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Posts under ‘That’s our Lege’

Transportation funding deal completed

All over but for the voting. House and Senate leaders reached final agreement Saturday afternoon on how to protect the state’s rainy day fund as they propose to shift half of future rainy day dollars into roads, according to an official close to the negotiations. There would be no “floor” — or minimum balance for […]

Lege may have found a way on transportation funding

As of Thursday, Special Session 3: Beyond Thunderdome was looming. Both chambers of the Legislature were filled with activity Thursday afternoon but they ended up essentially where they had started: waiting on House and Senate negotiators to come up with a transportation funding plan most lawmakers could agree on. There was little sign Thursday that […]

Transportation bill heads to conference committee

There’s still that fundamental disagreement in approach to be worked out somehow. Representatives from the House and Senate are preparing to spend the next week informally negotiating a compromise proposal to boost funding for the Texas Department of Transportation, with the goal of fully passing a measure by next Friday. Senators convened briefly Friday to […]

House passes different transportation bill than the Senate passed

Our endless summer of special sessions isn’t over yet. The Texas House on Thursday gave final passage to a measure to boost funding for transportation projects, though few members expect it to survive the Senate without significant changes. After more than an hour of debate, the House voted 108-25 for House Joint Resolution 2, clearing […]

When tampons are outlawed, only outlaws will have tampons

This is one of those things you just can’t make up. Inside Texas’ state legislature, loaded guns are fairly common. As the New York Times reported in March, “Just as Texas has long embraced its guns, so has the Capitol. Legislators have walked the terrazzo hallways, attended committee hearings, met with constituents in their offices […]

Senate passes non-abortion bills, committee passes HB2

The decks are cleared on the Senate side for the main event. In a speedy Thursday morning meeting with little debate, the upper chamber passed Senate Bill 2 with a 30-1 vote, allowing Texas judges and juries to sentence 17-year-olds convicted of capital murderers to life in prison with parole after 40 years. It also […]

Four things to work on now that the omnibus anti-abortion bill is reality

1. Organize, organize, organize. Maintain the energy and sense of urgency that originated with the #StandWithWendy filibuster. This is a good way to draw people in while the iron is hot. Progressives and Planned Parenthood took their opposition to the abortion-restricting bill winding its way through the Texas Legislature on the road to Houston Tuesday […]

Elsewhere in the House

No action on transportation yet. House budget writers on Tuesday ended a hearing on transportation funding with no clear decision about how to raise money for Texas roads. The House Appropriations Committee is considering several proposals to see which has the most support, even if that means trying to pass a combination of bills in […]

Back to the House

After the Senate adjourned on Tuesday morning without a committee vote on its omnibus anti-abortion bill following the long hearing in which there was a lot more hearing than listening, the House took up its bill, with more of the same in store. State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, the chairwoman of the House women’s health […]

Senate begins omnibus abortion bill hearings

Remember, it’s all about women’s health. Senate Bill 1, and its companion, House Bill 2, would ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization and recognize that the state has a compelling interest to protect fetuses from pain; require doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the facility; require doctors to administer […]

Coming attractions in the Senate

From Jessica Luther, a guide to Monday’s Senate hearing on their version of the omnibus anti-abortion bill. On Tuesday, the House Committee had their hearing for HB2 (what a sham that was, huh?). The Senate version of that bill – SB1 – will be heard by committee this upcoming Monday at 10am. Here is the […]

Public Integrity Unit employees get layoff notices

What is to come if nothing changes. Travis County commissioners are still holding out hope the state will fund the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, but took an early step to let employees know their jobs are on the line. Voting unanimously Tuesday, commissioners are giving layoff notices to more than 30 employees whose jobs […]

There are other items on this session’s agenda

I know, hard to believe, but there are two non-abortion items on the session agenda, and the Senate has already taken preliminary action on two of them. Six hours before a marathon state House committee hearing on abortion, two Senate committees quickly kicked out less controversial bills on transportation funding and criminal justice reform to […]

Protest day at the Capitol

Pretty impressive: The story: Opponents of Republican-backed legislation to dramatically curtail abortion rights in Texas descended on the Capitol by the thousands on Monday, spurred on by musicians, celebrities and their new hero: filibustering state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. Meanwhile, about 100 supporters of the omnibus abortion legislation marched to the Capitol on Monday […]

I do not expect another Ardmore

The AusChron tries to get out the Democrats’ strategy for Special Session 2. When the Texas House convened last last month to pass, on third reading and onto the Senate for final passage, Senate Bill 5, the omnibus abortion regulations bill, Austin Rep. Elliott Naishtat heard several colleagues discussing whether House Dems would be ready […]

Burnam to re-file marriage equality bill for Special Session 2

From the inbox: Upon the announcement [Wednesday] of a second special legislative session by Governor Rick Perry, as well as the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, State Representative Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth) today announced his intention to re-file his Marriage Equality bill from the 83rd regular Legislative Session, HB 1300. “The […]

Time to lace up your Mizunos and head back to the Capitol

Special Session 2 starts today. If you can be there to watch the proceedings in the Legislature, that would be great. RSVP here, and while you’re at it, give a Like to the Stand With Texas Women Facebook page. The rally on the Capitol steps will be Monday, July 1, from 12 to 2 PM. […]

