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Posts Tagged ‘Gary Elkins’

There oughta be an app for your auto insurance

This is a no-brainer. Digging through a cluttered glove compartment to find proof of insurance while a police officer waits may soon be an antiquated frustration in Texas. Lawmakers are considering bills that would allow drivers in the state to prove financial responsibility using a paperless method — their smartphones. Multiple versions of the bill […]

January finance reports for area legislative offices

Just to complete the tour of semiannual finance reports, here’s a look at the cash on hand totals for area legislators. First up, the Harris County House delegation. Patricia Harless, HD126 – $308,221 Dan Huberty, HD127 – $69,058 Wayne Smith, HD128 – $218,425 John Davis, HD129 – $99,962 Allen Fletcher, HD130 – $46,559 Alma Allen, […]

Point of disorder

New House, new rule. The Texas House’s Democratic minority was dealt a blow Monday when the House passed an amendment to the chamber’s rules to limit legislators’ ability to derail a bill based on clerical errors. Calling “points of order” on such errors is a strategy lawmakers have often used to block measures they oppose. […]

The payday lenders won’t go without a fight

Where there’s a fight, there’s sure to be lots of money. Payday lenders were big spenders in the most recent Texas political campaigns – contributing more than $1.6 million to state races in the 2012 election cycle and giving most generously to Republican committee members who soon will be reviewing proposed reforms for their industry. […]

The Lege will take another crack at payday lending

I’m glad to see this, because the Lege definitely left business unfinished last time. About 83 percent of customers in Beaumont and 75 percent in the Houston and San Antonio metro areas are locked in a loan renewal cycle, latest lender reports show. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and state Sen. John […]

Payday lenders face new regulation

New regulations aimed at curbing the excesses of payday lenders are now in effect, but they will not be the last word on the subject. Proponents of the new regulations passed by lawmakers during the 2011 session say they’re needed because the practice of offering short-term, high-interest loans to consumers has led thousands of Texans […]

Crowdsourcing legislation

Perhaps the wisdom of crowds might help shape better legislation. It’s worth a shot. [Steven] Polunsky is the director of the Texas Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, which is presided over by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas. In anticipation of the next legislative session, in 2013, the committee intends to try to crowdsource legislation […]

I can’t drive 75

If the Lege has its way, in addition to being able to drive 85 on the Interstates, you will also be able to drive 75 on some other highways. Legislation that would eliminate lower nighttime speed limits in Texas, allow trucks to drive at the same speed as cars on all highways and authorize rural […]

Red light camera ban appears dead

So says the Star-Telegram, which has been the go-to source for these stories. A final version of legislation restructuring the Texas Department of Transportation is not expected to include a ban on red-light cameras or a local option provision allowing county elections to raise money for road and rail projects, lawmakers said Saturday. Members of […]

Houston extends red light camera contract

We’ll have red light cameras to kick around for at least a few more years. The City Council extended the contract of the company that administers its red-light camera program for three more years Wednesday, aiming to thwart legislation pending in Austin that would sunset the use of the devices. The ordinance, which passed Wednesday […]

Skinning a cat: Alternate methods

More on the House attempt to kill red light cameras

Grits notes with some pleasure a couple of amendments in HB300, the massive TxDOT sunset bill that passed yesterday, which would limit and ultimately end cities’ use of red light cameras. While I’ve never understood the fear and loathing these things have generated, I can’t say I’m surprised by the legislative about-face. The cameras’ opponents […]

More on the House attempt to kill red light cameras

Grits notes with some pleasure a couple of amendments in HB300, the massive TxDOT sunset bill that passed yesterday, which would limit and ultimately end cities’ use of red light cameras. While I’ve never understood the fear and loathing these things have generated, I can’t say I’m surprised by the legislative about-face. The cameras’ opponents […]

Sunsetting TxDOT

Yesterday was Day One of the debate over HB300, the TxDOT sunset bill. The Lege is on Day Two now, and if you look at all the amendments they’ve gone through, you can see why this is taking so long. Some massive changes have been proposed and adopted, staring with this. The first amendment to […]

House passes veto override resolution

I’m a little surprised that this got taken up so (relatively) quickly, but not at all surprised that it passed. The House today passed a measure that would allow Texas voters to decide whether to allow the Legislature to override gubernatorial vetoes in short sessions after regular legislative sessions. The House voted 131 to 16 […]

“What’s Medicaid?”

This isn’t too much to ask, is it? Give State Rep. Gary Elkins some credit for being honest. At a hearing [Thursday] of the House Committee on Human Services, Elkins and other members of the panel considered more than two dozen bills related to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Three hours into the […]