Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Bob Deuell’

Chron overview of the AG race

Couple of interesting tidbits in here. A tea party darling with a dozen years in the state Legislature, Sen. Ken Paxton has avoided the media since admitting to a third-degree felony violation of state securities law in late April. Spokesman Anthony Holm serves as his gatekeeper – even once physically blocking a reporter from approaching […]

Teacher health insurance costs

Another thing on the list of things the Legislature needs to deal with but won’t. Health care insurance costs for hundreds of thousands of Texas teachers and other public school employees are scheduled to go up again this fall, prompting renewed calls from educator groups for the state to pick up more of the cost […]

Primary runoff results

So long, Dave. Riding a wave of conservative sentiment that Texas Republicans were not being led with a hard enough edge, state Sen. Dan Patrick crushed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election for lieutenant governor, ending the career of a dominant figure in state politics for the last dozen years. The […]

The Senate is likely to get stupider again

The cause. The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents officially named state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, the sole finalist to be the system’s next chancellor in a press release issued Monday afternoon. Duncan is expected to start in his new position on July 1. A special election will have to be held to replace […]

Primary results: Legislature and Congress

The big news on the Democratic side is the close loss by longtime Rep. Lon Burnam in HD90, who fell by 111 votes to Ramon Romero Jr. I know basically nothing about Rep.-elect Romero, but I do know that Rep. Burnam has been a progressive stalwart, and it is sad to see him go. His […]

What the future may hold for Wendy Davis

Patricia Kilday Hart has her take on the Wendy Davis phenomenon, including the reaction of some Republicans to it. For both proponents and opponents of SB 5, the legislation that would have banned abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy and required costly upgrades to abortion facilities, one point was irrefutable: The filibuster created a new […]

So where does the school finance lawsuit stand?

Though Judge John Dietz issued a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in the school finance lawsuit back in February, he still hasn’t written his full decision yet. That’s because he wanted to see what the Legislature did this session, so he could take it into account in his opinion. Well, the session is over […]

Legislative quick hits

This is the time of the session where there’s lots happening, and there isn’t always the time or space to stay on top of it all. So here are a few quick updates on things that are happening in an attempt to at least not be too far behind. A bill to give Tesla Motors […]

Zaffirini and Uresti stand against needless abortion restrictions

Good to hear, but given their histories it’s wise to be vigilant. Texas Republicans are one vote short of passing a controversial abortion bill in the Senate — and the fate of the legislation now rests squarely on the shoulders of two South Texas Democrats. Sens. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, oppose […]

Businesses say they want Medicaid expansion, too

This really comes down to two things. Chambers of commerce representing companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB) are challenging Texas Governor Rick Perry and lawmakers to expand health care for the poor in the state with the highest percentage of uninsured people. The chambers of five cities are sending lobbyists […]

The Arkansas way

The state of Arkansas will move forward with a plan to expand Medicaid, except that it’s not really Medicaid even though it will cover all of the Medicaid-eligible population. Here’s the explanation. Gov. Mike Beebe met with about twenty lawmakers this afternoon to announce the results of his meeting with Sec. Kathleen Sebelius last Friday. […]

The war on women continues apace

Honestly, I’m surprised that it’s taken as long as it has for this to happen. Abortion clinics in Texas may soon face harsh new state requirements that pro-choice advocates say could greatly reduce access to abortion. Sens Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) filed a bill this morning that would […]

Then YOU fix it!

Stuff like this really pisses me off. On Wednesday, the [Senate Finance] committee heard testimony from state officials on the proposed health budget, which grew 2 percent from the current biennium budget to $70 billion. The chairman of the committee, Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, expressed the need for fiscal conservancy but said the decisions […]

Where are the doctors?

The Morning News tries to verify that the Dallas-area providers listed for the new Texas Women’s Health Program are in fact providing health care services to the women in this program as advertised. It goes about as well as you’d expect. A Dallas Morning News survey of 336 contacts listed online for the program showed […]

More districts will join in school finance lawsuit

Coming soon to a courtroom near you. School districts will throw everything short of the kitchen sink into their upcoming lawsuit against the state of Texas for shortchanging public education, a lead attorney in the case said Tuesday. “We are going to try to cover the water front because the system is so out of […]

Senate not inclined to accept Amazon’s bribe

Good for them. It looks like the Texas Legislature is likely to say no — at least for now — to Amazon.com’s proposal to bring 5,000 jobs to the state in exchange for a temporary break on collecting sales tax. State Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, said this morning that the odds were slim the deal […]

Bradley and Lowe fail to get confirmed

Time for some new chairpersons. Gov. Rick Perry’s appointments of John Bradley as head of the Forensic Science Commission and Gaile Lowe as State Board of Education chair are officially toast, Senate Nominations Chairman Bob Deuell, R-Greenville said. “They’re sine die with the rest of us — except they won’t have to come back for […]

It’s always been about controlling women

Sadly, there’s nothing new about this. Senate Finance Committee Chair Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said Monday afternoon that budget negotiators will likely adopt a 2012-13 family planning budget that is “pretty close” to the House’s proposal — $37 million for low-income women under the Department of State Health Services — compared to the $100 million proposed […]

School finance still to be done

We may have a budget deal, but what we still don’t have is a school finance plan. The Senate’s long-stalled plan to apportion a $4 billion reduction in school aid had been suddenly resurrected, passed and zipped over to the House. But when Senate Bill 1581 hits the House floor Monday for debate, state Rep. […]

How little do the Republicans care about women’s health?

