A North Texas Democrat nominated for the Texas Senate told a Dallas crowd that the incumbent, Bob Hall of Edgewood, has an empty legislative record.
Kendall Scudder of Sulphur Springs said at a July 2, 2018, event noted by the Dallas Morning News: "None of you should be surprised to find out that Bob Hall never successfully passed a bill before. And we're going to keep it that way."
Hall, a businessman who joined the Senate’s ruling Republicans in 2015, told the newspaper: "I'm not one to try to get my name in lights when it comes to passing bills. I see myself as part of a team."
Still, has Hall not advanced any of his own measures into law?
Records show a Hall proposal advancing into law
Before reaching Scudder, we gauged Hall’s record by searching the Texas Legislature Online website maintained by the Texas Legislative Council.
Our searches for proposals authored by Hall that Gov. Greg Abbott signed or let into law showed one such accomplishment. In the 2017 regular session, the Hall-authored Senate Bill 102, clarifying position titles in the Texas National Guard, made it through the Senate and House and was signed into law on June 1, 2017.
Hall said in a June 2017 statement of intent filed with the proposal that lawmakers previously created new general officer positions within the Texas National Guard but the federal government didn’t recognize or fund the position titles. "This bill would clarify these new general officer titles and duties to allow for proper recognition and funding," Hall said.
Hall otherwise authored 52 proposals in 2015 and 69 more in 2017, records indicate. Put another way, about 1 percent of his authored legislation made it into law.
Yet that rate doesn't capture Hall's full legislative record.
In the regular sessions and a summer 2017 special session, records show, Hall co-sponsored measures offered by others--some of which passed into law. In 2015, Hall was a co-sponsor of seven House bills that passed into law and in 2017, Hall co-sponsored three House measures in the regular session that made it into law and three House proposals that passed into law after action in the special session.
Scudder, responding by email, told us his point in Dallas was that Hall hasn’t been effective.
"I was specifically referring to Sen. Hall's inability to pass legislation benefiting his district as a primary author (in short stump speeches, it can be difficult to specifically outline the intricacies of legislative processes)," Scudder wrote.
Scudder said Hall has never passed a bill.
Hall's had scant success ushering his own measures into law. Still, he authored a 2017 proposal clarifying Texas National Guard titles that passed into law. He's separately cosponsored other proposals now in statute.
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News story, "Right or left? Contests for key state offices offer clear contrast between Democratic challengers, GOP incumbents," Dallas Morning News, July 8, 2018
Emails, Kendall Scudder, July 10, 2018
Documents showing legislation authored by Bob Hall in the 2015 and 2017 regular sessions and measures cosponsored by Hall that passed into law in the 2015 and 2017 regular sessions and 2017 special session, Texas Legislature Online (fetched July 10, 2018)
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