Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Mike Villarreal’

LVdP will not be a candidate for Mayor of San Antonio in 2015

I never really thought there was anything to this, but in case you needed an official denial, here you go. Democrat Leticia Van de Putte wants to put rumors to rest: she has absolutely no intention of running for mayor of San Antonio come next year. Van de Putte, a long-time state senator from San […]

The interim and non-interim Mayoral hopefuls of San Antonio

Robert Rivard previews the sausage-making process in San Antonio. It takes six votes to win, a majority that will be harder to achieve if some of the announced candidates exercise their right to abstain. If all five abstain from voting for someone else, it will be impossible to gain the necessary majority. Such a stalemate […]

Castro confirmed for HUD

Congratulations, Secretary Castro! The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the nomination of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The nomination was approved 71-26 on a roll call vote. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, voted for the nomination; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, voted against it. Republicans […]

Mayor Parker discusses her possible political future again

After making a rousing speech at the TDP convention, Mayor Annise Parker talked about some possible paths she could take for a future statewide campaign. Parker said she would be interested in running for any number of statewide positions when her third and final two-year term is up in 2016 – even Texas’ top job. […]

Teacher health insurance costs

Another thing on the list of things the Legislature needs to deal with but won’t. Health care insurance costs for hundreds of thousands of Texas teachers and other public school employees are scheduled to go up again this fall, prompting renewed calls from educator groups for the state to pick up more of the cost […]

The farm team

Roll Call takes a look at the Texas Democrats of the future. Democrats rarely fielded competitive Senate candidates over the past two decades — the party’s three best performers in that time span received 44 percent, 43 percent and 43 percent — but that may change by the next midterm cycle. State and national Democrats […]

Villarreal not running for Comptroller

One name off the board. State Rep. Mike Villarreal said Wednesday he has decided against a statewide run for comptroller and will instead campaign for re-election in San Antonio’s District 123. Villarreal said he has been encouraged by Democrat activists and colleagues to run for Texas’ chief financial officer but that obligations to his family, […]

Van de Putte for Lite Gov?

Yes, please. Democratic operatives are scouring Texas to find worthy statewide candidates to run on a 2014 ticket with Sen. Wendy Davis. Davis is expected to announce in the coming weeks whether she’ll challenge for governor or opt to seek re-election. The recruitment of running mates for the Fort Worth Democrat by the party and […]

Payday lending prospects look grim in the House

From the Observer: Late into the night on Monday, the payday loan industry strutted its stuff before a very friendly House committee. The hearing came just a week after the Senate passed a surprisingly tough bill that the industry insists would shut down most of Texas’ 3,400 payday and auto-title storefronts. Even though the legislation […]

Somewhat improved payday lending bill passes Senate committee

I still don’t think it’s good enough. Breathing new life into a proposal that was doomed by the opposition of consumer groups only last week, a Texas Senate committee approved strengthened legislation Tuesday that imposes restrictions on the payday loan industry that could save desperate Texas consumers some $220 million a year. Sen. John Carona, […]

Payday lending legislation may go nowhere

I can’t say I’m surprised, since Sen. John Carona’s most recent version of a payday reform bill was not met well by advocates for consumers and the poor. Among other things, Carona’s proposal would limit the maximum size of loans to a percentage of the borrower’s monthly income and cap the number of times a […]

House passes major changes to testing and graduation requirements

This is a big deal. Texas public high school students would face far fewer high-stakes exams and gain more freedom in choosing courses under a major education bill approved by the state House on Tuesday. Hours of debate among lawmakers centered on whether the state was giving students much-needed flexibility or scaling back too far […]

It’s good to be a payday lender

Bleah. Earlier this legislative session, a chief of staff for a senator noted that the $4 billion Texas payday and auto-title loan industry would soon grow powerful and lucrative enough that the Texas Legislature would be unable to take it on. That time may have already come. At a legislative hearing this morning, state Sen. […]

Gubernatorial speculation: Mike Villarreal and Bill White

A few days back, BOR had a post about who was on deck for 2014, and the first two candidates they speculated about for Governor were two I had not talked about here before, State Rep. Mike Villarreal and 2010 candidate and former Houston Mayor Bill White. (They also listed State Sen. Kirk Watson, but […]

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 […]

Meet the new budget

Same as the old budget. Republican leaders in both chambers of the Legislature on Monday offered spare first drafts of the state’s next two-year budget that continue $5.4 billion in cuts to public education made last session and freeze funding for an embattled state agency set up to find a cure for cancer. Upending recent […]

The revenue estimate is in

And under normal circumstances it would be very good news. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, laying out the parameters for state spending on the eve of the legislative session, said Monday that the rebounding Texas economy gives lawmakers $8.8 billion unallocated in state coffers for this budget period and an improving picture for the next two […]