They don’t care at all. An innovative women’s health initiative is heading toward oblivion over a legislative impasse between abortion rights opponents and supporters even though the program has nothing to do with abortions. Unless renewed by law, the 5-year-old Medicaid Women’s Health Program will expire in December, ending contraceptive care and disease screening for […]

Fight over family planning funds coming

It’s a small piece of the difference between the House and Senate budgets, but it will surely be a big part of the fight over how the two are reconciled. The Senate budget approved by the Finance Committee would spend $11 billion more than the House version, and members of the upper chamber seem unwilling […]

More on the effects of cuts to health and human services

Most of this should be familiar to us by now. Deep spending cuts in the recently passed House budget would profoundly change the state’s medical system, placing tens of thousands of Texans in the difficult position of finding alternate care from a dwindling list of prospects, health care advocates warn. Much of the impact would […]

Bradley’s mission nears its completion

John Bradley won’t get confirmed by the Senate as the Chair of the Forensic Science Commission, but that’s all right. The purpose for which he was put on the Commission by Rick Perry is about to be fulfilled. Perry, who refused to block Cameron Todd Willingham’s lethal injection in 2004, appointed Williamson County prosecutor John […]

Senate pushes back on House efforts to redirect family planning funds

A little sanity is always nice to see. State budget cuts taking aim at Planned Parenthood may limit the availability of family planning services for many poor Texans and have the unintended consequence of increasing unwanted pregnancies, two key lawmakers said Monday. State Sens. Robert Deuell, R-Greenville, and Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said they hope […]

It’s Bradleys all the way down

Me, March 15, on the subject of SBOE Chair Gail Lowe’s confirmation issues in the Senate: I feel the same way about this as I did with Don McLeroy’s ultimately scuttled confirmation back in 2009. I have nothing good to say about Gail Lowe, but I have absolutely no illusions that her successor would be […]

Lowe has confirmation issues, too

John Bradley isn’t the only Rick Perry appointee who is having trouble getting confirmed by the Senate. State Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, who chairs the Senate Nominations committee, says Gail Lowe has not been scheduled for a hearing as chairwoman of the State Board of Education because she lacks the votes for a confirmation on […]

Two Republican Senators oppose Bradley’s nomination to the Forensic Science Commission

Excellent. The confirmation of Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley as chairman of the state Forensic Science Commission appears to be in deep trouble, as two Senate Republicans confirmed today that they will vote no. That would leave Bradley four votes short of the required 21 needed to bring his name up for a Senate […]

Bradley’s nomination to Forensic Science Commission may be dead

Peggy Fikac brings the good news. It’s not looking good for John Bradley, the tough-talking prosecutor named by Republican Gov. Rick Perry to head the Forensic Science Commission – and not just because of Democratic opposition to his appointment. “The Democrats are not going to vote for him, and there are two Republicans that are […]

How about those tax exemptions?

There’s a lot of them, and they cost the state big bucks. A 68-page report released by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs on Monday offers a detailed look at billions of dollars in state tax exemptions and could fuel renewed discussion on rolling back certain tax breaks as lawmakers deal with a multibillion-dollar budget shortfall. Exemptions […]

Bradley’s confirmation delayed

Good. In a bid to diffuse a partisan showdown, the name of Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley was temporarily stricken this morning from a list of nominees to be submitted to the full Senate for confirmation. […] Nominations Committee Chairman Robert Deuell, R-Greenville, said [earlier] that he plans to submit the list of Monday’s […]

If not Planned Parenthood, then who?

That sound you hear is another can of worms being opened. State Sen. Bob Deuell wants Planned Parenthood’s clinics out of the state’s Women’s Health Program, which provides family planning services — but not abortions — to impoverished Medicaid patients. And he says a 2005 law should exclude them already. But for years, the state’s […]

Why we can’t just cut our way out of the budget deficit

For one thing, there’s very little fat, and not much discretionary spending in the biggest budget items like health and human services. Of the $23 billion in state dollars appropriated in the current budget for health and human services programs, $20 billion is “restricted” because of state law, constitutional provisions or federal laws and regulations. […]

Senate approves stimulus funds for unemployment insurance

Good. The Texas Senate tentatively approved Sen. Kevin Eltife’s bill to change the state’s unemployment laws so that Texas can accept an estimated $555 million in federal stimulus dollars. […] Eltife’s bill was supported by 22 senators and opposed by nine. It faces a final vote before going to the House for consideration. SB 1569 […]

Senate OKs needle exchange

Well, the Senate did manage to do one good thing today. By a 23-7 vote — not enough for immediate final passage to the Texas House — senators approved Senate Bill 188 that will allow local health departments to begin one-for-one exchanges of syringes along with drug-abuse education and prevention programs. “I know this has […]