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February 26, 2003     (512) 463-0300

Gallegos Files Bill Restricting Use of Pyrotechnics in Response to Lieutenant Governor's Concerns

Austin - Houston Senator Mario Gallegos announced today that he has filed Senate Bill (SB) 693. The proposed legislation would require the approval of a fire marshal or county sheriff before using pyrotechnics before a gathering of fifty or more people, such as a concert or other staged event, and the penalty for failing to comply would be a criminal offense. Gallegos, a twenty-two year veteran of the Houston Fire Department, conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims of recent tragedies and said that it is up to the leadership to make sure that these things don't happen again. He called SB 693 a good starting point and said that he looks forward to working with co-author San Antonio Senator Frank Madla, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, and the State Affairs Committee to craft a solution that is best for Texas.

The school bell rang this afternoon to signal the start of the 2003 Texas Capitol Schoolhouse. The Capitol rotunda was transformed into a classroom today as children and teachers from all over the state convened to demonstrate how technology is being used to improve the way teachers teach and students learn. Diane Boehm, founder of Texas Capitol Schoolhouse, said that the event gives legislators the opportunity to see first hand how schools today are using technology and how important it is to fund it. The Senators sponsoring the Schoolhouse will assemble tomorrow to honor the participants.

In session today, the Senate unanimously approved the passage of the second bill of the 78th Legislature. Senate Bill (SB) 189, sponsored by Dallas Senator John Carona, requires the appointment of a salary grievance committee upon receipt of a salary grievance from an elected county official, as opposed to the current procedure of appointing a committee in January to serve for the year.

The Senate will reconvene Thursday, February 27, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.

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