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Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Farrar’

Last minute health insurance enrollment help

From the inbox: The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will open four of its multi-service centers on Sunday and extend their business hours next Monday to help people sign up for a health insurance plan by the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 deadline. HDHHS will open Acres Homes, Denver Harbor, Northeast and Southwest […]

Filing deadline today

Before I get into the details of who has or hasn’t filed for what, I have a bone to pick with this AP story. Perhaps what the candidate filings reveal most is the relative strength and depth of the political parties in Texas. Four top Republicans are in a fierce battle for lieutenant governor, three […]

It’s still Gene Green’s world

I have three things to say about this story about Rep. Gene Green. The affable, low-key former printer’s apprentice is a legend across his gritty, blue-collar domain along the 54-mile Houston Ship Channel, where he represents the most heavily Hispanic congressional district in the nation that has not elected a Hispanic to Congress. By virtue […]

Back to the House

After the Senate adjourned on Tuesday morning without a committee vote on its omnibus anti-abortion bill following the long hearing in which there was a lot more hearing than listening, the House took up its bill, with more of the same in store. State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, the chairwoman of the House women’s health […]

Last redistricting bill passes Senate, House debates abortion bills

It was destiny. The Texas Senate on Sunday wrapped up final redistricting loose ends by concurring with changes made by the House to political boundaries for the lower chamber. In an 18-11 vote, the Senate signed off on a series of small tweaks to the House maps — changes that swap a couple of precincts […]

House passes redistricting and abortion bills

Texas Redistricting: The House has passed SB 3, the redistricting bill for the state house map, on third and final reading. There was one last floor amendment today offered by State Rep. Toni Rose (D-Dallas), which moved Rose’s mother and a few other hundred voters into her district from HD 109 where they had been […]

Craft beer bills pass the House

Hallelujah! A raft of bills that would dramatically alter the way beer is sold and consumed in Texas sailed through tentative approval from the House on Friday after a lengthy and disputatious process between brewers and beer distributors. If finally approved next week, the legislation will go straight to the governor’s desk without another stop. […]

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,” […]

The HPV vaccine

This story about HPV and its vaccine is from a couple of weeks ago, but it needs to be read. The vaccine that blocks a sexually transmitted infection that causes cervical, oral and other cancers was hailed as a home run when it was approved seven years ago, but, given usage rates, doctors still aren’t […]

Smaller WHP provider list back up

Maybe they got it right this time. A revised list of Texas Women’s Health Program providers — with 965 fewer doctors and clinics — has returned to the state’s website. [...] The HHSC had previously stated that the Texas WHP had 3,500 participating providers, roughly 1,000 more than the number of providers that participated in […]

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 […]

Precinct analysis: The range of possibility

Here’s a look at selected districts in Harris County that shows the range of votes and vote percentages achieved by Democratic candidates. I’ve thrown in the Obama and Sam Houston results from 2008 for each to provide a comparison between how the district was predicted to perform and how it actually did perform. Without further […]

I-45 public forum tomorrow

From the inbox: I-45 Public Forum ~ October 24th! Many people who attended the TxDOT public meeting last week (October 9th or 11th ) left with more questions than answers! Why? It appears that TxDOT is listening & trying to come up with several alternatives to help the traffic on I-45 … in fact, they came up with 33 […]

More on the microbrewers’ legislative strategy

The Statesman returns to our favorite subject. The small brewers, generally a young and passionate group, always have been better at creating hoppy and original brews than navigating the Legislature and the network of big-money lobbyists who are experts at quietly influencing politicians. The lack of political savvy among craft brewers has hampered their efforts […]

Perry gives another middle finger to public education

It’s a twofer, actually. Here’s one. Gov. Rick Perry named Michael Williams the new commissioner of the Texas Education Agency Monday. A fixture of Texas Republican politics — and a former general counsel to the Republican Party of Texas — Williams resigned from the Texas Railroad Commission in 2011 after serving more than a decade […]

“Collateral damage”

How’s that war on women going? In the year since deep cuts to family planning funding took effect, the impact has become apparent. An Observer review of state records has found that 146 clinics have lost state funds, clumped mainly in the Panhandle, Central Texas and on the border with Mexico. More than 60 of […]

Our high maintenance Governor

Ka-ching! Texans have been billed $2.2 million in out-of-state travel expenses for Gov. Rick Perry’s security detail since his November 2010 re-election, including his failed presidential bid and other trips ranging from vacations to state business and political gatherings, according to updated figures released Friday. The new report released by the Texas Department of Public […]

No Medicaid expansion for you!

So much for that. Texas will not expand Medicaid or establish a health insurance exchange, two major tenets of the federal health reform that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last month, Gov. Rick Perry said in an early morning announcement. “I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab,” […]

The Texas bait and switch

You almost have to admire the sheer brazenness of it all. Almost. In a fiscal switcheroo, Texas could free up state dollars to fund the embattled Women’s Health Program by seeking federal block grants for other programs, the state’s health commissioner wrote in a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday. Texas is losing more than […]

Perry’s empty promise on the Women’s Health Program

Our Governor talks big, but his words have no meaning. The state will find the cash to continue a women’s health program whose federal funding is threatened because of a decision to keep Planned Parenthood from participating, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday. “We’re going to fund this program,” Perry said. “Listen, we’ll find the money. […]

“Houston History” Fall 2011 Launch Reception

From the inbox: Join Council Members Ed Gonzalez, Melissa Noriega, and James Rodriguez, and State Representatives Carol Alvarado and Jessica Farrar for the launch of Houston History Magazine  Fall 2011 Issue Tuesday, December 6  5:30-7:00PM Sombreros (formerly Velia’s) 2910 Navigation Blvd. (Map) Meet the Authors and Enjoy Sweet Treats The University of Houston Center for […]

Sylvia and Mario

Last week, Robert Miller mentioned that there was talk that former County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia might challenge Sen. Mario Gallegos in the 2012 primary. PDiddie expanded on that, and the chatter eventually led to a denial from both politicians via their shared consultant, Dan McClung; Campos pooh-poohed the denial. So basically, believe what and who […]

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 […]

RIP, HB602

Dammit. Texans won’t be buying liquor on Sunday and the state’s 29 brewpubs won’t be competing with their out-of-state rivals on local grocery shelves. And Texas breweries or liquor distillers still can’t sell a 12-pack of beer or a souvenir bottle of bourbon to tourists, as the Legislature has killed all bills related to changes […]

HB602 clears Senate committee

One more step forward for microbreweries and their ability to let customers bring their product home after a tour, as HB602 gets voted out of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee. HB 602 is a compromise – it still bans true retail sales, but would allow small breweries to give away up to 144 ounces […]

“Sanctuary cities” ban passes the House

I suppose we should get used to the phrase “cutting off debate” because that seems to be the norm these days. After taking the unusual and controversial strategy of cutting off debate, the Texas House late Monday voted 99 to 47 in favor of a ban on “sanctuary cities,” despite objections that the measure was […]

Heights Wal-Mart public meeting reminder

From the inbox: Responsible Urban Development for Houston [RUDH] Announces their next: PUBLIC MEETING: TUESDAY MAY 3RD, 2011 AT 6:30 PM The Council on Alcohol and Drugs 303 Jackson Hill Street, Houston, Texas 77007 Regarding: Heights Wal-Mart Project and the Yale Street Bridge over White Oak Bayou WHAT: Alarm Bells are sounding in the Heights […]

Fight over family planning funds coming

It’s a small piece of the difference between the House and Senate budgets, but it will surely be a big part of the fight over how the two are reconciled. The Senate budget approved by the Finance Committee would spend $11 billion more than the House version, and members of the upper chamber seem unwilling […]

A win for the microbrewers

Woo hoo! Craft beer brewers came to the Capitol this session with a number of bills giving them greater latitude in getting their beers to customers. [Thursday], the House gave an early OK to one of those bills, allowing breweries to charge admission for tours, and include up to two six-packs of beers to give […]

Redistricting committee votes out State House map

Texas Politics: By a vote of 11 to 5, the House Redistricting Committee approved a plan redrawing the Texas House map that, according to its sponsor, committee chairman Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, creates a total of 30 minority opportunity districts. The committee rejected several amendments offered by the four Democrats on the committee, who contended that […]

Solomons State House map 2.0

Go to http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us/ and check out Plan H134 for a revised State House map from House Redistricting Chair Burt Solomons. Here’s the Harris County view: Still 24 districts, with either Rep. Scott Hochberg or Rep. Hubert Vo on the outside looking in. In this variation, HD143 goes back to being an East End seat, and […]

First State House redistricting plan is up

Go here, click Select Plans, then Base Plan, then choose Plan H113. The first thing I noticed is that it did in fact reduce Harris County to 24 members. Here’s a screen grab: HD149 is the odd district out – it’s a weird barbell district that joins Burnet and Milam Counties via a thin strip […]