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Posts Tagged ‘Donna Howard’

On sexism in the Legislature

Just go read Olivia Messer’s story in The Observer about that great bastion of good-ol-boyism, the Texas Legislature. It’s appalling, but sadly not unexpected, nor unsurprising. I’ve heard way too many stories like it, from way too many women, in way too many contexts, to claim otherwise. I don’t have a good answer other than […]

Special Session 3: Beyond Thunderdome

Beyond ridiculous, if you ask me, not that they did. Standing before mostly empty chairs in the 150-member Texas House on Tuesday, House Speaker Joe Straus adjourned the second special session and announced that Gov. Rick Perry would be calling them all back for a third special session later in the day. After gaveling in […]

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 […]

House debates its budget

As you know, yesterday was Budgetpalooza in the House. The House budget puts more money into public education and less into health and human services than a Senate proposal that passed the upper chamber last month. “No one is or will be entirely happy with this bill, but there is something for everyone this year,” […]

Straus wants someone to do something on Medicaid

Don’t we all, Joe. Don’t we all. Seeking to light a fire under fellow Republicans to provide health care to more uninsured Texans, House Speaker Joe Straus said Wednesday that it is time to “get our heads out of the sand” and find an alternative to Medicaid expansion that would bring billions of federal dollars […]

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 […]

Supplement this!

Time for the Lege to pay a few past-due bills from 2011. That’s where a supplemental budget comes in. It is literally a second budget added to the original one lawmakers approved in 2011. It’s not an unusual course for lawmakers to take to address lingering IOUs, but this year’s efforts are becoming more complicated […]

Precinct analysis: Comparing 2012 and 2008

Though the data isn’t yet posted on individual members’ webpages, I have gotten a copy of the 2012 election results by State Rep district, for which there was much rejoicing. The first question of interest is how much the 2008 results resembled the 2012 results in each district. I went by vote percentages as reported […]

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 […]

Substitute WHP has problems: Film at 11

No one could have seen this coming. State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, has been worried about the Women’s Health Program since the state said it would create its own version of the program. That came after the state moved to exclude clinics affiliated with abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from participating — which led the […]

White Ds and non-white Rs

A few points to make about this. White Democrats are an increasingly vanishing species in the Texas Legislature, where there will be only 10 when the new legislative session starts in early January. The face of the Legislature has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past 25 years, and the state’s rapidly changing demographics are […]

From the “Babies and other hazards of sex” department

Rep. Donna Howard has more tact than I do. When state lawmakers passed a two-year budget in 2011 that moved $73 million from family planning services to other programs, the goal was largely political: halt the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood clinics. Now they are facing the policy implications — and, in some […]

Another reason why math is your friend

The Statesman asks the question whether the newly-drawn HD48 in Travis County might be easier for a Republican challenger to win, then never gets around to providing the simplest answer to that question. Starting in April and carrying on through the dog days of summer, Republican Robert Thomas has worn out the soles of his […]

Health care access continues to shrink in Texas

Who needs family planning services? I mean, every kid is born to people who want and can care for them, am I right? About 15 percent of Houston-area clinics that received state funding for family planning services closed their doors because of budget cuts last fiscal year, and another 30 percent have reduced service hours, […]

Testifying about the Women’s Health Program

More hearings like this, please. The Texas Department of State Health Services got an earful today from lawmakers and women’s health advocates at a public meeting in Austin to discuss proposed rules for the Texas Women’s Health Program — specifically, the state’s plan to sacrifice 90 percent of federal funding for the program in order […]

Fiscal and health care bills pass

Here’s one less reason for a special session. One key budget-related bill, Senate Bill 2, won final approval from both chambers this afternoon and is headed to the governor’s desk. SB 2 is an appropriations bill that goes hand-in-hand with Senate Bill 1, the main revenue and school finance vehicle. SB 1 is expected to […]

GOP finally kills Howard amendment

In the end, this was no surprise. An amendment from Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, that would have directed surplus money from the Rainy Day Fund to pay for enrollment growth in public schools has perished in conference committee. The House voted to attach the measure, which Howard argued was a practical approach that would allow […]

House Republicans still going after education

Amazing. Republicans again tried to take away a Democratic victory today. This time, Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, was successful as he pushed for a motion to instruct conferees to strip the spirit of an eduction-related amendment by Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, from Senate Bill 2, a key state budget bill. The motion was adopted 87-59. […]

Eissler changes class size bill

Hair Balls was first with the news. Rep. Rob Eissler (R- The Woodlands) whose House Bill 18 wanted to move the state to a cap of 25 students in each classroom, [Friday] instead made a floor substitution which only mildly tweaked the present classroom size regulations calling for a cap of 22 students in grades […]

