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Posts under ‘That’s our Lege’

Statewide Uber bill appears dead

Close, but no cigar. A bill to establish statewide rules for “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft has apparently run out of road. Rep. Chris Paddie, who authored the measure, said on Tuesday that looming legislative deadlines had rendered the idea all but dead. He said he would look for other avenues for the […]

Grand jury reform bill in trouble

Not good. Six weeks after sailing through the Texas Senate, efforts to reform the state’s controversial grand jury selection system have stalled in the House. A closely watched bill to end the “pick-a-pal” system suffered an unexpected setback late Monday when the lawmaker carrying the bill in the House weakened it and then withdrew the […]

Here comes that anti-gay marriage bill

Ready or not. “Texas is pioneering a legislative effort to subvert a potential Supreme Court ruling on marriage and lock in discrimination against gay and transgender people and their families,” Kathy Miller, president of the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network, told reporters in a conference call Monday morning. “If successful, the strategy could spread to other […]

Senate belatedly addresses one voter ID concern

Better really late and at least mildly coerced than never, I guess. The Texas Senate, with scant attention during an early morning vote, gave its unanimous answer to a lingering question the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals posed about the state’s embattled voter ID law. Among the first votes taken by the chamber on […]

Anti-gay marriage bill set for House vote on Tuesday

Here it comes. House Bill 4105 would prohibit state or local tax money from being spent to “issue, enforce or recognize” a same-sex marriage. It also would ban any government employee in Texas from issuing a same-sex marriage license or recognizing such a marriage legally performed in another state. State agencies and county officials also […]

Rangers to investigate Stickland

It’s starting to get real. The Texas Rangers will investigate allegations that witnesses were improperly registered to testify last week on a bill banning red light cameras at a House Transportation Committee hearing. The House General Investigating and Ethics Committee voted Thursday evening to refer the investigation to the Rangers, a division of the Texas […]

Senate approves limited medical marijuana bill

Wow again. Epilepsy patients in Texas would have access to medicinal oils containing a therapeutic component found in marijuana under legislation the state Senate passed Thursday. Senators voted 26-5 to pass Senate Bill 339, by Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, which would legalize oils containing cannabidiol (CBD), a component found in marijuana known to treat epilepsy […]

Anchia birth certificate bill passes out of committee

Good news. House Bill 537, by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas), would allow same-sex parents to have both names on the birth certificates of adopted children. […] On Monday, the committee quietly voted 7-4 to advance HB 537, with Cook and Rep. Patricia Harless (R-Spring) joining five Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. Four […]

One marijuana reform bill passes out of committee

This is a pleasant surprise. For the first time, a committee in the Legislature has approved a bill to decriminalize possession of marijuana, a move advocates hailed as a milestone moment in Texas. The state House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee passed House Bill 507 late Monday, just three days after narrowly voting it down. The tally […]

Stickland responds

He says he did nothing wrong. esponding to claims that he improperly registered witnesses at a committee hearing, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland released a statement Monday standing by his actions. During a Thursday night hearing of the House Transportation Committee, Stickland, R-Bedford, and state Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, the committee’s chairman, got into an […]

Online voter registration bill appears to be dead

Alas. A group of Harris County officials have succeeded in scuttling a bipartisan bill that would have made Texas the 27th state to let citizens register to vote online. The proposal was co-sponsored by a majority of the House, but stalled in the chamber’s Elections Committee after the Harris County Clerk and the Harris County […]

I repeat, no one will be forced to perform a same sex wedding

This really is a huge waste of time. For some gay rights advocates, a bill in the Texas Legislature that would allow clergy to refuse to marry same-sex couples would be acceptable if it just included four more words. As the Senate State Affairs Committee heard testimony Monday morning on Senate Bill 2065 by Sen. […]

Tesla going nowhere

We have entered the period of the legislative calendar where bills that have not been voted out of committee or aren’t scheduled for a vote begin to get pronounced dead. Here’s the Tesla bill’s obituary. A crusade waged by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk to change Texas law to allow his company to sell electric […]

Dallas writes a letter to the Lege about Lyft and Uber

They would like for the Lege to not overrule them on regulating these transportation network companies. Dallas city leaders, writing to House Speaker Joe Straus, have underlined their opposition to a bill that would create statewide rules for “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft. Mayor Mike Rawlings and two City Council members wrote Tuesday […]

As Jonathan Stickland turns

Cue dramatic organ music. The chairman of the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics said Friday he plans to investigate allegations that witnesses were signed up improperly to speak at a transportation committee meeting from which state Rep. Jonathan Stickland was escorted out. “There will be an investigation into allegations of broken rules,” said […]

Three bad bills

Bad bill #1: State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, has been trying for months to pass legislation that would make it tougher for local entities to bring in more tax revenue by taking advantage of rising property values. On Thursday, he managed to add language to a bill from state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, that could […]

Transgender activists rally at the Capitol

They’re working for understanding and playing defense. Elder was one of two dozen transgender Texans and their advocates who rallied outside the Texas Capitol early Monday, just three days after gold medal decathlon winner Bruce Jenner declared, “I am a woman” in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News. The Austin gathering came amid […]

