FINALLY, something liberals and conservatives can both agree on:
As long as legislators make deals behind closed doors, as long as legislators can pass laws without having read and understood them, and as long as legislators can vote on laws without providing advance notice to the citizens, the State of Texas and our nation will always be in jeopardy and subject to political whims, pressures and special interests, rather than to the citizens.
Transparency is key to having honest government of, by and for the people.
It is for this reason that I fully support the HONOR IN OFFICE ACT which requires each member of the legislative assembly who intends to vote in favor of a bill to first execute a written statement in the following language and form:
"I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that I, personally, have read (INSERT BILL NUMBER) in its entirety, and that I have taken the steps to understand the entire contents of this bill and its ramifications to the best of my ability."
With this in mind, I intend to write and sponsor an Amendment to the Constitution of the State of Texas which will read as follows:
FULL TEXT OF THE MEASURE -----
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
Honor In Office --- Reading the bill - Transparency and accountability - Citizen input on final version of bills.
1. In order to give citizens the time to provide thoughtful input which legislators then have an opportunity to review before their vote, and to also afford legislators the time to read and understand the final version of the bill, no vote to pass or defeat a bill shall occur in either the House or the Senate until five days (including weekends and holidays) after the absolute entirety of the final version of the bill has been posted in a publicly accessible fashion, on the Internet, continuously, up through the point the vote is completed. Any alterations, revisions, additions or deletions to the bill during this five day public review period will require a reposting and restart of the review period. This requirement shall not apply to dire emergencies involving state security or natural catastrophes for which immediate action is necessary to prevent further loss of life.
2. No member of the legislative assembly shall vote in favor of the passage of any bill by either house unless such member certifies that he or she has fully read and understands the contents of such bill. Prior to voting in favor of the passage of any bill, each member of the legislative assembly who intends to vote in favor of such bill shall execute a written statement in the following language and form:
"I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that I, personally, have read [INSERT BILL NUMBER] in its entirety, and that I have taken the steps to understand the entire contents of this bill and its ramifications to the best of my ability."
A vote in favor of the passage of a bill shall not be counted unless it is determined that the member casting such vote has executed this writing.