House passes budget

The main objective of the special session has now been accomplished. But not before one of the House’s biggest homophobes nearly derailed it on Thursday. Lengthy debate on a key budget bill featured many retreads of contentious topics from the regular session — but it was Rep. Wayne Christian’s revival of his famous “pansexual” amendment […]

Republicans admit that the Rainy Day fund has been spent

I’m sure you’ve heard Rick Perry and other Republicans talk about how they’ve “balanced” the budget without tapping into the Rainy Day fund. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear that they’re lying. Republicans have given up any pretense that they’re saving the remaining $6.5 billion rainy day fund for some unknown rainier day. House […]

So what is the point of the SBOE, anyway?

Here’s another story about the difficulties of SBOE redistricting, and it’s got me wondering why we bother having an elected body called the State Board of Education. This legislative session, lawmakers are working on redrawing the 15 districts based on new census data — released every 10 years — but a rise in population has […]

Neil finally concedes in HD48

At long last, it’s finally over. Republican Dan Neil dropped out of the race today for the Texas House seat in District 48. Neil lost to Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, on Election Day by 16 votes. After a recount, Howard’s margin fell to 12 votes. Neil then exercised his right to contest the election, which […]

Howard wins again

It’s fourth and long for Dan Neil. The House Election Contest Committee unanimously voted [Tuesday] to uphold Rep. Will Hartnett’s determination that Donna Howard won the long-disputed House District 48 seat. Committee members said Republican Dan Neil did not provide clear and convincing evidence to win. If Neil decides to challenge the committee’s vote, it […]

Neil in it till the bitter end

I guess he doesn’t have anything else to do right now. After some vacillation, the Republican who is contesting his loss to incumbent state Rep. Donna Howard said [Wednesday] that he is now inclined to take his fight the distance. Last month, Republican Dan Neil said his decision to continue contesting the election might depend […]

What to do with the SBOE?

The Lege has many ideas about what to do with the state’s most embarrassing branch of government, some of which are better than others. State Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas), wants the SBOE abolished under his House Bill 881 and all the board’s responsibilities directed to the Texas Education Agency and the commissioner of education. The […]

Howard declared the winner in HD48

At long last. Rep. Donna Howard won the House District 48 seat by four votes over Republican Dan Neil, according to state Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas. Hartnett was appointed to investigate their election after Neil challenged the results. [...] Hartnett’s recommendation goes now to a select committee chaired by Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, which […]

HD48 election contest still going on

There’s still some more testimony to be heard in the election contest between Dan Neil and Rep. Donna Howard in HD48. That and closing arguments are scheduled for today. There was a key development in the contest on Thursday just before everyone headed home to hunker down for the Snowpocalypse: On Thursday morning, a Travis […]

Update on the HD48 election contest

Patricia Kilday Hart sums up the state of things in HD48, where there’s a recount of the recount and a lot more testimony to come. I have no idea what to expect from this, but I think she’s right that it’s unlikely the House would vote in the end to seat Dan Neil, if only […]

Senate stands down again

No vote on the rules till next week, so the 2/3 rule lives for a few more days. In an hour-long caucus behind closed doors, Texas senators decided today to put off for a week a potentially acrimonious public debate over changing their rules. The discussion will occur next Wednesday, as Senate leaders had hinted […]

Howard files formal response to Neil’s election contest

Just before Christmas, Dan Neil filed an election contest that challenged the result of his race against Rep. Donna Howard in HD 48, in which Neil lost by 12 votes. Howard filed a response called “special exceptions” at that time, and now she has filed her official response to Neil’s contest. Every allegation made by […]

Neil files for election contest in HD48

I suppose this was inevitable. Republican Dan Neil is continuing his challenge of state Rep. Donna Howard’s razor-thin election night victory with an appeal to the Texas House of Representatives. Neil, who trailed Howard by 12 votes after a recount earlier this month, filed a contest of those results with the secretary of state late […]

Howard still wins after recount in HD48

Her margin is margin is a bit smaller, but still greater than zero, and that’s what counts. With the votes counted again, the Austin Democrat beat Republican challenger Dan Neil by just 12 votes, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said Thursday night. Neil had called for the recount after Howard had been declared the winner […]

Recount sought in HD48

Given how close this one was, a recount was to be expected. Republican Dan Neil is seeking a recount in his challenge to state Rep. Donna Howard in the District 48 seat that represents part of Travis County. Neil has filed the paperwork with the Texas secretary of state to request another look at the […]