It’s usually a bad idea to bet on any kind of overhaul in the Lege

I agree that it’s a sucker’s bet to think that the Lege will try to fix Texas’ tax code in any meaningful way. Nobody likes having to take votes that may later be used as clubs against them in a campaign, and the lobbyists swarm like no other time when someone’s tax break is on […]

And then they went right back to not caring about women

Such a delightfully cynical little stunt. Thirteen Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation wrote a letter to President Obama protesting the administration’s decision to phase out funding for the Texas Women’s Health Program. The administration took the action after the Texas Legislature voted to ban all state funding to Planned Parenthood to protest the […]

Just keep cutting till we tell you to stop

I have two things to say about this. Looking to get an early start on shaping budget discussions for the 2013 legislative session, the Texans for a Conservative Budget Coalition recommended Tuesday that lawmakers plan to reduce welfare spending, increase local control for public school districts, and consolidate or eliminate general revenue spending for several […]

It’s time to go on the offensive for women’s health

I believe that just as Democrats must make the 2012 elections in Texas about public education, they must also make them about health care, in particular access to health care for women. There’s some polling data to suggest this will be effective. Fifty-nine percent of likely Texas voters oppose Gov. Rick Perry’s efforts to keep […]

Another item for the city’s legislative wish list

Loren Steffy brings up a familiar issue that has added salience now as the city tries to deal with its long term finances. Across the city, prime office buildings are selling for far more than their tax values, leaving billions in potential tax revenue on the table at a time when city and county budgets […]

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 […]

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 […]

We have a budget

Such as it is. Budget negotiators met briefly this morning and voted 9-1 to adopt a conference committee report that cuts the state budget over the next biennium by $15 billion, or 8 percent. The total amount of funding from taxpayers, known as general funds, is $80.4 billion. The total expenditures for all funds, including […]

Still going after Doggett

Scott Stroud suggests there’s a new ploy by Republicans in the works to get rid of Rep. Lloyd Doggett. Congressman Lamar Smith, the Republican charged with redrawing Texas’ congressional districts, has floated a map that would transform Doggett’s district into one that barrels from Austin down Interstate 35, 18-wheeler style, through San Antonio’s East Side, […]

I’d really like to buy a yacht in Texas, if only your tax policies would let me

I’m not sure which is more awesome, the idea that we’re even having a debate about giving yacht owners a tax break or that they yacht owners who would benefit from this are telling us it’s for our own good. Clayton Reaser said he’s having big fun on the $1 million yacht he bought last […]

Senate fails to bring the budget to the floor

It started Monday when Senate Finance Chair Sen. Steve Ogden said he might pull same Rainy Day funds out of the budget in order to get more Republican (read: Dan Patrick) support for it. After some discussion about alternate ways of incorporating Rainy Day funds and some griping about the Comptroller, CSHB1 was brought up […]

What we need right now

Is a tax cut on yachts. As some lawmakers look high and low for money to ease cutbacks in education and human services, the House Ways and Means Committee has approved a tax break for big yachts. The committee voted 8-3 Thursday for House Bill 2187, which Rep. John Davis, R-Houston, casts as an effort […]

Senate Finance Committee passes its budget

The fight over the Rainy Day Fund is now officially on. A $176.5 billion budget for the 2012-13 biennium — 5.9 percent smaller than the current budget but almost $12 billion larger than the version passed earlier by the House — won approval from the Senate Finance Committee Thursday morning and will come to a […]

House moves forward on school fund money

Last week, I noted a bill filed by Rep. Rob Orr that would direct some money from the Available School Fund into the public schools. His legislation has now been approved by committee and is likely on its way to passage; this will include a Constitutional amendment that you’ll see on your ballot this November. […]

SAISD’s Trustee elections

I don’t know much about San Antonio ISD or the makeup of its board, but I know they’re about to have some very interesting elections next month. Name the ills of a typical inner-city school district and San Antonio has them all: low academic achievement, high dropout rates, declining enrollment. But the biggest problem, say […]

House passes its budget

The Trib has a good writeup of how it went down on Sunday. Mot of the heavy lifting was done before then, in the bills that closed the books on the previous biennium and allocated Rainy Day funds for them and in Friday night’s session, when the articles that deal with public education and health […]

Budget debate resumes tomorrow

Postcards: The Texas House [has called] it a night. They finished up the section of the budget bill that deals with public and higher education around 12:40 a.m. then adjourned until Sunday. Some members were planning to attend a Saturday morning funeral in Houston for the late husband of Democratic state Rep. Alma Allen. There […]