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Posts Tagged ‘Judith Zaffirini’

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 […]

Senate begins omnibus abortion bill hearings

Remember, it’s all about women’s health. Senate Bill 1, and its companion, House Bill 2, would ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization and recognize that the state has a compelling interest to protect fetuses from pain; require doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the facility; require doctors to administer […]

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 […]

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 […]

Vouchers continue to be a tough sell

I won’t be happy till they’re dead and buried, but it’s something. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, doesn’t think the Senate has a taste for vouchers. Noting that a two-thirds vote of the 31-member chamber is needed to bring up a bill for discussion, she said, “I believe there are 11 votes to block.” House Public […]

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 […]

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 […]

Senate slap fight

Hilarious. The quiet race to be the next lieutenant governor of Texas spilled into a nasty email exchange between two senators with aspirations for that post. In an email apparently sent to all of his Senate colleagues — and obtained and published by a political news website, the Quorum Report — Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, […]

Crowdsourcing legislation update

Back in October, I noted an effort by the Texas Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, which is presided over by state Sen. John Carona, to crowdsource its upcoming hearings on payday lending. The Statesman has a report on how things have gone so far. Several times in recent months, the Senate panel and the […]

Here are the vetoes

Sunday was the deadline for Rick Perry to sign, veto, or leave unsigned all of the remaining bills from the regular legislative session. He had 1170 pieces of legislation awaiting a decision while he was busy gallivanting around the country. Yesterday, he finished the task, issuing a total of 24 vetoes, one of which was […]

Senate approves Congressional map

On to the House. A new redistricting map, drawn to promote and protect Republican interests in the U.S. Congress, sailed out of the GOP-led state Senate Monday. The map, predictably approved 18-12 along strict party lines, would give Republicans a decent chance of retaining every congressional seat they now hold. They also would have a […]

Texting while driving ban passed

Somehow, this managed to happen as everything else was going on at the end of the session. The Senate voted for a statewide ban on texting while driving Wednesday night, as an amendment added to another bill. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, added the bill as an amendment to a bill that would allow retired peace […]

Budget passes

It’s official. The Texas House and Senate passed a state budget Saturday that cuts billions from public schools, state universities and health care for the elderly. The $172 billion legislation now goes to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature. Facing a massive revenue shortfall, lawmakers crafted the budget by making cuts and using deferrals rather […]

Senate redistricting map approved by committee

That didn’t take long. Rejecting pleas to keep most of Travis County in a single Senate district, the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting [Friday] morning approved a plan that will divide the capital city into four senatorial districts. The Republican-dominated panel also rejected an amendment to the plan that would have returned Austin-Bergstrom International Airport […]

Senate redistricting hearing

So the Senate Redistricting Committee hearing was today. See if you can spot a theme here. Sen. Kirk Watson expressed his dissatisfaction with the map that was introduced by Sen. Kel Seliger. At a morning hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, Watson blasted the proposed Senate plan as dividing historical minority constituencies in […]

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 […]

Senate makes progress on the budget

They still haven’t gotten to the actual budget yet, but they’ve passed a bill that allows for some extra “non-tax revenue” plus a bunch of accounting gimmicks, which makes their less-penurious-than-the-House budget possible. The Texas Senate, digging publicly for money while it battles quietly over a proposed budget, approved a “non-tax revenue” bill that would […]

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 […]

Booster seats

The nine-month grace period for complying with the new booster seat law is officially over. While the law took effect in September, a nine-month grace period has given families time to prepare. Authorities have been issuing warnings, but now citations come with fines starting at $25 for first-time offenders and increasing to $250 for subsequent […]

Monitoring the food stamps problem

State Sens. Judith Zaffirini and Tommy Williams will be keeping an eye on the food stamps situation. Zaffirini said in an interview that she and Williams will work with Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs on hiring more enrollment workers — as well as training and retaining them — and improving communication between […]

Tuition reregulation passes the Senate

Off to the House. The Texas Senate unanimously approved legislation today that would sharply restrict the ability of public university governing boards to raise tuition. The measure now goes to the House. Lawmakers granted boards of regents virtually unfettered authority in 2003 to control tuition. Increases since then have prompted something of a legislative backlash. […]

More Tier I schools

Good news. The Texas House on Friday voted unanimously on a plan making it easier for the University of Houston to gain elite status by gradually becoming a national “tier-one” research institution. Houston, the country’s fourth largest city, deserves a public tier one university, said. Rep. Ellen Cohen, D-Houston, a member of the House Higher […]

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 […]

Dems seek repeal of new DPS rules

We didn’t have any voter ID action yesterday, but we did have this. Some Democratic lawmakers joined by Texas residents who have had trouble getting drivers’ licenses under new Department of Public Safety rules pushed Monday for legislation that would undo a policy they say harms U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, […]

Senate committees

Elise Hu has the list of committees and members for the State Senate, which came out yesterday. Not much drama here – as she noted, Sen. John Carona, the on Republican vote against changing the rules for voter ID bills, got the same chairs as last time. One change was the appointment of Sen. Judith […]