Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Eltife’

“Sanctuary cities” legislation will be back

Better be ready for it. With debate over the nation’s immigration policies once again approaching full boil, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday pledged that the Senate next session would pass legislation to address so-called sanctuary cities. Patrick lamented that the Legislature this year didn’t pass a measure to bar local rules that prohibit police […]

Maybe Ratliff won’t step down from the SBOE after all

Just when he thought he was out, they (might) pull him back in. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed a social conservative and former staffer for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to chair the Texas State Board of Education on Thursday. Donna Bahorich will lead the 15-member board, whose duties include setting curriculum standards and approving the textbooks […]

Eltife not running for re-election

He will be missed. After 23 years in elected office, state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, said he will not run for re-election in 2016 to devote more time to family, friends, his work and his community. Eltife said he’s loved every minute of his service in the Senate and is proud to have worked with […]

Immigration bills fail

Another thing to celebrate from this session. As the sun begins to set on the 84th Texas Legislature, promises to enact tough immigration legislation remain unfulfilled. State Sen. Donna Campbell says she’s not giving up just because the last gavel is about to drop. Campbell, a New Braunfels Republican, tried unsuccessfully to pass Senate Bill […]

Senate still trying to pass “sanctuary cities” and DREAM Act repeal

Time is running out on these bad bills, but as the man said, it ain’t over till it’s over. After sitting idle in the Senate for more than a month, a controversial bill to eliminate in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants is back on the upper chamber’s calendar. But it remains unclear whether the Senate […]

House approves limited medical marijuana bill

And there it is. On a 96-34 vote, the House passed Senate Bill 339, from state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, which would legalize oils containing CBD, a non-euphoric component of marijuana known to treat epilepsy and other chronic medical conditions. If the House gives final passage in a follow-up vote, the measure will be Gov. […]

Senate approves limited medical marijuana bill

Wow again. Epilepsy patients in Texas would have access to medicinal oils containing a therapeutic component found in marijuana under legislation the state Senate passed Thursday. Senators voted 26-5 to pass Senate Bill 339, by Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, which would legalize oils containing cannabidiol (CBD), a component found in marijuana known to treat epilepsy […]

More on the Texas Compassionate Use Act

The Chron covers the legislation that has been introduced to loosen medical marijuana laws just a bit. The twin bills, both authored by Republicans and supported by lawmakers across the aisle, await hearings in Senate and House subcommittees. The bills are far more restrictive than those that legalized medical marijuana in 23 states, broad laws […]

Bill to kneecap Public Integrity Unit gets unstuck

And away it goes. Senate Bill 10, filed by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, passed on second reading along party lines. The integrity unit is currently a state-funded division of the Travis County DA’s office that investigates public corruption, insurance fraud and tax fraud. Some Republicans have said the unit has had partisan motives for its […]

More on this session’s beer bills

A story from the DMN about the state of microbreweries and beer-related legislation in Texas. Brewers say they rely on word of mouth among diehard enthusiasts, so they want drinkers — particularly those from out of state — to introduce their beers to friends, neighbors and other connoisseurs. A measure offered by Sen. Kevin Eltife, […]

Beer legislation 2.0

Just because craft brewers succeeded in passing a bill allowing them to sell beer for consumption on their premises last session doesn’t mean there isn’t more that can be done to advance the cause of beer freedom. Twinned bills introduced this week would extend direct sales for breweries. The proposals by state Sen. Kevin Eltife, […]

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 […]

We can always pay for tax cuts later

Item One: Texas House leaders said Monday they can cut taxes by more than the $4 billion initially proposed by their Senate counterparts, upping the ante for the high-profile issue despite other looming big-ticket state needs. “We really believe that we ought to be able to do more than $4 billion in tax cuts here […]

The Texas Compassionate Use Act

Looks like this will be the main marijuana-related action in the Legislature this session. Two Texas lawmakers have filed bills that would allow epilepsy patients to use medicinal oils that contain a therapeutic component found in marijuana. But some medical marijuana advocates are reluctant to support the proposed Texas Compassionate Use Act, calling it “appeasement […]

RIP, two-thirds rule

Not a surprise. With a new lieutenant governor installed for the first time in over a decade Wednesday — and over the cries of Democrats — the Texas Senate voted to break from an almost 70-year tradition intended to encourage compromise among its 31 members. Now the approval of only 19 senators instead of 21 […]

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 […]

Lege may have found a way on transportation funding

As of Thursday, Special Session 3: Beyond Thunderdome was looming. Both chambers of the Legislature were filled with activity Thursday afternoon but they ended up essentially where they had started: waiting on House and Senate negotiators to come up with a transportation funding plan most lawmakers could agree on. There was little sign Thursday that […]

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 […]

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. […]