Medical marijuana gets its committee hearing

Don’t know that it will get more than just that committee hearing, however. House Bill 892 would legalize oils containing CBD, a non-euphoric component of marijuana known to treat epilepsy and other chronic medical conditions. By 2018, the measure would allow the state to regulate and distribute the oils to epilepsy patients whose symptoms have […]

No one is going to be forced to perform a same sex wedding

Would someone please reassure Dan Patrick of this before he wets himself? Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, said he sponsored Senate Bill 2065 at the urging of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. The Senate suspended its rules to allow the bill to be introduced on Tuesday, weeks past the session’s filing deadlines. The legislation would allow […]

Not everyone likes the idea of online voter registration

And most of them are from Harris County. A House panel got a taste late Monday of the deep skepticism toward bringing online voter registration to Texas, skepticism coming from at least one population-rich part of the state. It was mostly shared by a handful of Harris County officials who expressed concerns the practice could […]

Anti-immigration bills dying on the vine

I think I’m going to just got to the executive summary at the bottom of this DMN story. AT A GLANCE: WHERE 3 KEY MEASURES STAND 1. Repeal of tuition law: Seeks to change the 2001 law that allows some students who are in the country illegally to pay college tuition at in-state rates. Status: […]

Driverless car bill is dead

So much for that. A bill to update Texas law for the age of driverless cars has stalled due to two serious roadblocks: Google and major car manufacturers. Both the technology giant and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group, have come out against a proposal from state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, to create […]

Senate passes anti-red light camera bill

Is this finally the end? Red-light cameras in Dallas and other Texas cities would be gradually turned off under legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate. The measure by Sen. Bob Hall, a Republican whose district includes part of Dallas County, along with Rockwall and Kaufman counties, would initially prohibit the future use of the cameras […]

Judicial bypass is already a huge obstacle

Jane’s Due Process highlights just how hard it is for a pregnant teenager to get a judicial bypass for the purpose of obtaining an abortion under existing law. The Survey. Jane’s Due Process (JDP) is a 501(c)(3) organization that formed shortly after Texas’ parental involvement law went into effect in 2000. Our mission is to […]

More on the Texas Compassionate Use Act

The Chron covers the legislation that has been introduced to loosen medical marijuana laws just a bit. The twin bills, both authored by Republicans and supported by lawmakers across the aisle, await hearings in Senate and House subcommittees. The bills are far more restrictive than those that legalized medical marijuana in 23 states, broad laws […]

Two anti-gay bills advance

Look out. Gay rights advocates began sounding the alarm Wednesday after two anti-LGBT bills cleared House committees and another received a favorable hearing. Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, said if LGBT groups and their corporate allies don’t work quickly to generate the type of backlash seen over a religious freedom bill in […]

A different push for health care expansion

This ought to spark some interesting conversations. Two Democratic lawmakers called Wednesday for Texas leaders to explore a new type of Medicaid waiver that they say could provide health coverage to many of the state’s millions of uninsured. The waiver, characterized by the legislators as the kind of block grant that Republicans favor, is not […]

A little trouble in paradise

It’s that time of the biennium, y’all. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s tea party advisory panel on Tuesday blasted Gov. Greg Abbott’s quality pre-K legislation as “socialistic” and “a threat to parental rights,” contributing friction to the already tense balancing act between the state’s top Republican leaders. “We are experimenting at great cost to taxpayers with […]

Statewide Uber/Lyft bill passes out of committee

It’s gotten better, but it’s still not good enough. A bill to establish statewide rules for “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft has been tweaked to address some concerns that its background check requirements weren’t stringent enough. That change – which would allow cities to require that drivers be fingerprinted as part of such […]

Senate passes a voucher bill

Hopefully, this will die in the House. Some low-income families unhappy with their public schools would get help paying private school tuition under a plan that won tentative approval in the Texas Senate Monday. Senate Bill 4, which would use state tax credits to entice up to $100 million in business donations to fund a […]

House approves bill to move Public Integrity Unit

Like it or not, looks like this is going to get done. The Texas House gave initial approval Monday to a stripped-down bill that would remove public corruption cases from Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit. Final House approval is expected Tuesday. House Bill 1690, initially approved 94-51, was amended on the House floor to apply […]

More on judicial bypass

Nonsequiteuse provides an update, and it’s not looking good. Rep. King’s HB723, which was left pending in the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee last week, was weak sauce compared to Rep. Morrison’s HB3994, on the State Affairs Committee agenda for Wednesday, April 22nd. Was King’s bill a bare bones practice run for Morrison’s more robust […]

The alternate approach to statewide regulations for Uber and Lyft

That’s one way to do it. Another round of sparring between Texas cities and car service companies like Lyft and Uber played out on Tuesday before a panel of Texas lawmakers. The proposal that was debated — which would let cities regulate Lyft and Uber the same way they regulate traditional taxi companies — would […]

Still no action on fixing birth certificates

It’s shameful that this doesn’t have the votes to get out of committee. Prior to a hearing on a bill that would permit faith-based adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT people, Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) delivered an impassioned speech on the House floor in support of a proposal to allow the adopted children of same-sex […]