Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

It’s just school bathrooms Dan Patrick really cares about

So claims a surrogate, who may have been floating a trial balloon. An incoming state senator suggested Thursday that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will focus on schools, not businesses or sporting venues, as he crafts an already controversial proposal to prohibit transgender Texans from using bathrooms that match their gender identity. The remarks by state […]

Whitmire files complaint against bail-denying magistrates

Good. An influential Texas lawmaker on Thursday filed formal complaints against three Harris County magistrate judges after they were captured on videotape rushing misdemeanor defendants to jail without considering no-cost bonds. State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, filed the complaints with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, citing an article published Thursday in the Houston Chronicle […]

Trump’s toll roads

Who wants more toll roads? Part of president-elect Donald Trump’s promise to create new jobs for Americans relies on a “deficit-neutral plan” to spend $1 trillion on public works projects, including hundreds of billions for roads and rail. But the strategy could result in something many Texans aren’t going to like: more toll roads. “Unfortunately […]

Straus not very excited about Patrick’s potty bill

Take this for what it’s worth. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus doesn’t think passing a transgender bathroom bill is a pressing issue state lawmakers need to address during the 2017 legislative session. “This isn’t the most urgent concern,” Straus, R-San Antonio, said on Tuesday during an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith. When asked […]

Texting while driving ban bills filed again

We’ll see if this gets a different result. Drivers know the risks, and in more than 95 Texas counties they live under local cell phone ordinances that ban texting while driving. But the Lone Star State remains one of four states in the country without a statewide ban on the practice. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, hopes to […]

Pot bills get their own post

They got their own story in the Trib, so why not their own post. Texas lawmakers across the state say they want leniency in how the state prosecutes marijuana crimes. In an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith Monday, State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, said he thinks the Legislature could decriminalize possession of small […]

It’s bill-filing season

And they’re off. Today is the first day of early filing in the Texas Legislature. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate may begin filing the bills that will be discussed when the legislature convenes in January 10, 2017. So how does that work and what does it mean? For the most part bills are […]

Beto O’Rourke talking about the Senate

Another Democratic Congressman is thinking about trying for an upgrade. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, told The Texas Tribune he is considering running for the U.S. Senate. “I am,” the sophomore congressman said when Tribune CEO Evan Smith asked if O’Rourke is thinking about running for Senate in 2018 or 2020. U.S. […]

How much is that bathroom bill worth to you, Danny?

Is it worth $8.5 billion and 185,000 jobs? The Texas economy stands to lose $8.5 billion and 185,000 jobs if anti-LGBT legislation passes in next year’s session, according to an analysis from the Texas Association of Business, the state’s chamber of commerce. The TAB analysis is based on actual or projected losses in four states […]

“Denied”, continued

Here’s Part 2 of the Chron’s reporting on special education limits. A few days before school began here in 2007, district administrators called an emergency staff meeting. The Texas Education Agency had determined that they had too many students in special education, the administrators announced, and they had come up with a plan: Remove as […]

Council ratifies Turner’s pension plan

From the inbox: On a 16-1 vote, Houston City Council has endorsed Mayor Sylvester Turner’s historic package of pension reforms. The vote clears the way for the City to move forward in partnership with the pension systems to seek legislative approval of the reforms. “I am bubbling over on the inside,” said Mayor Turner. “I […]

Dan Patrick doesn’t care about sexual assault

Such a moral exemplar you are, Danno. Amid a wave of reports of women alleging Donald Trump kissed or groped them without their consent, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrickmaintained Thursday that the Republican presidential nominee has effectively pushed the issue behind him. Patrick, who is Texas Chairman for Trump’s presidential campaign, initially addressed the scandal currently […]

How anti-business does Dan Patrick have to be for businesses to oppose him?

I remain skeptical that there is such a threshold, but if one does exist, the next legislative session will test it. The Texas Association of Business (TAB) has formally come out against discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation, including so-called “bathroom bills.” The board of the state’s 4,300-member chamber of commerce overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday opposing “legislation […]

Superintendents begin speaking out against special education limits

Good for them. The leaders of two of the state’s biggest school districts are calling on the Texas Education Agency to stop penalizing districts for giving specialized education to more kids than the agency has deemed prudent. Superintendents Michael Hinojosa of Dallas and Pedro Martinez of San Antonio came out against the arbitrary enrollment target […]

Endorsement watch: Let your conscience be your guide

That Ted Cruz sure does stay firm to his principles, doesn’t he? U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump on Friday after months of withholding his support from the Republican presidential nominee who defeated him in the primaries. “After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that […]

So what’s going on with these polls of Texas?

Republicans are feeling a little touchy about them. “I think the emerging picture is one that looks a little bit tighter in the presidential election than we’ve seen in recent elections in the state,” said Joshua Blank, whose Texas Lyceum poll, released Thursday, found GOP nominee Donald Trump leading Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by only […]

HISD board members against the HISD ballot item

I missed this when it first appeared. Three Houston school board members on Thursday evening publicly urged voters to oppose a measure that would authorize the district to forfeit $162 million to the state. Trustees Jolanda Jones, Harvin Moore and Rhonda Skillern-Jones went on the offensive at the live-streamed board meeting, asking voters to join […]

Publisher of crappy Mexican American Studies textbook defends said textbook

It’s not that crappy, she swears. The publisher of a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that scholars, elected officials and Hispanic activists have decried as racist and inaccurate is defending the high school text ahead of a public hearing on the book Tuesday before the Texas State Board of Education. “There’s never been a book in […]

How do other states regulate ridesharing?