There’s no such thing as a free road

I have an issue with this. Texas’ boom of toll roads has made the “free” part of freeway mean something different lately. As toll lanes become the preferred choice for adding capacity to Texas roads, a growing number of state lawmakers and toll critics are looking for assurances that state-built freeways will stay open to […]

Craft beer bills pass out of the Senate

A good day indeed. The Texas Senate voted Monday to give craft brewers and brewpubs new opportunities to sell their beer. “To see that happen was amazing,” said Scott Metzger, a San Antonio brewpub owner who worked with other brewers, legislators and wholesalers in negotiating a compromise. Brock Wagner, owner of Houston’s Saint Arnold Brewing, […]

Term limits measure approved by the Senate

Coming to your ballot this fall, barring anything strange. State­wide elected officials would be limited to two consecutive terms under a proposed constitutional amendment approved 27-4 by the Texas Senate on Tuesday. Gov. Rick Perry, Texas’ longest serving governor, and other current officeholders would be “grandfathered” and allowed to seek two more terms if the […]

Craft beer legislation advances

Moving forward. Legislation authorizing the most significant changes in 20 years to the way beer is bought and sold in Texas passed a key Senate committee Tuesday with broad support. Under terms of the bills, Houston’s Saint Arnold and other Texas craft breweries could sell a limited amount of beer on site and brewpubs like […]

Craft beer bills get their hearing

From the Trib: The Senate Business and Commerce Committee on Tuesday acted as legislative referee over bills that would allow craft breweries to sell on their premises and self-distribute in Texas, but critics said the legislation would hurt the state’s system of alcohol production and distribution. “It’s two different visions of where the beer industry […]

We’re not going to solve our transportation issues without new revenue

The choice isn’t whether or not to pay, it’s how do you want to pay. Despite broad agreement that repairing and improving Texas highways will cost more money than it has in the past, legislators split Monday on whether now is the time to impose new transportation taxes or fees. House members attending the annual […]

Here come the craft beer bills

From Brewed and Never Battered. Senator Kevin Eltife (R-District 1) introduced bi-partisan legislation along with Co-Authors, Senators Brian Birdwell (R-District 22), John Carona (R-District 16), Eddie Lucio (D-District 27), Leticia Van de Putte (D-District 26), Kirk Watson (D-District 14), and John Whitmire (D-District 15) to modernize the state’s alcohol regulatory system to make more competitive Texas’s small, […]

Compromise on microbrew bills

As Brewed and Never Battered noted, HB660 and HB602 were scheduled for a public hearing in committee today. I’m delighted to say that it looks like there was progress achieved on them. Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, laid out HB660 before the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee today. The measure, in its original form, […]

Still going through the couch cushions

The Senate is looking for funds wherever it can find them. Hoping to cushion the impact of proposed state budget cuts to public education and health care, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday that a special subcommittee will be named Monday to find $5 billion in nontax revenue for use in the next two-year budget […]

Two Republican Senators oppose Bradley’s nomination to the Forensic Science Commission

Excellent. The confirmation of Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley as chairman of the state Forensic Science Commission appears to be in deep trouble, as two Senate Republicans confirmed today that they will vote no. That would leave Bradley four votes short of the required 21 needed to bring his name up for a Senate […]

One Republican for the Rainy Day Fund

State Sen. Kevin Eltife says what I suspect more than a few Republican legislators are thinking. “We have to find more revenue,” the former Tyler mayor and senator of seven years said [Thursday] morning during a committee hearing. “It’s insane not use the Rainy Day Fund. We also have to find additional revenue.” Republican leaders […]

Where the state cuts meet the local budgets

Via Grits, an editorial in the Longview News-Journal of interest: Routine mental health services were the first to fall during the 2003 budget crisis, which was preceded by pre-session cuts the fall and summer of 2002. East Texas mental health professionals, judges, law enforcement and elected officials tell us such cuts already have curtailed routine […]

Just a reminder about Perry’s unemployment tax increase

Lisa Falkenberg watches some video of Texas Workforce Commission Executive Director Larry Temple testifying before the Senate and reiterates something we knew. Temple acknowledged Thursday to the Senate Committee on Economic Development that Texas’ decision not to take $556 million in unemployment stimulus dollars directly led to higher taxes for business owners and more borrowing […]

Dewhurst fibs about the budget and the stimulus

What Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says: Given recent comments about our state’s budget, I feel it is time to separate fact from political fiction. The fact is, in stark contrast to the U. S. Congress, the Texas Constitution requires the Legislature to balance the state budget every two years, and that would have happened with […]

Friends and foes

The Texas Observer poo-poos the idea of “Best Of” and “Top Ten” lists, then gives us its stab at a Best and Worst tabulation by naming six of “The People’s Friends” and five “Foes”. Where Texas Monthly focuses more on effectiveness in getting things done, the Observer takes the position that it’s not just about […]