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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Nichols’

Transportation deal dies

Technically, it’s not dead till sine die, but it sure is on life support. A compromise plan to spend $848 million on Texas highways just landed in a ditch. House members voted down a plan to split oil and gas production money between the state’s economic stabilization fund and highway spending. It needed 100 votes […]

Transportation funding deal completed

All over but for the voting. House and Senate leaders reached final agreement Saturday afternoon on how to protect the state’s rainy day fund as they propose to shift half of future rainy day dollars into roads, according to an official close to the negotiations. There would be no “floor” — or minimum balance for […]

Transportation bill heads to conference committee

There’s still that fundamental disagreement in approach to be worked out somehow. Representatives from the House and Senate are preparing to spend the next week informally negotiating a compromise proposal to boost funding for the Texas Department of Transportation, with the goal of fully passing a measure by next Friday. Senators convened briefly Friday to […]

House passes different transportation bill than the Senate passed

Our endless summer of special sessions isn’t over yet. The Texas House on Thursday gave final passage to a measure to boost funding for transportation projects, though few members expect it to survive the Senate without significant changes. After more than an hour of debate, the House voted 108-25 for House Joint Resolution 2, clearing […]

Senate passes non-abortion bills, committee passes HB2

The decks are cleared on the Senate side for the main event. In a speedy Thursday morning meeting with little debate, the upper chamber passed Senate Bill 2 with a 30-1 vote, allowing Texas judges and juries to sentence 17-year-olds convicted of capital murderers to life in prison with parole after 40 years. It also […]

There are other items on this session’s agenda

I know, hard to believe, but there are two non-abortion items on the session agenda, and the Senate has already taken preliminary action on two of them. Six hours before a marathon state House committee hearing on abortion, two Senate committees quickly kicked out less controversial bills on transportation funding and criminal justice reform to […]

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 […]

Transportation funding shouldn’t be intractable

As previously noted, Sens. Tommy Williams and Robert Nichols want to take another crack at finding additional funds for transportation. The problem, as always, is political

Calling to add to the call

The special session is just a day old, and already legislators are lining up to extend its agenda to cover things that didn’t get done during regulation time. Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, and Senate Transportation Chairman Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, have filed a resolution that would ask voters to approve diverting some of […]

We still have the Railroad Commission to kick around

State Impact Texas tells us that there will be no sunset bill, and thus no reforms, for the Texas Railroad Commission this session. After a lengthy review of the agency, required by state law under the Sunset review process, the Railroad Commission will continue instead with the same name and without any reforms. So what happened? […]

Is this the end for the Railroad Commission?

For the name, I mean, not the Commission itself. After 40 minutes of discussion about a bill that would rename the Railroad Commission of Texas and make other significant changes to the agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, the Senate passed the measure Thursday with a 21-0 vote. Senate Bill 212, carried by […]

Legislative quick hits

This is the time of the session where there’s lots happening, and there isn’t always the time or space to stay on top of it all. So here are a few quick updates on things that are happening in an attempt to at least not be too far behind. A bill to give Tesla Motors […]

Still arguing about road funding

I still don’t quite get why the obvious solution is so blithely dismissed. With most of the work of developing a state budget behind them, lawmakers can now drill deeper into the state’s spending plan to find a way to fund billions of dollars in road maintenance, highway upgrades and other projects under the umbrella […]

The Lege is going to have to spend some money

Whether they want to or not, there are a lot of issues that will be demanding attention and money from the Legislature when they convene in January. For example, there’s water. House Speaker Joe Straus said Friday the state’s water supply will be among his priorities after years of inaction by lawmakers. In the previous […]

And they’re off

The special session gets started today, with the stated goal of being done by the weekend. House Speaker Joe Straus thinks his chamber can get everything done in three days, while Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is even more ambitious than that. “The Senate will get it done in less than three days,” Dewhurst said in […]

Special session starts tomorrow

The special session everyone knew was coming to address the disposition of several state agencies begins tomorrow. So far, at least, the agenda hasn’t changed from the original call. Gov. Rick Perry is being pressed to add issues ranging from children’s health care to voter identification to the agenda of the special session that begins […]

Safe Passing Act in the Senate

I’ve blogged before about SB488, the “Safe Passing Bill”. Via email from Jon Boyd of the CTC, I’m told that the bill will be heard by the Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security this week. Bike Texas has the details. What’s happening now. The 2009 Safe Passing Act, Senate Bill SB 488 will be […]