Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Royce West’

More Democratic statewide possibilities

From this story about Democratic hopes for Wendy Davis’ presumed gubernatorial candidacy comes these tidbits about who else might be on the ticket with her. State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, told Express-News columnist Gilbert Garcia this month that he is seriously considering a run for attorney general. “Politics is about timing,” Uresti said. “And […]

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 […]

There will be an app for your auto insurance

Do you frequently forget to put your proof of insurance in your car and/or your wallet? The Lege has provided a solution for you. Thanks to a law passed during the 83rd legislative session, motorists will be able to pull up proof of insurance on their phones to show officers. Lawmakers and insurance industry professionals […]

Senate begins omnibus abortion bill hearings

Remember, it’s all about women’s health. Senate Bill 1, and its companion, House Bill 2, would ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization and recognize that the state has a compelling interest to protect fetuses from pain; require doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the facility; require doctors to administer […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

No more inspection stickers

That’s the plan, and I think it makes a lot of sense. Texas’ vehicle inspection stickers would become a thing of the past under legislation approved unanimously Monday by the state Senate. But there’s a catch: Vehicles still would have to be inspected before they could be registered with the state, and diesel vehicles would, […]

Charter bill passes Senate, voucher bill passes out of committee

Score one for Sen. Dan Patrick. As colleagues praised Education Chairman Dan Patrick’s efforts at building consensus, a significantly altered version of his expansion of the state’s charter school system quickly passed out of the Senate Thursday afternoon. Patrick, R-Houston, said the bill accomplished what should be the goal of lawmakers — lifting everyone through […]

Senate to tap that Rainy Day Fund

It is just sitting there, not doing any good if it’s unused. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, laid out an ambitious plan to spend $6 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund on Thursday morning while also setting the stage for a serious debate in the remaining weeks of the session on […]

Jefferson pushes for judicial reforms

Most of what Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson had to say to the Lege during his biennial address was good stuff that I hope the Lege will heed. Presenting his State of the Judiciary speech to Texas lawmakers, Jefferson said that “wrongful convictions leave our citizens vulnerable, as actual perpetrators remain free” and […]

Senate committee restores some money to public education

Emphasis on the “some”. Texas public schools would get back a chunk of the $5.4 billion in state funding they lost two years ago under a budget proposal adopted by the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. But they probably should not expect much more than the $1.5 billion the committee added to the 2014-15 state […]

Why do we think more charters would help?

Patricia Kilday Hart discusses the political battle over charter schools, but in doing so reminds me that there’s a fundamental question that seems to be going largely unasked. Now, a sweeping bill filed by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, could lead to an explosion in Texas charter operations. Patrick, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, would […]

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 […]

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 […]

Senate passes Amazon sales tax bill

Good. The Texas Senate has overwhelmingly passed a measure aimed at tightening the state’s rules on when online businesses must collect sales tax. Senators voted 30-1 [Friday] to pass House Bill 2403, a measure that originated with Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton. The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas. The bill […]

Lege approves separate online sales tax bills

It’s a start. Taking a stand against Internet retailers like Amazon.com, the Texas House moved Tuesday to tighten the state’s rules on when online businesses must collect sales tax. By voting 122-23 to pass House Bill 2403 by Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, lawmakers made their clearest statement to date that they are siding with state […]

Prior bad acts

I don’t know about this. In what critics say could be a “seismic change” in state criminal law, the Texas Senate tentatively approved a bill that would allow jurors in sexual assault cases to hear testimony about similar allegations against a defendant — even if the previous incident did not result in a conviction or […]

Payday lending bills advance

Good. Legislation by Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth that would cap fees and interest on loans made by payday and car title lenders was approved Thursday by the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. The bill, which now heads to the full Senate, has strong support from a coalition of consumer and faith-based groups, who […]

Smaller cuts from the Senate

Trail Blazers: The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday adopted a school funding plan for the next two years that would cut basic funding for school districts by nearly 6 percent – or $2 billion a year – to handle a massive state revenue shortfall. The committee voted 13-2 to approve the recommendations of a special […]

Solar bills advance

Bills relating to solar energy are moving forward through the Lege. Texas is the top-producing state for wind-generated electricity just 12 years after a legislative deal jump-started the industry. The Legislature is now debating whether Texas should provide a similar subsidy for other renewable energy sources that, according to proponents, would kick-start solar, geothermal and […]

Hochberg’s “Let’s get real” bill

Rep. Scott Hochberg has filed a school finance bill that he himself wouldn’t vote for. It’s to make sure everyone realizes what the proposed cuts to public education really mean. Under HB 2485, all school districts would be treated as equal passengers on the Titanic, Hochberg, D-Houston, said Tuesday, as Senate members on the other […]

Population growth by legislative district

Some nice work by the Trib here. Our new interactive map visualizes population changes by district for the total population and residents who are of Hispanic origin. These totals are especially important now given that lawmakers are preparing to redraw these districts based on their growth, demographics and election histories. The data behind the map reveal some […]

Performance pay for teachers

I’m very wary of this. Pay for Texas public school teachers should be connected to appraisals of their work and other factors instead of the 60-year-old salary schedule based on seniority, former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige and other school reformers said Monday. They want more flexibility for school districts to base teacher pay on […]

What happens to exonerees?

We know that quite a few people who had been in prison have been exonerated and freed in recent years, and we know that a fund was created by the Lege last year to give them some compensation for their years of unjust imprisonment. But there’s still work to be done to try to make […]

Earle is running for something

Well, he’s taken the first step towards running for something, anyway. Democrat Ronnie Earle today filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for office in 2010 but did not specify which office he will seek. The former Travis County district attorney has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor. He filled out […]

Jeff Weems

We’ve been hearing plenty about the top of the ticket for Democrats in 2010, but there are still several slots to fill. One of them is the Railroad Commissioner seat held by Victor Carrillo. Via email to Carl Whitmarsh, here’s a name for you: Jeff Weems is running for the Democratic nomination for Texas Railroad […]

More on Radnofsky for AG

Barbara Radnofsky talks to Gardner Selby about her intent to run for Attorney General in 2010. Radnofsky said Thursday she’s going to run next year for attorney general, starting with an Austin fund-raiser Tuesday featuring nine Democratic state representatives (all 74 Dems were contacted, Radnofsky said, but most may be session-swamped). Reminded that the past […]

Cohen pulls strip club bill

House budget conferees announced

Elise Hu names names. State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, House Appropriations Chairman State Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Webb, House Appropriations Vice-Chair State Rep. Ruth Jones-McClendon, D-San Antonio State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Houston Give credit to Burka – he called all five. These five will join Senate conferees Steve Ogden, Royce West, […]