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Posts Tagged ‘DPS’

What they didn’t tell us about voter ID

Republicans knew fully well that their voter ID bill would disenfranchise a lot of people. They just didn’t care. Republican state officials working to pass a voter photo ID law in 2011 knew that more than 500,000 of the state’s registered voters did not have the credentials needed to cast ballots under the new requirement. […]

It shouldn’t be this hard to get a driver’s license

And for most people it isn’t that hard. But for some people, it is. Daniela Parker has two mothers, a circumstance that turned a typically routine matter – scheduling a road test for a Texas driver’s license – into a lengthy hassle. Parker, Mayor Annise Parker’s daughter, was turned away from taking the road test […]

Texas woman denied driver’s license over same-sex marriage

That’s the headline of this Observer story, and it’s just as infuriating as you think it is. A woman who recently relocated from California says the Texas Department of Public Safety refused to issue her an accurate driver’s license because her last name was changed through a same-sex marriage. After Connie Wilson married her partner […]

Abbott does one last solid for Perry

He lets him keep his little secrets. After critics raised a stink about the tax dollars being spent to provide security for Gov. Rick Perry while he was gearing up to run for president, lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 designed to let Texans know — eventually — what they were getting for their money. […]

Get ready to go inspection sticker-free

Things are gonna be different next year. Texas drivers will have a little less clutter on their windshield next year when the familiar green inspection sticker goes away, but it comes at the price of requiring inspections in order to renew vehicle registrations. As of March 2015, vehicles registered in Texas will no longer need […]

Special session for border security?

What could possibly go wrong? State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, joined some of his conservative colleagues on Tuesday in calling for “immediate action” to address the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing into Texas. “The Texas Department of Public Safety has indicated that sustained operations along our southern border will require […]

Another lawsuit filed against the voter ID law

The Observer reports. Election Day last week brought plenty of complaints at the polls about Texas’ new voter ID law, but it also brought one major complaint in Corpus Christi federal court, where nine voters joined La Unión Del Pueblo Entero in suing the state over its tough new voting requirements. The plaintiffs are long-time voters […]

It’s about the people who don’t have ID

We’ve had plenty of blue-sky stories telling us that the voter ID law has been no big deal. A few provisional ballots and some number of affidavits, sure, but everyone who’s wanted to vote has been able to vote, right? Sure, as long as they had one of the accepted forms of ID. But what […]

“Poopgate” is a big load of…

Well, you know. Documents released Monday by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s provided no new evidence that officers found one jar of urine and 18 containers of feces at the Capitol before a July 12 debate on a controversial abortion bill. DPS released a press statement the day of the debate that said officers […]

RIP, Section 5

By now you are well aware that SCOTUS has dealt a blow to the Voting Rights Act. They actually left Section 5, which is what requires certain parts of the country (including Texas) to get preclearance on voting-related changes, intact, but instead ruled that Section 4, which defined who was under the purview of Section […]

No more inspection stickers

That’s the plan, and I think it makes a lot of sense. Texas’ vehicle inspection stickers would become a thing of the past under legislation approved unanimously Monday by the state Senate. But there’s a catch: Vehicles still would have to be inspected before they could be registered with the state, and diesel vehicles would, […]

Perry works against his own stated interests

I don’t understand this at all. A bill that would have increased vehicle registration fees to raise money for transportation projects met its demise in the Texas House on Thursday. House Bill 3664 by state Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, was designed to generate money to pay down the state’s transportation-related debt and fund improvements […]

Still arguing about road funding

I still don’t quite get why the obvious solution is so blithely dismissed. With most of the work of developing a state budget behind them, lawmakers can now drill deeper into the state’s spending plan to find a way to fund billions of dollars in road maintenance, highway upgrades and other projects under the umbrella […]

AG shuts down bogus charity museum

It’s an extremely rare privilege to point out something of actual positive value done by our Attorney General. The doors will finally close on the Texas Highway Patrol Museum in San Antonio, a charity that raised millions of dollars under the guise that the money would benefit state troopers and their families, yet spent less […]

Cutting spending is always good for job creation

It must be true. A study by the University of Texas at San Antonio estimated that 20 counties in the Eagle Ford Shale supported 47,097 full-time jobs in 2011, a number that’s expected to grow to 116,972 full-time jobs by 2021. For now, many of the jobs in demand are for truckers. And a pay […]

Outsourcing Texas border security

What could possibly go wrong? A little-known private defense contractor from Virginia has quietly received about $20 million under a series of no-bid contracts with the State of Texas to develop its border security strategies, an effort that included shaping the state’s public message on the increasingly controversial nature and extent of violence spilling into […]

From the “Sacrifice for thee but not for me” department

Rick Perry sure does like to travel. At a time when state budget reductions were used to help offset a multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall, taxpayers were billed in excess of $294,000 in security detail expenses for out-of-state trips by Gov. Rick Perry or his wife, according to records released by the Department of Public Safety. Destinations […]

