HOUSTON - With her legislation aimed at keeping violent predators "locked up" once again withering in Austin, State Senator Joan Huffman pounded eloping House Democrats for, in her view, putting electoral politics ahead of public safety.
"I'm angry. How can we let this keep happening? The bill we have passed out of the Senate and the constitutional amendment is targeted at violent repeat offenders who have been released over and over again to kill people on the streets," said Huffman.. "You should be able to walk into a gym without being shot if someone wants to steal your car. You should be able to hold your baby in your arms without being shot and your baby being shot," said Huffman.
With more than 120 Harris County residents killed by criminals out on bond Huffman's outrage was echoed by Governor Greg Abbott.
"There will be people who will be harmed. There may be people who will lose their lives," said Abbott. "There will be people who are victims of crime because the Democrats are taking time off on a vacation in Washington D.C.."
While Huffman's felony bond reform has drawn some bipartisan support, many Democrats like Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis believe it discriminates against poor defendants.
"If we believe in equal protection under the law," said Ellis. "If someone has money and they can pay to get out you shouldn't penalize someone who does not have money."
But Huffman says that's simply not true, if, as she has proposed, Texans decide differently in a statewide referendum.
"If the Constitutional amendment would pass then a high risk, violent offender could not be released no matter how much money they had," said Huffman.
Wednesday was a critical deadline to get the bond reform initiative for Texas voters to consider in November. With their quorum busting elopement over voting rights still in progress, House Democrats insured that cannot happen.