Yesterday was the final day of the Texas legislature's 2009 session, and with the adjournment came the death knell for one of the handful of frontloading bills (HB 246) proposed in state capitals during the year. The legislation would have moved the state's presidential primaries as well as those for statewide and local offices from the first Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday in February in 2012 and beyond.
Unlike the case in Oklahoma (and several other states, for that matter), though, bills cannot be carried over from one session to the next. So, while the potential is there for the Oklahoma bill regarding parties paying for presidential primaries to have new life breathed into it in 2010, the frontloading bill in Texas will have to be reintroduced altogether. And it could be that since 201o is a reelection year for Texas legislators, they may opt to deal with issues other than the presidential primary; pushing that one on the backburner for another year until the issue is more salient in 2011. As we've mentioned here several times, Texas is still a Republican-dominated state politically and it would be hard to imagine a scenario where the Lone Star state allows the next GOP nominee to be chosen with out sharing its opinion first. HB 246 was a Democratic-sponsored piece of legislation, but it is certainly a measure that could very easily find Republican support down the road.
For the moment, though, we can go ahead and mark Texas off the list of prospective frontloading states for this year.
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