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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Abbott’

“Fetal remains” rule goes into effect

Cue up that next lawsuit. Texas’ proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains will take effect Dec. 19, according to state health officials. Despite intense outcry from the medical community and reproductive rights advocates, the state will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in […]

Texting while driving ban bills filed again

We’ll see if this gets a different result. Drivers know the risks, and in more than 95 Texas counties they live under local cell phone ordinances that ban texting while driving. But the Lone Star State remains one of four states in the country without a statewide ban on the practice. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, hopes to […]

Pot bills get their own post

They got their own story in the Trib, so why not their own post. Texas lawmakers across the state say they want leniency in how the state prosecutes marijuana crimes. In an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith Monday, State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, said he thinks the Legislature could decriminalize possession of small […]

As long as we’re talking about improving our voting machines

Then this is what we should be talking about. [Travis] County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir called Rice University computer science professor Dan Wallach, who has been poking holes in voting-machine security for years. He’s testified before Congress on the subject. Now DeBeauvoir wanted him to design a new one. “Wow,” he says. “That doesn’t happen very […]

“Denied”, continued

Here’s Part 2 of the Chron’s reporting on special education limits. A few days before school began here in 2007, district administrators called an emergency staff meeting. The Texas Education Agency had determined that they had too many students in special education, the administrators announced, and they had come up with a plan: Remove as […]

Wait, who supports paper ballots now?

I have three things to say about this. Following repeated allegations by Republican Donald Trump that the election may be rigged to ensure a win for Democrat Hillary Clinton, Texas lawmakers are actively considering ways to boost confidence in the state’s elections during next year’s legislative session. Among the ideas drawing interest: adding paper trail […]

Republicans take their desperate shot at limiting same sex marriage

Pathetic. After coming out on the losing end of a United States Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Texas Republican leaders are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to narrow the scope of that landmark ruling. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed an amicus […]

State moves to withdraw Syrian refugee lawsuit

Good, though at this point it probably doesn’t matter. A week after the state officially withdrewfrom the nation’s refugee resettlement program, Texas has moved to end its legal battle over Syrian refugees. In a short, three-page motion, Texas on Friday asked the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the state’s appeal of a […]

“Grab her by the p—-“

Donald Trump, ladies and gentlemen: Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” according to a video obtained by The Washington Post. The video captures Trump talking […]

Superintendents begin speaking out against special education limits

Good for them. The leaders of two of the state’s biggest school districts are calling on the Texas Education Agency to stop penalizing districts for giving specialized education to more kids than the agency has deemed prudent. Superintendents Michael Hinojosa of Dallas and Pedro Martinez of San Antonio came out against the arbitrary enrollment target […]

Greg Abbott does not speak for all Texans on refugees

Lots of people are moved to offer assistance to those who most need it. Nonprofits that resettle refugees say volunteer turnout has increased — in some cases dramatically — since Texas Republicans first suggested they threatened security. “It’s one of those rare issues where people’s hearts are really united in supporting refugees,” said Chris Kelley, […]

More on Republican turnout concerns

It’s a thing that is happening, though it’s hard to say to what extent. On Monday, one of the most prominent Republicans in Texas has a warning for supporters that Texas could go blue this election. Governor Greg Abbott is sounding the alarm, citing recent poll numbers. Democrats couldn’t be happier, especially because the email […]

Clean Power Plan’s day in the DC court

We’ll see how it goes. Dozens of lawyers from the government, industry and public interest groups packed the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, to hear the divisive case that comes just weeks before a heated presidential election and illustrates how a President’s picks for the lower court might impact his own agenda. […]

Back to court for the Clean Power Plan

Here we go. One of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s final acts on Earth may have been to doom it. Last February, on the final Tuesday of Scalia’s life, the Supreme Court handed down a 5–4 decision suspending the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. It was a surprising development — a lower court panel that included a […]

The next abortion lawsuit should be on its way

We were warned it would need to happen. Despite intense outcry from the medical community, reproductive rights advocates and funeral directors, Texas isn’t budging on a proposed rule to require the cremation or burial of fetal remains. Following an initial public comment period that sparked medical concerns and a legal threat, Texas health officials have […]

School district to join lawsuit over STAAR test

Interesting. Ben Becker, the Houston father who helped organize a legal fight over last year’s STAAR exams, has repeatedly challenged superintendents over the last few months to join him in court to fight for their students. Becker describes his group as a handful of Texas parents up against the state of Texas, backed by a […]

We continue to cower in fear of Syrian refugees

Sheesh. As part of its ongoing fight to keep Syrian refugees out of the state, Texas is threatening to withdraw from the nation’s refugee resettlement program if federal officials refuse to “unconditionally approve” a state plan requiring additional vetting of relocated people. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday said the state had informed the Office […]

