Chad’s Morning Brief: Gun Bills to be Debated Saturday, Immigration Support Falls, and More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 3, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.
1. Gun Day in the House (link)
Saturday is a big day in the Texas House. Lawmakers will be taking up about a dozen or so bills relating to firearms. One bill that will be debated would lower the CHL certification course from 10 hours to 4 hours. Campus Carry will also be debated on Saturday in Austin.
“Everything from inadvertent display, to parking-lot bills, to the fact that we’re going to adjust the training hours for CHL and the amount of money that’s spent, and hopefully our campus carry bill," state Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, said when describing what he called "gun bill day" in the Texas House.
He’s the author of that campus carry bill, which would let concealed handgun licensees bring their weapon onto a private or public college campus. The Senate also has a campus carry bill, but it tells license holders to leave the gun in their car in the campus parking lot. Fletcher hopes to get a stronger bill out of the House.
“They’re not the 18-year-old frat kids. It’s 21-year-olds who’ve lived a life … who have no criminal history, that have CHL’s. And we’re going to see if we can make it a lot more safe for them to carry their weapons on college campus," Fletcher said.
Lawmakers have tried and failed to pass a campus carry bill over the last few legislative sessions. But the issues got a jolt from the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut last December. Legislation to improve K-through-12 school safety followed as well. State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, has a bill up on Saturday that would create a new class of peace officer: a school marshal.
"Our vision is that the vice principal during the summer will take time for a couple of weeks to learn to be trained as a marshal," Villalba said. "It could also be a teacher, it could be a principal, it could be a coach, it could even be a custodian. Anybody who is at the campus already and who is already employed by the school can volunteer in this role."
It will be interesting to see what happens with these bills on Saturday. My hope is that the Campus Carry bill will be strengthened and approved. Students and staff members who have a CHL should be allowed to carry on campus. None of the public universities should have the option of opting out.
2. Immigration Polls Slide (link)
New polls are showing that the public is a little more skeptical towards immigration reform after the Boston terror attack.
Three new polls show strong or increasing public skepticism towards immigration, even as majorities offer conditional support for a regulated amnesty for illegal immigrants.
A New York Times poll released May 1 shows shows that 43 percent of respondents believe that illegal immigrants should receive citizenship. That’s down eight points from January. Opposition to citizenship rose from 24 to 32 percent.
A May 2 Quinnipiac University poll showed a seven-point drop since April — from 59 percent to 52 percent — in the proportion of voters who said that illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for citizenship.
“Illegal immigrants should be required to leave, 30 percent of voters say, up from 25 percent four weeks ago,” added a statement from the polling institute.
One possible cause of the decline was the bombing in Boston, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Twenty-three percent of respondents said the bombing had changed their “opinion regarding whether there should be a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently living in the United States,” according to the poll.
“It is not a big change, but it is a change,” said Brown.
These increasingly skeptical attitudes, however, are accompanied by a high level of stated support for a regulated legalization.
Sixty-three percent of adults in an April Washington Post/ABC poll said they would support granting illegals “the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements.”
Eighty percent of respondents in The New York Times poll said they would favor “providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the United States if they met certain requirements, like paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks and learning English.”
Yet the Washington Post poll, released Wednesday, also showed continued public skepticism over whether the government will comply with its side of a legalization-for-enforcement bargain.
It showed that 63 percent of people supported a conditional amnesty, but only 28 percent of all respondents favored the policy prior to the establishment of stringent border controls.
Sixty-seven percent of respondents want more spending on border security and 83 percent want companies to identify and exclude illegal immigrants, the poll said.
The discordant results exist because groups of Americans want different actions on immigration, yet their wishes sometime overlap, Brown said.
“Immigration is a very nuanced issue … Americans want to be welcoming [and] they are also very, very unhappy with the inability to stop increased illegal immigration across the borders,” Brown said.
“There is no trust at all that the federal government will actually enforce any provisions on border security,” pollster Scott Rasmussen told The Daily Caller.
An April poll that he conducted showed that only 9 percent believe “it is very likely the government will enforce the laws,” he said.
To win passage of an immigration bill, “you’re going to have to convince people that the government will actually follow the law,” Rasmussen said.
“The most overlooked part of the debate is that people are not angry at immigrants who come here — they understand why someone would want to come here — they’re angry at the federal government for not enforcing the law and because [it seems to be] actively engaged in policies to encourage immigration,” he said.
3. King vs. Cruz (link)
Rep. Peter King of New York isn't too happy that Senator Ted Cruz is raising money in New York.
Rep. Pete King (R-L.I) is baffled that fellow New York Republicans plan to honor a Texas senator who voted to stiff states battered by Hurricane Sandy out of needed disaster aid.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a GOP darling eyeing a potential 2016 presidential bid, is headlining a May 29 state GOP dinner.
The visit is part of an effort to raise his profile nationally.
But King said the party has no business inviting someone who turned his back on the state when it was suffering after Sandy.
“It’s life and death,” King said. “There were really false and phony charges made against the Sandy aid, and if Ted Cruz had prevailed, my constituents would be homeless,” he said.
King previously blasted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for raising money in New York, and warned his GOP colleagues against raising money in the state after delaying an aid bill late last year.
Cruz’s office did not respond to questions Wednesday.
A state party spokesman defended the choice of Cruz -- who is not being paid to appear at the event or using it to raise money for his own campaign account.
“We invited Sen. Cruz because he’s a bright young leader and he’s a member of the Hispanic community,” said GOP spokesman David Laska.
He also said Cruz's vote wasn't meant as a slap at New York, but was instead a stand for "fiscal discipline" because Democrats larded the bill with indefensible pork spending.
Peter King should and I think does know why Senator Cruz voted against the pork-filled Sandy Relief Bill.
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