San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 20th, 2011
Wentworth blasts Straus over campus carry

by CHRISTOPHER SMITH GONZALEZ

State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, attacked House speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, today for using what he called undue influence last night to strip an amendment from a fiscal matter’s bill that would allow concealed handguns on college campuses.

Wentworth said he will continue to try to find a way to pass his bill legalizing the carrying of handguns in college buildings but at this point he may be running out of time.

Wentworth had attached his controversial bill to a higher education fiscal matters bill after trying for weeks to pass the bill on its own. The House sent the bill back to the Senate yesterday after deciding that the campus-carry amendment did not belong on a fiscal matters bill.

Wentworth believed Speaker Straus used his influence to get rid of language because, Wentworth said, Straus has never liked the handgun legislation.

“I’m not very happy with him at this point,” said Wentworth. Legalizing the carrying of licensed handguns on college campus is the will of the Legislature, said Wentworth. Blocking the passage of the bill once more, he said, was a perversion of representative democracy.

In response, Straus’ office released a statement: “Having been a member of the Legislature for over 20 years, my good friend, Jeff should know the rules better. I understand he had difficulty in passing his bill in the Senate, but as a former House member, I’m sure he is aware of how we enforce the two-subject rule against Senate bills.”

With only a little over a week left in the session Wentworth said he is still looking for a way to pass or attach his bill to another piece of legislation. But he admitted, things were “looking pretty bleak at this point.”

CHRISTOPHER SMITH GONZALEZ writes for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.

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