Tuesday, June 18, 2024 Jun 18, 2024
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State Rep. Lyle Larson Wants to Create Permanent Tent Jails, and Other Fun Bills Filed Before the 83rd Texas Legislative Session


Back in 2011, State Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) filed a bill that would allow jails in Texas to permanently house inmates in tents.

“It’s not like it’s cruel and unusual punishment. People in Afghanistan and Iraq are being subjected to the same conditions throughout the world in our military branches,” he said at the time, apparently not fully understanding what it’s like to live in a tent in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Well, that bill’s back before the 83rd Texas Legislature, which returned to Austin today. I spent the better part of this morning skimming through all of the filed bills, looking for the tastiest nuggets. Here’s “the best,” by which I mean strangest, most ridiculous, and most strangely, ridiculously specific. There are plenty of people reporting on actual news.

There are two separate bills honoring Johnny Manziel for his Heisman, and one for RGIII. There’s one designating Gregg County the “Balloon Race Capital of Texas,” and another naming Nacogdoches the “Garden Capital of Texas.” Of course someone wants to display the Ten Commandments in public schools, but you better put a cap on the size of fifth-grade classrooms, too. Bicyclists who don’t have lights on the fronts and backs of their bikes — lights that can be spotted by up to a tenth of a mile away, at night – may be fined. We might also finally get that “pet” definition we’ve all been waiting for, and we’ll also, for some reason, as a state and not a country, be “commending Israel for its cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with the United States and the State of Texas and supporting Israel in its legal, historical, moral, and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense.” We also might ban soda in schools. Good luck with that one.