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Posts Tagged ‘Kel Seliger’

The Senate is likely to get stupider again

The cause. The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents officially named state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, the sole finalist to be the system’s next chancellor in a press release issued Monday afternoon. Duncan is expected to start in his new position on July 1. A special election will have to be held to replace […]

Dallas adopts plastic bag fee

A fee, not a ban. Stores in Dallas will charge customers five cents for most kinds of plastic or paper carryout bags, under a measure approved Wednesday by the City Council. At the urging of council member Dwaine Caraway, the council voted 8-6 to assess an “environmental fee” for single-use carryout bags. The five-cent charge […]

Special Session 3: Beyond Thunderdome

Beyond ridiculous, if you ask me, not that they did. Standing before mostly empty chairs in the 150-member Texas House on Tuesday, House Speaker Joe Straus adjourned the second special session and announced that Gov. Rick Perry would be calling them all back for a third special session later in the day. After gaveling in […]

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 […]

House passes redistricting bills

They accepted a couple of amendments but otherwise the process wasn’t much different from the Senate or the House committee. A daylong debate on redistricting maps in the Texas House drew frustration from Democrats and growing concern from Republicans on Thursday as House leaders agreed to some amendments to one of the maps. Gov. Rick […]

Perry goes on a veto spree

Here’s the full list. Among the victims are the omnibus ethics bill HB217, thus giving Allen Blakemore his fondest wish; two bills aimed at reducing the number of standardized tests some students must take, one of which will make William McKenzie happy; SB15, which would have placed new limits on the power of the University […]

Senate approves redistricting bills

As pro forma as they wanna be. The Texas Senate voted to ratify court-drawn political maps that were used for legislative and congressional races in 2012. The bills now head to the House. In party-line votes, Senators voted 16-11 to approve the interim maps for congressional and state House districts. The map of the state’s […]

Redistricting deal in the works?

Color me skeptical of this. The contours of an agreement might have emerged Monday as a special committee of the Texas House debated maps of congressional and legislative districts. A Republican lawmaker and an attorney for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus said there was a consensus that minority groups would accept maps that create one […]

Feisty redistricting hearing in Dallas

There really aren’t any other kind of redistricting hearings, when you get right down to it. Most of the testimony centered on whether to approve interim political maps used in the 2012 elections, or toss those lines out in favor of proposals that would create three congressional districts in North Texas where minorities could elect […]

Redistricting hearings schedule

Attend one if you can. Senate and House committees tapped to work on redistricting during the special session Tuesday released times, locations and dates for field hearings around the state. The Senate will hold two field hearings, one in Corpus Christi and one in Houston. – Friday, 5 p.m. at Texas A&M University, HRI Conference […]

The special session won’t be so short

The original idea behind the special session on redistricting was that it would be a quickie – gavel in, vote to adopt the interim maps as permanent, maybe vote on a few wingnut wish list items, and gavel out again. That may yet be the basic timeline, but it will take more time than first […]

Special session is called

And no one is surprised. With the ink barely dry on the bills passed during the 83rd Legislature’s regular session, Gov. Rick Perry called lawmakers back into an immediate special session to consider redistricting measures for the Legislature and the Texans who serve in the U.S. Congress. Speculation had been mounting for days that Perry […]

Fewer tests in the future

If you’re tired of standardized tests, this will be good news for you. Under House Bill 866 by state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Humble, which passed the Senate on Tuesday night, students who do well on state exams in third and fifth grades could skip exams in fourth, sixth and seventh grades. All students would be […]

Abbott predicts special session for redistricting

For the first time, someone says out loud the rumor of a special session on redistricting. Attorney General Greg Abbott let House members know in the Republican caucus meeting on Tuesday that he expects and is hoping for a special session on redistricting — sooner than later. Several lawmakers in the meeting confirmed that Abbott […]

Dark money

It’s a small step, if it’s allowed to be taken, but the bill to require donor disclosure on so-called “dark money” is a step in the right direction. Senate Bill 346 takes direct aim at the cloak of anonymity that currently shields so-called “dark money” groups – those tax-exempt organizations whose donors drop big bucks […]

Senate passes amended HB5

The Senate has passed its version of House Bill 5, which makes sweeping changes to standardized testing and curriculum requirements for high school students. Texas high school students would have new curriculum requirements under legislation unanimously passed by the Senate on Monday — but they won’t be the ones the House envisioned when it approved […]

Redistricting remains a partisan issue

We’re not surprised by this, right? Amarillo Sen. Kel Seliger offered a redistricting bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee that would formally adopt interim maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio last year. The maps for Congressional, state Senate and House districts were used for the 2012 election while a federal court […]

