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Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Geren’

Senate passes “driverless car” bill

This is a first. Texas took a step toward self-driving vehicles zipping up and down its highways and streets under a first-of-its-kind measure approved Thursday by the Texas Senate. Approved by a 31-0 vote, Senate Bill 1622 would implement minimum safety standards for so-called “autonomous vehicles” and “automated driving systems” — the first time the […]

House passes its “sanctuary cities” bill

Terrible. After more than 16 hours of debate, the Texas House of Representatives early Thursday morning tentatively gave a nod to the latest version of a Senate bill that would ban “sanctuary” jurisdictions in Texas. The 93-54 vote on second reading fell along party lines and came after one of the slowest moving but most […]

Federal court blocks Trump “sanctuary cities” order

Good. A federal judge in San Francisco dealt the Trump administration another legal blow Tuesday, temporarily halting President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold federal funding from cities and towns that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. U.S. District Judge William Orrick imposed a nationwide injunction against a Jan. 25 executive order authorizing the attorney general […]

“Sanctuary cities” bill passes House committee

Something like this is going to pass, it’s just a matter of what form it takes. A state House committee on Wednesday passed a “sanctuary cities” bill that is less harsh than the version passed by the Senate, but that still would require local sheriffs and jailers to comply with federal requests to hold on […]

“Sanctuary cities” bill modified by House committee

It’s less bad than the Senate version, but it’s still not good. A Texas House committee on Wednesday began debate on the lower chamber’s version of the controversial proposal to outlaw “sanctuary” jurisdictions, making few but significant changes to the bill the Senate passed out last month. Outlawing “sanctuary” entities, the common term for state […]

Once again with driverless car legislation

Third time’s the charm, right? State Rep. Charlie Geren isn’t about to let Texas get left in the dust when driverless vehicles start easing their way into everyday life. Especially since car manufacturers need somewhere to test them and could one day need someplace to mass produce them. “I don’t want General Motors, or Ford, […]

Some early legislative race news

Just a few links of interest. First, the race in SD24 heats up. Republican state Rep. Susan King said Monday that she will join an increasingly crowded primary field to replace retiring GOP state Sen. Troy Fraser. King had earlier said she would not seek re-election to the House, where she is serving her fifth […]

Abbott signs pollution enhancement bill

Still sucks to be us, Harris County. Gov. Greg Abbott has signed legislation that could make it tougher for local governments to sue big-time polluters – an effort that largely targets Harris County prosecutors. House Bill 1794, set to become law on Sept. 1, will set a five-year statute of limitations and cap payouts at […]

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 […]

Local control still under assault

Sucks to be us, Harris County. With Harris County in its crosshairs, the Senate on Wednesday tentatively approved legislation that could make it tougher for Texas Counties to sue big-time polluters. If finally passed, House Bill 1794 would notch another victory for a wide range of business groups in a legislative session that’s been kind […]

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 […]

Local control deathwatch: Environment

Unsurprisingly, the Denton fracking ban has provoked a strong reaction. As policy dilemmas go, the one triggered when Denton voters decided last fall to ban hydraulic fracturing in their city looked like a whopper: The oil and gas industry versus local control — two things Texas holds dear — in intractable opposition. There seemed little […]

Perry vetoes “dark money” bill

Not a surprise. Gov. Rick Perry has vetoed a divisive measure that would have forced some tax-exempt, politically active nonprofits to disclose their donors. That effectively kills the measure for this session; lawmakers stripped a similar amendment from an Ethics Commission reform bill on Friday. In his veto statement — the first of the session […]

Dark money

It’s a small step, if it’s allowed to be taken, but the bill to require donor disclosure on so-called “dark money” is a step in the right direction. Senate Bill 346 takes direct aim at the cloak of anonymity that currently shields so-called “dark money” groups – those tax-exempt organizations whose donors drop big bucks […]

Lehmberg out of jail

Her incarceration may be over, but Rosemary Lehmberg’s problems are far from it. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was released from jail early Thursday after serving half of a 45-day jail sentence for pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated. Lehmberg, who was sentenced April 19, served half of her jail term under a law […]

Vote on school finance today

On Friday night, the Lege finally reached an agreement on school finance, which is to say on how to distribute the $4 billion in cuts to public education to the school districts. Today the Lege gets to vote on that deal. House leaders wanted a two-year plan cutting school funding across the board by about […]

House punts on budget bills till tomorrow

After getting off to a slow start, budget negotiators realized they were going nowhere fast and put a merciful end to things for the day. The House has punted to Thursday any floor consideration of the “non-tax revenue” bill and related bills needed to close out a deal on the two-year state budget. Rep. Jim […]

New map, new opportunities: The Metroplex

Dallas and Tarrant Counties will each have eight districts drawn to elect Republicans in them. For this entry, I’m going to look at each of these districts. First up is Tarrant County, which gains a district (HD101) for a total of eleven. HD101 was drawn to elect a Democrat – Barack Obama received 61.59% of […]

More on the microbrew compromise

Brewed And Never Battered gives its report from the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee hearing yesterday. Briefly on HB 602: No one expressed opposition, not even the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, who have opposed the bill in the past. There is some forthcoming compromise on that bill that apparently everyone is happy with […]

Republican legislators want SBOE do over on social studies

Good for them. Texas House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; Public Education Chairman Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands; and House Administration Chairman Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; criticized the new [social studies] standards. Various civil rights and minority advocacy organizations have opposed the standards, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative-leaning education think tank, gave the […]

Election tidbits for 9/28

Two weeks till Early Voting begins. Psst! Hey, Peggy! Rep. Kristi Thibaut represents HD133 here in Houston, not Galveston. Just FYI. As for the news that the GOP will be targeting State Rep. Abel Herrero, given the 2008 partisan index of HD34, plus the apparent likelihood that the Dems are once again punting on the […]

Campaign finance bill passes the House

Kuempel out of coma

Good news. Rep. Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin, is now out of a medically induced coma and his body temperature has been raised to normal, said his friend Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth. “I saw him last night, and he looked a whole lot better than he did when he left here,” Geren said. Kuempel collapsed late […]

Is there still hope for the microbreweries?

I said previously that I thought the prospects for HB2094, the bill to allow microbreweries to sell some of their product on site, were dim. I don’t want to give any false hope, but it’s possible I was too pessimistic. With just a month remaining before lawmakers adjourn, the bill remains bottled up in the […]

Ethics and finance bills to get their turn

One never really expects bills relating to ethics and campaign finance reform to make it through the process, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on them. In the last session, for example, at least 105 bills related to general ethics, lobbying or campaign-finance were filed. Only nineteen became law. This session, […]

CLC gambling update

Today there will be committee hearings on various gambling-related bills. I am reprinting here an email sent by Suzii Paynter of the Christian Life Coalition, which is one of the leading organizations that are fighting the expansion of gambling in Texas, as it has a pretty good summary of what has gone on so far. […]