Harold Simmons, the Dallas billionaire and owner of a West Texas radioactive-waste dump, won yet another tailor-made piece of legislation Tuesday. When all seemed lost, and his bill was hung up on a technicality -- a point of order pushed by Representative Lon Burnam, his lonely, perennial opponent -- the top GOP donor's interests found their way into an amendment to a separate bill.
Waste Control Specialists
The Texas House voted resoundingly, 131-12, to allow Waste Control Specialists to bring "hotter" radioactive material in from out of state. Burnam proposed amendments requiring monitoring of groundwater levels around the disposal wells, but they got no traction. The bill was on its third reading Wednesday.
This wouldn't be the first time state law has been written in Simmons' favor. As you may recall, the legislature passed a bill allowing private companies like Simmons' to handle radioactive waste, and then a second bill limiting it to one private company -- Simmons', of course.More »