Senate committee to take up interim maps bill

From Texas Redistricting: The Texas Senate’s state affairs committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, April 18, at 2 p.m. (or upon adjournment) to consider SB 1524 – State Sen. Kel Seliger’s bill to adopt the court-drawn interim maps as permanent. As drafted, the bill would apply to all three maps that are currently in […]

Abbott asks for the interim maps

Very interesting. The recently dormant Texas redistricting issue woke up Thursday with a disagreement between the state’s attorney general and a Latino legislators’ group. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has called on the Legislature to make the current — and interim — redistricting maps permanent. Abbott’s letter to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus — which […]

The redistrictor’s dilemma

Some fascinating news from Texas Redistricting. Friday’s bill filing deadline in the Texas Legislature brought bills by State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) – chair of the House redistricting committee – and State Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) to make permanent the three interim maps drawn by the San Antonio court last year. The identical bills […]

More STAAR changes proposed

Everyone’s least favorite standardized test is a fat target these days. State Sen. Kel Seliger, the Amarillo Republican who chairs the Senate Higher Education Committee, filed a bill Tuesday offering broad changes to student assessment and high school graduation requirements in Texas. Senate Bill 225 would significantly reduce the number of state standardized tests students […]

The split primary blues

Republicans have them. Republican lawmakers turned up the heat on the Texas GOP leadership Wednesday, asking them to keep Texas’ primaries on a single election day while their own party continues to push for two primaries, one in March and a second in May. Most of the Texas congressional delegation signed a letter sent late […]

Expand the Senate?

I think there’s a lot of merit to this. From state Sen. Kel Seliger, a member of the smaller-government Republican Party and an architect of the Legislature’s redistricting maps that were nixed by federal judges last week, comes this: Consider expanding the Texas Senate from 31 to 37 members. At a public forum at the […]

Veasey joins in redistricting litigation

Add another redistricting lawsuit to the pile. Brought by state Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, the lawsuit is another attempt to get a three-judge panel hearing redistricting cases to reconsider the entire state map by focusing on how the districts are drawn around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. “You want to show that, statewide, 90 percent […]

Opening bids on the next deficit

Do I hear $7 billion? Ten billion? How about $15 billion? Early projections indicate that when the Legislature convenes in 2013 it could face another revenue shortfall. Not as severe as this year’s $27-billion gap, but still problematic. “I think we’re going to have a $10- to $15-billion budget deficit next session,” Sen. Dan Patrick, […]

Is now the time for the Wentworth redistricting bill?

Postcards says “Maybe”, but I remain skeptical. In both 2005 and 2007, the state Senate approved a bill to establish a Texas Congressional Redistricting Commission, in part to remove the contentious and partisan process from the plate of the state Legislature. “I think the votes are here to get this bill on the floor,” said […]

Plans from an alternate universe: The Veasey-West plan

Congressional redistricting, which took so long that it couldn’t be done during the regular session, has zipped through the special session, thanks in no small part to the virtual elimination of public testimony. At this point, the full House needs to pass the map that emerged from the House Redistricting Committee last week, then either […]

WaPo on Texas redistricting

The Fix makes a few curious statements about the proposed Congressional redistricting map for Texas. Despite the Lonestar State voting 55 percent for Republicans in the 2008 presidential race, the GOP-controlled legislature’s proposed map features 26 districts that went for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) out of a total of 36 districts, according to a Fix […]

Updated Seliger-Solomons numbers

I had previously run the numbers for the new Congressional districts in the Seliger-Solomons plan. Now that we’ve gone from Plan C125 to Plan C130, let’s see what they look like now. Here’s a side-by-side comparison, with the districts grouped as before. First up, the Safe Republican seats: C125 C130 C125 C130 Dist Obama Obama […]

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 […]

Who’s running for what where?

Chris Cillizza notes an old familiar face who’s back on the scene. Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) is running again after losing his seat to businessman Francisco Canseco (R) last fall. Rodriguez won the seat in an 2006 special election, after the Supreme Court found that new lines drawn in 2003 violated the Voting Rights […]

Seliger-Solomons 2.0

Go to http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us and have a gander at Plan C130 to see the version of the Seliger-Solomons Congressional plan that was passed last night by the Senate redistricting committee. The biggest changes are in and around Harris County, mostly due to CD36, which Rep. Solomons had admitted was ridiculous. Gone is its bizarre shape, which […]

Senate committee approves redistricting map

That was quick. A state Senate panel, voting along strict party lines, approved a Texas Congressional redistricting plan designed to increase Republican strength in the U.S. Congress. The Senate redistricting committee voted 8-4 to send the map to the full Senate, which could consider the proposal as early as Monday. The vote came after hours […]

More on the Seliger-Solomons plan

Rick Dunham has a nice analysis of the proposed Congressional map that’s worth your time to read. I disagree with him on two related points. Republicans successfully shored up three districts they captured from Democrats in the past two election cycles — those held by Pete Olson of Sugar Land, Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi […]