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Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

Fran Watson for SD17

Awesome news. It’s OFFICIAL! I have launched my campaign for TX State Senate District 17. The campaign slogan is People First. “When the people are part of the legislative process instead of a few leaders in Austin, our laws are more expansive, which in turn provide families access to healthcare, jobs, stronger public schools, and […]

July 2017 campaign finance reports: State Senate targets

The Trib highlights a couple of races of interest. Senate District 8 State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, has not yet announced he’s running for Congress — he is expected to after the special session — but the race to replace him is already underway. Phillip Huffines, the chairman of the Dallas County GOP who has […]

From the “Actions speak louder than words” department

RG Ratcliffe of Texas Monthly speaks to former Railroad Commissioner and Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams about his disapproval of bathroom bills. RGR: You told me political parties over time curdle and spoil, but is there something about the debate over the bathroom bill that is particularly disappointing to you? MW: Yes, there is. Where […]

Dan Patrick hates Texas’ cities

I have so many things to say about this. City governments, particularly those led by Democrats, are to blame for problems nationwide, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said during a nationally televised interview Friday. “People are happy with their governments at their state level, they’re not with the city,” said Patrick, a Republican, in an […]

Ethics, schmethics

This little exchange says so much about our weak and insecure Governor. The fireworks began with a press conference called by GOP Rep. Sarah Davis, chair of the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics. Davis, flanked by both Democratic and Republican members of the committee, noted that Abbott had made ethics reform an “emergency” […]

House passes school finance bills

I doubt they’ll meet a different fate than they did in the regular session, but kudos anyway. The Texas House on Friday passed a package of bills that would put $1.8 billion into public schools and help out struggling small, rural school districts. House members voted 130-12 to approve the lower chamber’s main piece of […]

Halfway through the session

The House is doing House things, and that’s fine. Brushing aside concerns that they are not moving swiftly enough to enact Gov. Greg Abbott’s 20-point agenda, Texas House members opened the second half of the special session Wednesday with a flurry of activity Wednesday. “We made good progress, and we’re only half the way through,” […]

Republican voters are “meh” on the bathroom bill

From the inbox: The Texas Association of Business conducted surveys in five GOP-controlled legislative districts across the state the week of July 24th. “Texas business has long opposed the bathroom bill because it is unnecessary and will have significant negative economic impact on Texas.  The significance of these surveys, is the voice of individual Republican […]

The economic impact of SB4

It could be big. Representatives from Texas’ business, local government and higher education sectors argued Tuesday that the state’s new immigration-enforcement law, which is slated to take effect Sept. 1, could do billions of dollars in damage to the Texas economy. Using data from the 2015 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, […]

Dear business community: Dan Patrick is not your ally

Here’s the full Chron story about the latest group of business leaders to call for a stop to the bathroom bill. I want to focus on one key aspect of this: A week after police chiefs from Houston, San Antonio and Austin joined in protest against the bill, Abbott said the legislation specifically attempts to […]

Maternal mortality bills pass the House

Good. House lawmakers tentatively approved a series of bills Monday aimed at helping Texas curb its unusually high rate of women dying less than a year after childbirth. The primary measure, House Bill 9, would direct the state’s Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity to continue studying pregnancy complications and maternal deaths until 2023. […]

Let’s do talk about Democratic legislative candidates

I have so many things to say about this. The hottest new trend in Democratic politics these days is running for Congress — everybody’s doing it. So far, more than 200 Democrats have filed to challenge Republican incumbents and raised at least $5,000. That’s more than the number of Democratic congressional candidates who had announced […]

Still more big businesses against the bathroom bill

It’s like there’s a strong, overwhelming consensus or something. Top executives of big oil companies and other major Houston firms and organizations on Monday weighed into the political dogfight over the controversial bathroom bill, calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to block passage of the legislation that they warned will harm Texas’ ability to grow its […]

Pushing the NFL Draft angle

Every angle is going to be needed, and this is one that ought to speak to some folks. The Cowboys’ efforts to land the NFL draft and how it could be derailed by the legislative push for a bathroom bill is part of a $1 million ad buy that will begin to play on radio […]

The bathroom bill would affect disabled people, too

Yet another problem caused by this harmful “solution”. As lawmakers this summer debate yet another controversial measure regulating bathroom use based on biological sex, disabled Texans say they — like many transgender men and women — believe the Legislature is further complicating something that’s already difficult to navigate. On Tuesday, the Texas Senate advanced Senate […]

House takes a different direction on trees

Better than the Senate version, for sure. The Texas House added a potential wrinkle to Gov. Greg Abbott’s special session agenda on Thursday, giving early approval to a bill that would allow property owners to plant new trees to offset municipal fees for tree removal on their land. The initial 132-11 vote on House Bill […]

The bathroom bill in the House

Mostly good news here. Dangerous. Discriminatory. Chilling. Hurtful. Those are words used by House State Affairs Chairman Byron Cook to describe bathroom legislation headed to his committee in the Texas House in the coming days. The Republican from Corsicana said legislation that would force transgender people to use bathrooms in line with their birth sex […]

