Dan Patrick Ends Two-Thirds Rule in the Senate
Today Dan Patrick trampled on the democratic rights of millions of Texans by getting rid of the two-thirds rule in the Texas Senate, a tradition that gave voice to underrepresented Texans for decades and allowed for compromise among Senators in the chamber. The Senate changed the two-thirds rule to a three-fifths rule—only 19 votes are now required to bring a bill up for debate, to suspend public notice and meeting requirements—making it more difficult for Senators to filibuster and for Texans to participate in the legislative process. These new rules allow the Texas Senate to rapidly pass legislation without transparency.
For a long time, the Senate was considered a sort of safeguard against the House because of its two-thirds rule, serving as a filter for extreme and superfluous legislation coming out of the House and representing those voices that are often not heard or considered at the Capitol. Now that the rule is gone, all bets are off for what will hit the floor – and ultimately pass – in the Legislature as a whole.
Below is the change in its entirety: