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Posts Tagged ‘Juan Hinojosa’

State wants birth certificate lawsuit dropped

I don’t know about that. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal district judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims a state agency violated the U.S. Constitution by denying birth certificates to U.S.-citizen children of immigrant parents. Attorneys with Paxton’s office said that the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is […]

More on the state’s refusal to issue birth certificates

The Observer follows up. Two legislators have weighed in on the controversy over Texas’ refusal to grant birth certificates to some children of undocumented families. On Wednesday, Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, sent a letter to Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Kirk Cole, referencing an […]

Voodoo economics

Also known as Dan Patrick’s budgetary contortions. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, joined by the Texas Senate’s lead budget writers, announced “a new bold proposal” Wednesday morning to allow lawmakers to cut property taxes and pay down the state’s debt without busting the state’s politically charged spending cap. “Gosh darn, we know our businesses and taxpayers […]

Banning e-cigarette sales to minors

You’d think this would have a decent chance of passing. Legislators in Texas, one of just nine states that permit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, will consider banning such sales amid concerns about growing use of the “safer” alternative to smoking among youth. Even as the Texas Medical Association and Texas Public Health Coalition […]

More on the initial bill filings

From the Trib, a sampling: As of Monday afternoon, a bill repealing the Texas Dream Act, which allows undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state college tuition rates, had yet to emerge. Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick promised while campaigning that he would work to repeal the act. The bill could part of legislation that is reserved for priorities […]

Legislation to overturn same sex marriage ban filed

Someone’s gotta do it, and you know it won’t be Republicans. Kriselda Hinojosa recalls how she unintentionally came out to her father in sixth grade. “He actually saw me kissing my girlfriend at the time,” Hinojosa said. “So he caught me, but he didn’t get upset. He never yelled at me or anything. He was […]

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 […]

Marriage equality bill filed

As I said before, some things you do because they’re the right thing to do. State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, filed a bill Thursday to permit same-sex couples to marry, calling it a “Valentine’s Day gift to all Texans.” His measure is one of several bills filed recently that deal with gay rights issues. […]

Repealing the Texas double secret illegal anti-gay marriage amendment

Some things you do because they’re the right thing to do. Reps. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, and Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, are seeking to reverse the state’s prohibition against gay marriage or same-sex civil unions. Their proposed constitutional amendments — HJR 77 and HJR 78 – would repeal a 2005 amendment passed by Texas voters that bans […]

Then YOU fix it!

Stuff like this really pisses me off. On Wednesday, the [Senate Finance] committee heard testimony from state officials on the proposed health budget, which grew 2 percent from the current biennium budget to $70 billion. The chairman of the committee, Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, expressed the need for fiscal conservancy but said the decisions […]

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 […]

The racetracks have given up on gambling for this session

Here’s a clear answer for those of you who may have been holding out some hope for an expansion of gambling. Retama Park officials have all but lost hope that lawmakers will act before the end of the regular legislative session to let voters decide whether to legalize slot machines at state racetracks. While a […]

Forensic Science Commission bill approved, but not improved, by the Senate

I don’t know what happened with the bill to more clearly define the mission of the Forensic Science Commission, but it seems to have gone off track. Senate Bill 1658 would let the Texas Forensic Science Commission launch an investigation without having to wait for a complaint to be filed. “It is a positive improvement,” […]

“Sanctuary cities” bill gutted in committee

Didn’t see this coming. In a surprise move that could effectively kill HB 12, the sanctuary cities bill that Gov. Rick Perry declared an emergency item, a Senate committee today replaced the immigration language with a homeland security bill by state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands. The move could be deadly for the sanctuary cities […]

Senate map is out, controversy precedes it

Before we had a State Senate map, we had a brawl brewing over one proposed district on it. Accusing the state Senate’s Republican leaders of a “shameful partisan attack,” Sen. Wendy Davis said Tuesday that a new redistricting map for her Tarrant County senatorial district violates the federal Voting Rights Act by ripping apart a […]

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 […]

Legislation to allow slot machines filed

Fresh from the inbox: BI-PARTISAN LEGISLATION FILED TO ALLOW STATEWIDE VOTE ON SLOTS AT TEXAS TRACKS, INDIAN RESERVATIONS AUSTIN, Texas — Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) and Texas State Representative Beverly Woolley (R-Houston) filed legislation today to allow Texas voters to decide whether to allow slot machines at existing horse and greyhound tracks […]

Have gun, can vote

During the long debate over voter ID in the Senate, the Democrats proposed many amendments, most of which were defeated on straight party lines. Here, via the Chron, is one of the very few that passed: 18. Hinojosa – Accept CHL as a form of ID. Accepted by a vote of 30-0. Clearly, the answer […]

A fine whine from the SBOE

Apparently, some of the wingnut members of our State Board of Education got their widdle feelings hurt by some of the coverage of their most recent hijinks, in particular about their amendment to remove Thomas Jefferson from the world history standards. It was all just so unfair that SBOE Chair Gail Lowe took the time […]

Bradley’s penchant for secrecy

I don’t know what John Bradley’s goals are as the Chair of the Texas Forensic Science Commission. But if one of them is to dispel the notion that he’s Rick Perry’s stooge, who was installed for the purpose of covering the Governor’s ass on the Cameron Todd Willingham case, then he’s doing it wrong. John […]

House budget conferees announced

Elise Hu names names. State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, House Appropriations Chairman State Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Webb, House Appropriations Vice-Chair State Rep. Ruth Jones-McClendon, D-San Antonio State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Houston Give credit to Burka – he called all five. These five will join Senate conferees Steve Ogden, Royce West, […]

Beware Lt. Govs. bearing gifts

On the surface, hearing that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst now favors tuition re-regulation sounds like a good thing. A lot of people, Democrats especially, have been screaming about this for months. But as always, the devil is in the details. Facing a major state budget shortfall in 2003, Dewhurst got behind a fiscal rescue package […]