Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Eddie Lucio’

No action on SB5 in the Senate

The name of the game is running out the clock. Texas Democrats, far outnumbered by Republicans in both the House and the Senate, are nonetheless on the verge of killing one of the most restrictive abortion proposals in the nation — at least for now. Using delaying tactics and parliamentary rules, the minority party argued […]

Transportation funding advances

Between redistricting and abortion, transportation funding has taken a bit of a back seat in the special session despite being the first additional item on the agenda. The Senate took the first step on that yesterday. Despite concerns raised by both Republicans and Democrats, senators on Tuesday tentatively passed a resolution that aims to solve […]

Shark fins

I’m not sure why the practice of shark finning wasn’t illegal already. Texas lawmakers are considering a ban on the sale and possession of shark fins, a move that reflects a growing trend to protect the imperiled creatures at the top of the ocean food chain. Conservationists say the global trade for the age-old delicacy […]

UIL moves to limit high school football practice time

They are doing it to limit the risk of concussion. Established in 2001, the University Interscholastic League’s Medical Advisory Committee has done its best to be proactive and stay ahead on issues. That’s been the case in requiring schools to have automated external defibrillators, dealing with concussions and establishing protocols. On Sunday, the committee did […]

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 […]

Charter bill passes Senate, voucher bill passes out of committee

Score one for Sen. Dan Patrick. As colleagues praised Education Chairman Dan Patrick’s efforts at building consensus, a significantly altered version of his expansion of the state’s charter school system quickly passed out of the Senate Thursday afternoon. Patrick, R-Houston, said the bill accomplished what should be the goal of lawmakers — lifting everyone through […]

Getting on the same page on marriage equality

Harold Cook asks a darned good question. As SCOTUS hears arguments on marriage equality this week, it reminds me of when the Texas Legislature voted for the state constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage in Texas eight years ago. Texas voters subsequently approved the measure that November by a 3-to-1 margin. I wonder if any of […]

TSTA polls about public education

From the inbox, via the TSTA: A strong majority of Texas voters support using some of the $12 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund to restore the $5.4 billion cut from the public education budget two years ago, and the support is strong across party lines, a poll commissioned by the Texas State Teachers […]

Here come the voucher bills

The Observer reports from the Senate, where two voucher bills were on display. In fact, the business-tax-credit-totally-not-vouchers bill had already been filed Monday, by McKinney Republican Ken Paxton. So ends the great mystery, begun in a little Catholic schoolroom last December, of who would carry Sen. Dan Patrick’s voucher bill. That leaves two school voucher proposals—defined […]

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 […]

Here come the craft beer bills

From Brewed and Never Battered. Senator Kevin Eltife (R-District 1) introduced bi-partisan legislation along with Co-Authors, Senators Brian Birdwell (R-District 22), John Carona (R-District 16), Eddie Lucio (D-District 27), Leticia Van de Putte (D-District 26), Kirk Watson (D-District 14), and John Whitmire (D-District 15) to modernize the state’s alcohol regulatory system to make more competitive Texas’s small, […]

Dan Patrick wants to play doctor

Clearly, the man missed his calling. Before Texas’ abortion sonogram law passed last legislative session, some women seeking to end pregnancies in rural communities relied on telemedicine, with physicians — working in partnership with medical technicians or nurses — administering prescription drugs via videoconference to induce early-stage abortions. If new legislation filed by Sen. Dan […]

Williams in, Lucio out for Congress

Now that the Lege has finished its job with Congressional redistricting, expect to hear a lot more stories about the hopefuls and the not-hopefuls and their plans. For instance, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. With the race for Senate getting crowded, Republican Michael Williams figured the new North Texas congressional seat might just be the ticket […]

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 […]

Soda tax

There are three things you can say about a soda tax for Texas: 1. It would raise some revenue. 2. It would make people drink less soda, which would likely have some modest health benefit. 3. It ain’t gonna happen. Republican lawmakers have vowed to close the budget hole without a new tax. But that […]

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 […]

Sonogram bill passes out of committee

As expected. One of Gov. Rick Perry’s designated “emergency” pieces of legislation cleared an early hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate State Affairs Committee voted in favor of a bill that would require a physician to perform a sonogram on a pregnant woman at least 24 hours before performing an abortion. The bill passed on […]

New frontiers in open meeting laws

There’s an awful lot here to think about. The Texas Legislature may become the first in the nation to tackle whether tweeting and texting is being used to circumvent open meetings laws and whether the private devices of public officials can be subject to open records searches. “They are new tools to communicate with constituents […]

Stiffed by State Farm

Those good hands we’re supposed to be in? They’re squeezing the heck out of us. To leading lawmakers and even some insurance industry experts, State Farm hasn’t exactly been like a good neighbor in recent dealings with state regulators. The state’s largest property insurer shows no sign of compromising on its marathon legal battle over […]

Lucio says he wants to run for Congress

State Sen. Eddie Lucio is looking ahead to 2011 and the possibility that there’s a seat in Congress for him. State Sen. Eddie Lucio says he will seriously consider running for Congress after the next round of redistricting, which takes place in 2011. The Brownsville Democrat says the huge growth in population in the Rio […]

Senate spikes McLeroy

Good for them. The Texas Senate on Thursday refused to confirm Don McLeroy as State Board of Education chairman after an impassioned floor debate. The 19 to 11 party-line vote was not enough to get McLeroy across the required two-thirds threshold. Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, abstained from the vote. McLeroy, a Republican from Bryan, […]

Senate panel approves budget

As you know, the Lege has one task they absolutely must do every biennium, and that’s pass a budget. The Senate Finance Committee has taken its first step towards doing that. A two-year state budget that accepts federal stimulus money and increases spending by 7.3 percent, but hoards cash reserves, was approved by Senate budget […]

Here come stimulus money

The first batch of funds is arriving. The Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated more than $500 million to Texas cities and counties on Monday, part of a wave of stimulus money expected to flow into the state. Federal officials released $14.4 million more to support 12 Texas health centers, many of which provide […]

Will we or won’t we fix unemployment insurance?

There’s a lot of money riding on the answer to that question. The lure of $555 million in federal stimulus money for additional unemployment insurance has Texas legislators mulling whether to expand unemployment benefits to more workers. To get that money, Texas would have to implement some key changes to state law — including modifying […]