Justice Department urged to block voter ID law

I’m all in on this. A coalition of civil rights groups is urging the Obama administration’s Justice Department to reject Texas’ voter-ID law, charging that the measure advocated by Rick Perry intentionally discriminates against black and Hispanic voters. The Legislature passed the law earlier this year requiring voters to present a picture identification. The Justice […]

Forensic Science Commission accepts its neutering

Another victory for the forces of obstructionism. Whether they like it or not, members of the Texas Forensic Science Commission [Thursday] agreed that they will use an attorney general’s opinion that severely limits the panel’s jurisdiction as a guideline for future investigations. What that means for the Cameron Todd Willingham investigation — the commission’s most […]

DPS Megacenters

Not sure what I think about this. With a $63 million infusion from the Legislature, state officials hope to cut the legendary long lines and irritating red tape at driver’s license centers across Texas with upgraded technology and new “megacenters” in Austin and three other metro areas. Texas Department of Public Safety officials on Tuesday […]

DPS loses lawsuit over drivers license rules

This happened the week before last, but I’m not sure it will matter at this point. On [July 29], Judge Orlinda Naranjo ruled against the Texas Department of Public Safety and said that the agency could no longer require those here on temporary visas to prove they are in the country legally in order to […]

From the “You don’t need to know” department

I think I’ve finally figured out what the big secret is with Rick Perry’s travels. In a policy change criticized by open government advocates, the Texas Department of Public Safety will not reveal how much money is being spent to provide security when Gov. Rick Perry travels out of state, something he is doing with […]

Perry gets to keep his secrets

Quelle surprise. The Texas Supreme Court this morning ruled that details of Gov. Rick Perry’s travels can remain secret, overturning two lower court rulings that found travel vouchers filed by state troopers should be made public. In an opinion written by Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, the court ruled that the threat of physical harm […]

The consolation prize

The Republicans couldn’t get their act together enough to pass the “sanctuary cities” bill, but they did manage to do this. A provision in the approved Senate Bill 1, the special session’s must-pass school finance bill, will require people to prove U.S. citizenship or legal residence before they can renew or get a Texas driver’s […]

Senate approves rape kit testing bill

Earlier this week I mentioned a bill, SB1636, by Sen. Wendy Davis that aimed at getting thousands of untested rape kits analyzed. I’m pleased to say that it was passed unanimously by the Senate today, and now heads to the House. SB 1636 by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, would require a police department […]

Two forensic bills

Texas has thousands of untested rape kits in it, and a bill to try to make something happen with them. The bill, by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, would require a police department to submit a rape kit to a crime lab within at least 10 days, and complete the DNA analysis no later than […]

On the road to nowhere

Use your own favorite cliche for this. Texas soon will be shelling out more per year to pay back money it borrowed for road construction than it spends from its quickly vanishing pile of cash to build new highways. Legislative leaders characterize the state’s transportation funding as a crisis. Most Texans, they say, are unaware […]

The sanctuary scam

I’ve been thinking about Governor Perry’s designation of so-called “sanctuary cities” as an emergency item for this legislative session, and there are a few inescapable conclusions. 1. Perry is a big flaming hypocrite. I know, I know, big shock. But as the Trib has pointed out, Perry’s definition of “sanctuary city”, as was applied to […]

More on paying for roads and other forms of transportation

Given that the private toll road debate is set to gear up again in Texas, it is fortuitous that the Texas Public Interest Research Group, a/k/a TexPIRG, chose last week to release a report called Do Roads pay For Themselves? You can read the whole report, or you can skip to their press release for […]

Driver records available online

You know how you need to mail a request to get a copy of your driver’s record when you request to take a defensive driving course to get a ticket dismissed? Now you can save yourself a stamp and order it online. “We are pleased to offer this new service, which is available 24/7 to […]

Once again with the Driver Responsibility Program

The Trib takes a look at Texas’ Driver Responsibility Program and the grassroots effort to repeal it. The stories scroll by one after another on an online petition to repeal a law called the Driver Responsibility Act. Nearly 4,000 angry and devastated drivers, who have either lost their licenses or in some way dealt with […]

Those uncollected surcharges

Here’s an update on the Texas Driver Responsibility Program, which was created in 2003 as a way to raise revenue by adding hefty extra fees to certain moving violations. “It’s a complete failure,” said state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, who sponsored unsuccessful legislation to kill the program last year. Shapleigh was able to insert […]

SWAT team

I’m not sure about this. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is starting an elite “high-risk” squad with the aim of developing it into a full-fledged SWAT team. Maj. Bob Doguim began soliciting applications for the eight-member team two weeks ago, just about the time his boss, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, was preparing a budget plan that […]

Hochberg responds to Perry’s veto

I missed this last week, but State Rep. Scott Hochberg sent out a press release, which is posted on the House website about Governor Perry’s veto of his bill HB1457. If Governor Perry was denied a voter registration certificate because a clerk spelled his name “Peiry” instead of “Perry”, we’d never hear the end of […]