27 May 2008

Floor action, May 27: HCR 34, HCR 100

HCR 34 would ask Congress to call a constitutional convention for the sole purpose of authorizing statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Author Rep. Sam Jones insisted that there never had been a vote to allow either of these non-second-order states to decide whether they wanted to become full-fledged states. He said it would be a good symbolic gesture to other countries relative to Puerto Rico to show the magnamity of the U.S.

Rep. Kay Katz pointed out Puerto Rico had had a referendum not to become a state. Jones insisted it was not a “real” vote and said this resolution would accomplish this. Rep. Sam Little pointed out that the Framers of the Constitution did not intend for D.C. to become a state, and that they had a representative, and that he didn’t want to give them two senators. Rep. Don Trahan asked why weren’t the territories in the South Pacific included? Jones said they weren’t big enough to be considered for statehood.

Closing, Jones said it was only fair since P.R. had been a territory since 1917 and that they shouldn’t continue being “second-class citizens.” A lockout was requested, and the resolution failed 20-51.

HCR 100 would study “positive and negative” effects presumed to be caused by the high-stakes testing that are the LEAP and GEE tests. Author Rep. Juan LaFonta’s bill passed without objection.

HB 1306 is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee; HB 981 is scheduled to be heard by the House and Governmental Affairs Committee.

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