The Texas Legislature would like to know. As Texas lawmakers consider filing legislation next year related to ride-hailing companies, they learned Tuesday that more than 30 states have passed laws calling for some level of regulation of companies like Uber and Lyft. A report presented by Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute analyzed state and municipal […]

Taking on Ted

Rep. Mike McCaul isn’t saying that he will, but he isn’t saying that he won’t, either. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is not ruling out challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in 2018, but he’s emphasizing that he is not focused on it for now. “Like Reagan said, never say never, but it’s not something […]

Senate whinefest about ballot propositions

Spare me. Members of a state Senate committee called Monday for changes in Texas law to prevent cities from thwarting or blocking citizen petition drives, a key issue for conservative and tea party groups in Houston and other cities in recent years. At a meeting of the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee, members made it clear […]

PPP: Trump 44, Clinton 38

We knew this poll was coming, and it confirms what we have been seeing elsewhere. PPP’s new Texas poll finds a relatively tight race, at least on the curve of recent Presidential election results in the state. Donald Trump leads with 44% to 38% for Hillary Clinton, 6% for Gary Johnson, 2% for Jill Stein, […]

Still considering the possibility that Hillary could win Texas

Josh Barro looks at recent national poll numbers and contemplates the possibilities. If things get just a little bit worse for Trump nationally, he could start losing a lot of states we normally think of as very safe for Republicans — not just Georgia, but states like Texas, South Carolina, and even Mississippi. Even as […]

School finance can always get worse

Now here’s a brilliant, why-didn’t-we-think-of-that-before idea: Give schools less money as incentive to do better. Depending on whose measure you’re using, Texas is somewhere between 38th and 49th in the nation when it comes to per-student funding. Instead of wallowing in our poor luck, or paying something closer to the national average, Senate Education Chairman […]

Legislation to ban the jailing of rape victims proposed

Hard to argue with, I must say. The controversial jailing of a rape victim to ensure her testimony could lead to a new state law protecting victims’ rights to an appointed attorney. State Sen. Joan Huffman is joining with Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson and Sheriff Ron Hickman to push for new legislation to […]

NCAA lays down a marker on anti-LGBT legislation

Hope the Lege is paying attention, because they can’t say they haven’t been warned. The NBA and NCAA may have just dealt a preemptive, one-two knockout punch to anti-LGBT bills in the upcoming Texas Legislature, which convenes in January. First, the NBA announced plans to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte over North […]

Expect Texas Central to be a target in the Legislature

It’s sure to draw a lot of proposed legislation, now that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) has declined to get involved at this time. “We were glad the STB ruled as quickly as they did because that allows us to set the path forward and if they had any uncertainty it could have impacted the […]

There is a Castro thinking about running for office in 2018

It’s Joaquin. And he’s thinking about the Senate. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, has set off a new stir in Texas politics with his remark that he will consider challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in 2018. Castro, long regarded as a rising star in Democratic politics, has previously not ruled out a run […]

Miles wins SD13 nomination

And so we gathered again to pick a nominee to fill an open slot on the ballot, though at least this time the “we” who did the actual picking did not include me. I went to observe, say Hi, gather intelligence, and just generally enjoy the process. if you didn’t know anything about that process […]

Today’s the day for SD13

Feels like we’ve been here before, doesn’t it? Today is the day for the Senate precinct convention in SD13, in which a nominee for that office to replace Sen. Rodney Ellis will be chosen. There are 96 precinct chairs in total across Harris and Fort Bend Counties, and we know the basic process by now. […]

Chron overview of SD13

Not much new here. Amid frantic wooing of Democratic precinct chairs, the unconventional sprint to succeed state Sen. Rodney Ellis is boiling down to an argument over tenure: Is it better to move a seasoned legislator to the Senate, or preserve House experience by sending a relative newcomer to the upper chamber? State Rep. Senfronia […]

Endorsement watch: The Chron for Rep. Thompson

The Chron endorses Rep. Senfronia Thompson in SD13, though they spend most of their time attacking Rep. Borris Miles. In 2008 [Rep. Miles] was indicted (and later acquitted) for deadly conduct in a bizarre scenario that had him accused of crashing a holiday party at the St. Regis Hotel flashing a gun, threatening the host, […]

Endorsement watch: Labor for Thompson, the Mayor for Miles

From the inbox: The Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO today announced their support of Senfronia Thompson for State Senator District 13. “Our unions screened two candidates for Senate District 13 — Representatives Senfronia Thompson and Borris Miles,” said Zeph Capo, President of the Area Labor Federation. “Both candidates have been steadfast allies in […]

More on the SD13 race

From the Trib: In the span of a month, a Texas Senate seat will have been vacated and effectively filled, an unconventional turn of events that has Houston Democrats scrambling to replace one of their most venerated legislators. The highly abbreviated contest is unfolding in Senate District 13, where Rodney Ellis is vacating his seat […]