Patrick and Williams keep squabbling

Just as a reminder that Senate Republicans don’t need Democrats to stir up trouble, here’s a flare-up of an earlier kerfuffle. Fire one. In a recent interview with The Texas Tribune, my colleague, state Sen. Dan Patrick, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, attempted to explain his vote against our no-new-tax balanced state budget that […]

Filibusted

I figure this is about how the Republicans think of Sen. Wendy Davis right now: Well, they probably think a few more things, too, but this is a family blog. If you didn’t stay up late last night and follow the Wendy Davis filibuster by one means or another – I’m pretty sure the Senate […]

No action on SB5 in the Senate

The name of the game is running out the clock. Texas Democrats, far outnumbered by Republicans in both the House and the Senate, are nonetheless on the verge of killing one of the most restrictive abortion proposals in the nation — at least for now. Using delaying tactics and parliamentary rules, the minority party argued […]

Last redistricting bill passes Senate, House debates abortion bills

It was destiny. The Texas Senate on Sunday wrapped up final redistricting loose ends by concurring with changes made by the House to political boundaries for the lower chamber. In an 18-11 vote, the Senate signed off on a series of small tweaks to the House maps — changes that swap a couple of precincts […]

No override of Public Integrity Unit funding veto

Alas. A legislative move to restore state funding for the ethics-enforcing Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County district attorney’s office died Friday afternoon. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said no vote is expected on House Concurrent Resolution 6 — the attempt by state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, to override Gov. Rick Perry’s […]

House passes redistricting and abortion bills

Texas Redistricting: The House has passed SB 3, the redistricting bill for the state house map, on third and final reading. There was one last floor amendment today offered by State Rep. Toni Rose (D-Dallas), which moved Rose’s mother and a few other hundred voters into her district from HD 109 where they had been […]

House passes redistricting bills

They accepted a couple of amendments but otherwise the process wasn’t much different from the Senate or the House committee. A daylong debate on redistricting maps in the Texas House drew frustration from Democrats and growing concern from Republicans on Thursday as House leaders agreed to some amendments to one of the maps. Gov. Rick […]

Transportation funding advances

Between redistricting and abortion, transportation funding has taken a bit of a back seat in the special session despite being the first additional item on the agenda. The Senate took the first step on that yesterday. Despite concerns raised by both Republicans and Democrats, senators on Tuesday tentatively passed a resolution that aims to solve […]

Some are elected to do things, others are elected to not do things

Meet the opposite ends of the spectrum in the Legislature. They were the freshest of the freshmen — the two youngest members of the largest freshman class of the Texas House in 40 years. And even before they took office, Mary González, an El Paso Democrat who will turn 30 in October, and Jonathan Stickland, […]

Monday House action

The main action on Monday in the House was the House Redistricting Committee hearing. Where there’s a redistricting hearing, there’s Greg with a liveblogging session. Pay close attention to the stuff Greg writes about the questions that the Dems, in particular Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer (TMF) are asking, because they’re all about the future court fights. […]

Turner seeks a way to get around Public Integrity Unit de-funding

Rep. Sylvester Turner takes aim at one of Perry’s vetoes. Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said he would propose a House Concurrent Resolution advocating restoration of funding for the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County district attorney’s office, which was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry last week. […] This morning on the floor of the […]

Craft beer bills now officially the law

Whatever you think of the vetoes or the special session action, this is unequivocally good news. Happy hour started Friday afternoon for Texas brewers. Gov. Rick Perry signed five bills representing the most comprehensive overhaul in two decades of how beer is packaged and sold across the state. Thus, effective immediately, shipping breweries such as […]

Perry goes on a veto spree

Here’s the full list. Among the victims are the omnibus ethics bill HB217, thus giving Allen Blakemore his fondest wish; two bills aimed at reducing the number of standardized tests some students must take, one of which will make William McKenzie happy; SB15, which would have placed new limits on the power of the University […]

What we missed by not getting a payday lending bill

Better Texas Blog reminds us of what could have been SB 1247, the omnibus reform bill filed by Sen. John Carona … included the ability to repay standards, loan limits, and refinance limitations, among numerous other provisions. According to the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC), the refinance limitations alone in SB 1247 would have […]

Senate approves redistricting bills

As pro forma as they wanna be. The Texas Senate voted to ratify court-drawn political maps that were used for legislative and congressional races in 2012. The bills now head to the House. In party-line votes, Senators voted 16-11 to approve the interim maps for congressional and state House districts. The map of the state’s […]

Here are the Texas Monthly Ten Best and Ten Worst lists for 2013

This came out Wednesday, but the full story will not be published till next week. BEST: Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D- San Antonio) Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) Speaker Joe Straus (R-San […]

Senate committee passed redistricting bills

As is, no amendments. After a two-hour hearing this morning, the Senate redistricting committee voted out bills that would make the three interim legislative and congressional maps permanent. The votes on the bills were all on party lines 8-6. Greg has the long form version of the amendment debates; he also liveblogged the House hearing, […]