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Posts Tagged ‘Byron Cook’

Beware the coming shenanigans on SB6

The full House may not get to vote on Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t get a chance to vote onwhat’s in the bill. But speculation that SB 6 may not make it to the House floor for a vote by the 150-member chamber has left House Democrats on high […]

Athletes against SB6

From Athlete Ally: Dear Texas, The love of sport is in part what makes Texas great. The passion and competitive spirit that reverberates throughout the Texas athletic community is hard to match across the United States. It’s that passion – and the storied history of Texas athletics – that often makes the state a go-to […]

The “Man’s Right To Know” Act

This is some high-quality trolling. Texas State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, filed a bill Friday that would penalize men for “unregulated masturbatory emissions.” The satirical House Bill 4260 would encourage men to remain “fully abstinent” and only allow the “occasional masturbatory emissions inside health care and medical facilities,” which are described in the legislation as […]

House hears “fetal remains” bill

Seriously? [House Bill 35] would create a registry of organizations that can help pay for burial or cremation of fetal remains. That way, the cost associated with burials would not fall on women, [bill author Rep. Byron] Cook said. The measure would not apply to miscarriages that happen at home. “Let me be clear: this […]

Here come the anti-Texas Central bills

From the inbox: [Tuesday], a group of key state lawmakers filed a slate of legislation to push back against Texas Central Railway’s controversial proposal to construct a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston. Senators Birdwell (R-Granbury), Creighton (R-Conroe), Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Perry (R-Lubbock), and Schwertner (R-Georgetown) joined with Representatives Ashby (R-Lufkin), Bell (R-Magnolia), Cook (R-Corsicana), […]

More Paxton-versus-SEC stuff

Keeping the lawyers busy. Lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton say the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission cannot “shoot first and investigate later” as they seek to block 15 new subpoenas issued by the SEC. It is the latest argument by Paxton’s attorneys in their effort to show the SEC is scrambling to save […]

Paxton wants SEC’s documents on him

More twists and turns. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s attorneys have gone to court, seeking to force the Securities and Exchange Commission to produce notes of their interviews with the investors whose allegations form the basis of the civil case against him. Paxton’s attorneys filed the motion to compel the SEC to turn over the […]

AG asked to investigate Hill County ballot irregularities

Weird, but we’ll see. The Texas Attorney General’s office has been asked to launch an investigation into allegations that multiple people voted illegally in the 2016 Republican primary elections in Hill County, despite local officials’ claims that the discrepancies were caused by human error and would not have affected the results of any elections. The […]

AG opinion sought on eminent domain power for Texas Central

This could be a big deal. State Rep. Byron Cook asked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday to rule on whether a private company developing a high-speed train project in the state has the power of eminent domain. Texas Central Partners has been developing a privately funded bullet train intended to travel between Houston […]

SEC files charges against Paxton

Bam! Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been charged in federal court with allegedly misleading investors in a technology company. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed the charges Monday in a Sherman-based court. They are similar to the allegations Paxton faces in a pending indictment handed up by a Collin County grand jury last […]

2016 primary reactions and initial impressions

First, a couple of minor notes. Rep. Byron Cook ultimately pulled out a win in his nasty and high-profile primary. That’s good news for Speaker Joe Straus and the general forces of “government that isn’t like a three-year-old coming off a sugar high”. Rep. Wayne Smith was forced into a runoff but did not lose […]

2016 primaries: State races

Let’s start with the Democratic race for Railroad Commissioner, and a few words from Forrest Wilder: The Gene Kelly Effect: Texas Democrats are almost perennially embarrassed by what you might call the Gene Kelly Effect — the depressing tendency of many Democratic primary voters to vote for a name they recognize on the ballot, without […]

Former Servergy CEO sues over Paxton-related costs

What a tangled web. The former CEO of the technology startup named in Ken Paxton’s indictments is suing the company he founded for costs associated with the attorney general’s criminal investigation and ongoing legal battle. William Mapp III, the founder and ex-CEO of McKinney tech firm Servergy Inc., says he “incurred and continues to incur […]

Paxton reindicted

On the same charges, with slightly different wording. After re-filing indictments against Attorney General Ken Paxton in his securities fraud case, two special prosecutors are pushing back against criticism from Paxton’s attorney, who says the recent action shows that they “botched” the proceedings. “It is not unusual in any felony case, particularly fraud cases, for […]

Ken who?

