a lobbyist to be glad-handing in the back hallways on behalf of HB 222 — we need you Texas-loving folks to get to work over the next 24 hours. (We’ll probably call on you two more times over the course of the next month). We need to hit them up and hit them hard … this is where we got to in 2007, and we did convince them to put us on the calendar, but not high up enough to ever get to a vote on the House floor.

Honestly, for the whole process, it hasn’t been more “on us” than it is right now. Here’s the link to the easy-email generator for Texas poker legislation.

Specifically, the people you should be sending this go-round to (with district # in parentheses) are:

Brian McCall (66) – Chair
Eddie Lucio III (38) – Vice-chair

Norma Chavez (76)
Garnet Coleman (147)
Byron Cook (8)
Brandon Creighton (16)
Charlie Geren (99)
Jim Keffer (60)
Lois Kolkhorst (13)
Edmund Kuempel (44)
Jim McReynolds (12)
Allan Ritter (21)
Burt Solomons (65)