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Posts Tagged ‘Lois Kolkhorst’

Kolkhorst wins SD18

One special election begets another. State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst won a promotion to the Texas Senate on Saturday, leveraging her 14-year incumbency and high-profile endorsements to fend off a fellow Republican opponent who spent nearly $2 million of his own money portraying Kolkhorst as soft on the border. Kolkhorst eclipsed the 50 percent mark needed […]

Early voting begins today for SD18

From the inbox: The early voting period for the December 6, 2014 Special Election to Fill a Vacancy for State Senate District 18 will take place Wednesday, November 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday, December 1 and December 2, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. “An estimated 20,000 registered voters […]

Replacing Hegar

Election season isn’t over yet. At least three Republican candidates – who hit the campaign trail for the then-hypothetical opening months ago – will duke it out to represent a rural 21-county Senate district that stretches from Fort Bend County to the outer edges of the Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Austin metropolitan areas. Sen. […]

Texas Monthly on transgender marriage in Texas

It’s way more complicated than it needs to be. Here’s a stumper: Is it legal for a transgender person—say, someone whose original birth certificate says “male,” but who identifies as a woman—to get married to a man who identifies as a man? The law in Texas is unclear in ways that have been a nightmare […]

Student RFID bill gets House hearing

We knew this day would come. Last fall, San Antonio’s Northside ISD began issuing radio-frequency identification (RFID) enhanced student IDs to help with its attendance records. Austin began a small opt-in RFID program last fall, and in 2010, two Houston-area districts began tracking kids with RFID. The trend has gotten national attention. Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) wants to […]

Straus wants someone to do something on Medicaid

Don’t we all, Joe. Don’t we all. Seeking to light a fire under fellow Republicans to provide health care to more uninsured Texans, House Speaker Joe Straus said Wednesday that it is time to “get our heads out of the sand” and find an alternative to Medicaid expansion that would bring billions of federal dollars […]

House Republicans reject Medicaid expansion

But that’s not quite the end of the story. House Republicans on Monday agreed not to expand Medicaid as called for under the federal Affordable Care Act — but left the door open to doing so if the Obama administration grants Texas enough flexibility. “The current path as proposed is unsustainable from a fiscal standpoint,” […]

We need to fix birth certificates

This needs to happen. Texas law prevents gay parents from both being listed on supplemental birth certificate forms for adoptive children. The forms provide space for only one mother, a woman, and one father, a male. The gender-specific language was added in 1997 as a part of a renewed commitment to conservative values, said the […]

The anti-student RFID movement has already begun

When I wrote about the battle over student RFID, I said it was just a matter of time before the Lege intervened. Turns out I was behind the curve on this. Since first hearing about the use of radio frequency technology to track public school students in 2004, state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, has filed […]

More on the foodie caucus

The Trib has an update. On a mission to advance the local food movement, a Democrat from Austin is finding common ground with Republicans and rural Texans. When Republicans hear a Democrat saying there’s “too much regulation, their ears perk up,” state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, that Democrat, said with a smile. He founded the Farm […]

The foodie caucus

Sure, why not? State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, an Austin Democrat and admitted foodie, is creating the Farm to Table Caucus of the Texas House. Rodriguez is expected to send letters to all of the House’s 150 members Monday and invite them into the bipartisan group. As it seeks to ride the wave of popularity of […]

The next battleground for cottage foods

You may recall that last year home bakers were able to get a law passed that allowed them to legally sell their products in the state. (See here for all the background.) Now that the legislative work is done, the next step is to deal with the rulemaking, and the regulations that have been proposed […]

Fiscal and health care bills pass

Here’s one less reason for a special session. One key budget-related bill, Senate Bill 2, won final approval from both chambers this afternoon and is headed to the governor’s desk. SB 2 is an appropriations bill that goes hand-in-hand with Senate Bill 1, the main revenue and school finance vehicle. SB 1 is expected to […]

The Cottage Food Law was adopted

I received the following email from Kelley Masters of the Texas Cottage Food Law group late last week: After a roller coaster of a session, the cottage food bill ended up getting attached as an amendment to SB 81 in the 11th hour, and is now sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature. We were […]

House approves Medicaid changes

Hard to know what the effect of this will be. Texas lawmakers passed major changes to Medicaid on Wednesday that would privatize the health program in South Texas and allow the formation of health care cooperatives. The 142-page measure is part of a special legislative session. The Legislative Budget Board says it could save the […]

From the “Get your government out of my Medicare” files

This ought to be fun. Across the nation, U.S. House Republicans are getting an earful from their constituents about a GOP budget proposal to overhaul Medicare, the federal health care program that insures the elderly. The Republican plan, written by Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan as part of his sweeping budget overhaul, would turn Medicare […]

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?

The Texas Legislature would like for you to stay just exactly as you are, thank you very much. Two years after Texas became one of the last states to allow transgendered people to use proof of their sex change to get a marriage license, Republican lawmakers are trying to roll back the clock. Advocates for […]

I can’t drive 85

Start your engines, y’all. The Texas House approved a bill that would allow the speed limit on some highways to be raised to 85 mph, which would be the highest in the nation. The measure passed Wednesday on a voice vote was part of a larger transportation bill. It would authorize the Texas Department of […]

The Trib interviews Garnet Coleman

The Trib has a too-brief conversation with State Rep. Garnet Coleman on health care and Medicaid. This is the crucial bit: TT: What do you want out of this meeting with [the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services]? Coleman: Two things. One, it’s important that we extend the enhanced FMAP (the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, […]

Just call it “DewhurstCare”

I’m not sure what to make of this yet. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Grapevine, introduced two bills Wednesday they believe could save the state a significant amount of money and produce “healthy patient outcomes.” The duo repeated those words throughout a press conference in the Capitol, flanked by stakeholders from the […]

Sealy’s uncertain future

After BAE Systems officially lost the Army truck deal, the city of Sealy and the surrounding Austin County are pondering what the effect will be. The impending loss or transformation of its largest employer will have a staggering effect on Sealy, stripping away jobs and tax revenue and stunning business owners and residents who know […]

The Chamber of Commerce tax cut

I mentioned before that a secondary reason for Governor Perry to veto HB770 and its Wayne Christian Beach House provision was an amendment slipped in by State Sen. Mike Jackson to give a property tax exemption to local chambers of commerce. Ed Sills of the Texas AFL-CIO went off on a righteous rant about this […]

Crimes against goats

Now that the oyster menace has finally been resolved, the Legislature can finally turn its attention to the wave of goat-related crimes now sweeping the state. It’s days like this that make me realize just how much I enjoy blogging about the legislative sessions.