Abbott says something about high speed rail

Something vague, and a bit confusing. Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday expressed caution about high-speed rail in Texas, warning that any investment in transportation must not be a “money-losing proposition.” It was one of several notable topics that came up during a wide-ranging Q-and-A with the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, where Abbott also vouched […]

TEA will review special ed limits

It’s a start. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Wednesday that his office is reviewing a monitoring system that sets an 8.5 percent benchmark for special education enrollments and strictly audits school districts with enrollments that exceed that rate for students with disabilities. The Chronicle reported Sunday that TEA officials had arbitrarily selected the 8.5 […]

Some officials take note of special education funding restrictions

It’s a start. The vice chairman of the State Board of Education, a Houston school board member, a key state senator and scores of parents and disability advocates all expressed strong opposition on Monday to a Texas Education Agency performance-based monitoring system that has kept thousands of disabled children out of special education since 2004. […]

“Denied”

This is worth your time to read. During the first week of school at Shadow Forest Elementary, a frail kindergartner named Roanin Walker had a meltdown at recess. Overwhelmed by the shrieking and giggling, he hid by the swings and then tried to escape the playground, hitting a classmate and biting a teacher before being […]

Susan Hawk resigns as Dallas County DA

Thus endeth her short but incredibly tumultuous time in office. After struggling with mental illness, including three admissions at psychiatric treatment centers, Republican Susan Hawk stepped down from her position as Dallas County District Attorney on Tuesday. “It is with a heavy heart that I must tender my resignation as Dallas County District Attorney,” Hawk […]

Voter fraud: Still a myth

Just a reminder, in case you needed one. Politicians and voting rights advocates continue to clash over whether photo ID and other voting requirements are needed to prevent voter fraud, but a News21 analysis and recent court rulings show little evidence that such fraud is widespread. A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged […]

Who watches the election watchers?

What could possibly go wrong with this? In 2012, Greg Abbott caused a stir when he issued this warning to international election observers: Don’t set foot inside Texas polling places. Abbott, then the attorney general, was worried the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe — which routinely dispatches election monitors to the United States […]

Law enforcement versus open carry, round 2

This ought to be interesting. After two shootings targeting police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, there’s been an uptick in the national conversation about how best to support law enforcement. Politicians and lawmakers such as Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who used his platform during a town hall on race and policing to ask President Obama […]

More on the “fetal remains” rule change

It’s stupid, harmful, unnecessary, expensive, and almost certainly in violation of the SCOTUS ruling in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. But other than that, no biggie. In the aftermath of a car accident in 2014, Denee Booker was told by her doctor that the child she was carrying had died in utero. To avoid complications, […]

Get ready for the next abortion lawsuit

Expect it in a couple of months. Texas’ proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains “will almost certainly trigger costly litigation,” reproductive rights lawyers say. In a letter to the Texas Department of State Health Services, lawyers with the Center for Reproductive Rights on Monday argued that the new rules — proposed at […]

What next for voter ID?

Rick Hasen, writing in Slate: The trial court was ready to throw out the entire law, but the 5th Circuit said such a remedy went too far. The court held that when a trial court finds a law has a discriminatory effect under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, it has to keep as […]

Feds leave oversight of Texas Central to the state

No change in status. A proposed high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas will remain a mostly Texas matter following a federal decision which opponents cheered as a blow to the project, while backers said provided a definitive scope of the planning process. The Surface Transportation Board on Monday determined it has no oversight of […]

Abbott pushes for hate crime status for targeted killing of police officers

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Gov. Greg Abbott wants the targeted killing of a police officer to be deemed a hate crime in Texas and urged lawmakers to send him such a bill to sign during next year’s legislative session. Abbott announced Monday his plan to lobby for adding his […]

Will we ever learn what caused Greg Abbott’s burns?

Not sure what to make of this. Gov. Greg Abbott was released Friday from a San Antonio military hospital, but he has yet to give details of the accident that put him there with second- and third-degree burns. Abbott’s office has said his lower legs and feet were severely burned when he came into contact […]

Abbott hospitalized after suffering burns

Ouch. [Gov. Greg] Abbott is recuperating from burns on both legs below the knees. On Tuesday, the governor [underwent] skin grafts to repair damage on both feet. He is expected to be discharged and will return to Austin. His office revealed on Sunday that he had suffered “second- and third-degree burns” when he was accidentally […]

Abbott pre-K plan falls short

Well, duh. In Texas, where pre-K is scorned by some conservative activists as “godless,” Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s major education initiative is giving classrooms far less money than many once thought, causing even the district of the governor’s high school alma mater to now rebuff his plan. Texas handed out $116 million in pre-K grants […]

From the “You can dish it out but you sure can’t take it” files

Poor baby. After years of Texas trying to lure businesses away from other states, New York has struck back — with an ad that paints the Lone Star State as unwelcoming and discriminatory to the LGBT community. The two-minute ad released by New York’s chief economic development agency highlights the Empire State’s principles of inclusion […]