Abbott versus the cities

The continuing story. If Gov. Greg Abbott has disdain for how local Texas officials govern their cities, it didn’t show in a Wednesday sit-down with three mayors who were among 18 who jointly requested a meeting to discuss legislation that aims to limit or override several municipal powers. “Whether we changed anybody’s mind or not, […]

House committee hears largely pointless property tax bills

Something will probably come out of this, but it’s hard to understand why. A Texas House committee on Tuesday spent more than seven hours plowing through more than 30 bills that aim to tackle rising property tax bills — months after similar legislation died amid an intra-GOP war over how conservatively state officials should govern. […]

Law enforcement against the bathroom bill

Add another group to an ever-expanding list. Police chiefs from three of the five biggest cities in the state gathered at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to spurn proponents’ claims that such legislation is needed to protect privacy, arguing that proposals being considered by the Legislature are discriminatory, won’t keep people safe and would divert […]

Senate has mostly completed the Abbott special session agenda

I’m just going to hit the highlights here because this stuff is happening quickly and often late in the day, but most of the Abbott 20-point special session agenda has been turned into bills that have as of this morning passed the Senate. Yesterday’s action included vouchers and still more unconstitutional abortion restrictions, while the […]

July 2017 campaign finance reports – Congress

It’s July, and that means it’s campaign finance report season. Everyone has reports due at the end of June, so at every level of government there are reports to look at. I’ll be working my way through them, starting today with reports from the many people running for Congress as Democrats this cycle, some of […]

The bathroom bill is a threat to Quidditch

How much more do you need to know? It’s not quite time to get out the broomsticks in Round Rock. A national quidditch tournament headed to town next year has been put on hold while legislators consider the bathroom bill during their special session, said Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan. U.S. Quidditch recently told the […]

Cruz gets a primary challenger

Meet Stefano de Stefano. With no heavy hitters in the Texas Republican hierarchy emerging to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for the party’s nomination in 2018, a Houston energy attorney is stepping forward. Stefano de Stefano, who bills himself as a jilted voter and “free market Republican,” represents a challenge from the center of the […]

War on local control update

Example one: Sen. Craig Estes’ Senate Bill 18 would require cities and counties to get voter approval if they plan to spend a certain amount more than they did in a previous year. His bill ties such an election trigger to inflation and statewide population growth. “You ask people about that and they generally think […]

Anticipating the future bathroom-related litigation

It will be a matter of when, not if, should a bathroom bill passes. [B]oth sides agree if any version of the bathroom bill becomes law, it will likely trigger a protracted legal battle that could have implications for the transgender community in Texas and nationwide. “If it does in fact pass, it will be […]

Yet another lawsuit filed over yet another unconstitutional anti-abortion law

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Texas is heading to court over a state law going into effect in September banning the most common second-trimester abortion procedure. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood announced on Thursday they’re suing over a provision in Texas’ Senate Bill 8 bill that outlaws dilation and […]

Senate will hold bathroom hearing tomorrow

They just can’t wait. From the inbox: BREAKING: The Senate State Affairs Committee is pushing for a hearing on anti-transgender “bathroom bill” legislation this Friday at 9AM, Charles. Intel from the Capitol tells us that Sen. Lois Kolkhorst will introduce a FOURTH discriminatory “bathroom bill” later today. That’s the bill that the Senate State Affairs […]

Long read on the ongoing bathroom bill fight

From the Daily Beast. Covers a lot of ground, some of which is familiar but quite a bit of which is new or at least additive. A small sample: Two bills, HB 46 and HB 50, have so far been filed for the special session, sponsored by state Rep. Ron Simmons. A further Senate Bill, […]

Special session starts today

It was a good summer before now, but all of that comes to an end today. In the best case scenario, the sunset bills get passed and nothing else happens. I don’t know what will happen, but at least the ongoing animosity between the House and the Senate gives the “nothing happens” scenario a chance. […]

News flash: Businesses still hate bathroom bills

IBM hates them. As state lawmakers return to Austin for legislative overtime, tech giant IBM is stepping up its fight to defeat legislation it says would discriminate against children and harm its Texas recruiting efforts. In an internal email sent Monday to thousands of employees around the world, IBM’s human resources chief outlined the New […]

This special session is going to be so much fun

So much repressed hostility… Five days before the Texas Legislature is scheduled to open a special session, it is clear the relationship between the leaders of the House and Senate remains as strained as it was at the end of the regular session. On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick used a press conference to blast […]

Who will run statewide for the Dems?

For several statewide offices, it is unclear at this time who might run. Lillie Schechter, the new chairwoman of the Harris County Democratic Party, has watched in recent months as at least seven candidates have come through the doors of the party headquarters to introduce themselves, eager for their shot at U.S. Rep. John Culberson, […]

Finance reports still slowly coming in

From the inbox: Lizzie Pannill Fletcher announced today that she raised more than $365,000 in her first seven weeks of the campaign as a Democratic candidate for Texas’ Seventh Congressional District, a seat currently held by Representative John Culberson. Fletcher’s report for the 2017 second financial quarter will show strong local support; nearly 90% of […]