Contrary to the opinion of some, and a statement made by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, HB 63 is not dead in the Texas Senate. This legislation is still very much alive until May 27, 2019 which is the final day of the legislative session.
HB 63, authored by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), would reduce the penalty for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor. A small but meaningful change in the law which would end the practice of arresting people for small amounts of marijuana. The legislation passed with a super majority out of the House 103-42.
According to a tweet by Patrick, he stated:
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) April 30, 2019
Patrick essentially is using a previous statement by Sen. John Whitmire (D-Hillsboro) as cover for his desire to prevent HB 63 from passing. Whitmire previously stated that he did not see enough support for HB 63 to spend time working on the legislation. In an interview with The American-Statesman, Whitmire says his statement as characterized by Patrick was not in proper context.
After HB 63 was amended in the House to make it more palatable for Republican support, including Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, Whitmire said that he did not see the bill as being dead. “The reality is