State Republican leaders don’t have much to say about our allegedly felonious Attorney General. Texas’ Republican leaders Sunday continued their radio silence on the indictment of Attorney General Ken Paxton on three felony fraud charges. Paxton, who was elected as part of a conservative GOP sweep that put Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan […]

Keffer to retire

The original Straus gang shrinks again. State Rep. Jim Keffer, an Eastland Republican who was one of the earliest supporters of House Speaker Joe Straus, has decided not to seek reelection next year, according to a statement he prepared for the Hood County News that was widely posted on social media Tuesday evening. Sources familiar […]

Ethics reform dies its expected death

The only surprise is that it took this long. With no collective will to expose dark money contributions in Texas, a major ethics overhaul was snuffed out in the waning hours of the 2015 legislative session. “It’s dead,” Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, said Saturday afternoon. “When the Senate chose not to include campaign disclosure reform […]

The fallout from the chubfest

Cleaning up some loose ends…The campus carry bill that was the subject of much chubbing passed on final reading. The battle over “campus carry” is headed back to the Texas Senate after House lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to legislation requiring universities in the state to allow concealed handguns on campus. Senate Bill 11 from […]

House chubfest kills several bad bills

Some good news, though as always at the end of a session, the outcome isn’t clean and the details are very murky. As the clock struck midnight, the failure of an anti-abortion initiative — dear to the hearts of the far right — marked the end of a tumultuous day on the floor of the […]

There’s still time for bad bills to be passed

Bad bill #1: After four hours of debate and more than a dozen failed amendments offered by Democrats, the Senate on Monday gave preliminary approval to far-reaching restrictions on minors seeking abortions in Texas without parental consent. On a 21-10 vote, the upper chamber signed off on House Bill 3994 by Republican state Rep. Geanie […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Call to action: DREAM Act repeal hearing set for Monday

You know the drill. The push to repeal a 2001 law that allows some undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities is returning to the legislative spotlight, but on an unusual stage. On Monday, the border security subcommittee of the Senate’s Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee is scheduled to hear […]

Backlash anti-gay marriage bill heard in committee

Turns out bigotry has a price tag. House Bill 1745, by Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia), seeks to bar Texas officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognizing their marriages—regardless of whether courts determine the state’s ban is unconstitutional. More than a dozen witnesses gave nearly two hours of sometimes emotional testimony during a […]

Trying again to fix birth certificates

This is encouraging. A Republican committee chairman smacked down an anti-LGBT witness Wednesday during a hearing on a proposal to allow same-sex parents to have both their names on the birth certificates of adopted children. Julie Drenner, of Texas Values, claimed the bill would lead to threesomes adopting, affect all birth certificates and require the […]

Not looking good for medical marijuana

From Trail Blazers: A key lawmaker suggested Tuesday that a bill legalizing marijuana for medical use is probably “dead,” but the sponsor said she’s not discouraged by the “premature” pushback. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee, where it could be debated and voted on, but similar proposals have been referred to […]

Bill filing deadline has passed

Believe it or not, we are almost halfway through the legislative session, and we have now passed the point where new bills can be filed. Racing to beat a deadline for filing bills, state lawmakers on Friday submitted hundreds of measures on everything from abolishing the death penalty to the licensing of auctioneers. By the […]

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 […]

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, […]

Drivers licenses for all – maybe

Not quite drivers licenses, exactly, but close enough. A Dallas Democrat has teamed up with two powerful Republicans to craft a compromise version of a bill that would give immigrants here illegally the ability to drive legally in Texas and obtain insurance – but only after they submit to a criminal background check, fingerprinting and […]

Rolling blackouts may be on the summer horizon

Better hope the mild weather we’re getting in winter translates to mild weather for the summer, because the alternative isn’t pretty. Inadequate electric power reserves likely will force Texans to cut back this summer to avoid rolling outages if the weather matches last year’s record heat, utility experts warned legislators [last] Thursday. “We have to […]

House passes budget after brief meltdown

For a few brief moments, it looked like we were heading to double overtime, as Republicans voted down their own budget in the House. The Texas House, in a surprise turn of events late Tuesday afternoon, tentatively voted down a must-pass bill that distributes the pain of school-funding cuts and uses accounting tricks to help […]