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Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

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 […]

Here come the LGBT candidates

Keep your eyes on these folks. At least four Houstonians are among the numerous LGBTQ Texans eyeing campaigns in 2018 and 2019. One of the Houston candidates has formally announced, and three others are strongly considering runs. “People are fed up, and they want a better Texas,” said Fran Watson, who’s considering running as a […]

Who wants to give Greg Abbott power over their health insurance?

I sure don’t, but then I’m not the median voter in this state. The Senate Republicans’ health care plan would give governors virtually unchecked discretion over health insurance plans. In red states with governors hostile to health care expansion, such as Texas, that could mean loss of coverage and skyrocketing costs for patients. Governor Greg […]

Special session officially set

Brace yourselves, it starts next week. Gov. Greg Abbott issued a declaration for a special session of the Texas Legislature Monday, formally inviting lawmakers back to Austin to pass “sunset legislation” that will keep several key state agencies open. The long-awaited procedural move allows lawmakers to begin filing bills for the special session set to […]

Trumpcare would be a hospital killer

This is hardly a new problem, but it’s yet another aspect of Trumpcare that gets too little attention. Texas hospitals stand to lose billions under the Republican-backed health plan, as federal Medicaid dollars shrink, leading to a rise in uncompensated care, according to a new analysis by the Commonwealth Fund, a national health policy foundation. […]

What West Texas can do to improve their schools

Here’s an op-ed from the Statesman about one educator in West Texas who has had enough. My hero this week is Graydon Hicks, Fort Davis superintendent of schools. A West Texas publication published his open letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick raking them over the coals for “the lack of positive […]

End Citizens United to back O’Rourke

Good. The 2018 Senate election in Texas remains more than 16 months away, but Rep. Beto O’Rourke picked up his first major organizational endorsement Monday in his long-shot bid to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz. End Citizens United PAC, a progressive group focused on reducing the role of money in politics with three million members across […]

House still opposes vouchers

Keep on keeping on, y’all. The top House education leader said Sunday that “private school choice” is still dead in the lower chamber. “We only voted six times against it in the House,” House Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty said. “There’s nothing more offensive as a parent of a special-needs child than to tell […]

Ten best and worst 2017

This is always the most anticipated part of a legislative session. Around the Texas Capitol this year, it wasn’t unusual to hear the 85th Legislature described as the worst anyone could remember. While we wouldn’t go that far, this session had more than its fair share of dispiriting moments. Quite a few of those came […]

SCOTUS takes on Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering case

Monday’s big news. Partisan gerrymandering exists because the Supreme Court allows it to exist. Although such gerrymanders are a form a viewpoint discrimination, which violates the First Amendment, Republican appointees to the Supreme Court have been reluctant to even let federal courts consider partisan gerrymandering cases — much less strike down actual gerrymanders. That could all change, […]

Two (so far) for SD10

Here’s what we learn in this Star-Telegram story about incumbent Sen. Konni Burton’s intent to run for re-election. At least two Democrats already have announced their intention to seek Burton’s seat. Allison Campolo, a research scientist and teaching assistant at Oklahoma State University who lives in Euless, announced her campaign on Facebook, saying “this is […]

An interesting shift in approval ratings for state leaders

More UT/Trib poll data: The figurative wrestling match between the state’s top three officials jiggled their approval ratings, but not by much, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Gov. Greg Abbott remains the highest rated of the state’s high officials, with 45 percent of voters saying they approve his job performance and […]

Signings and vetoes

Greg Abbott does his thing. Gov. Greg Abbott has vetoed 50 bills that were passed during the regular legislative session, his office announced Thursday. That’s several more than he vetoed following the last session and the most a governor has doled out since 2007. Abbott offered a number of common explanations for his vetoes, calling […]

Greg Abbott’s war on trees

This is just bizarre. One of the 20 items Gov. Greg Abbott has asked lawmakers to consider during the upcoming special session, which will begin July 18, is outlawing local tree regulations. More than 50 cities and towns in Texas have ordinances aimed at protecting trees; many of the local rules require property owners to […]

The DPS two-step

First, there was this. Despite a two-year budget of $2.4 billion, the Texas Department of Public Safety, with little notice, has reduced office hours at 11 of the state’s busiest driver’s license offices and plans to lay off more than 100 full-time employees to deal with a $21 million funding crunch. The statewide police agency’s […]

An SB4 threefer

We have our first SB4 casualty. A 15,000-member association of attorneys and law professors said on Wednesday that it is relocating its 2018 convention out of Texas in response to the state legislature passing Senate bill 4, a sweeping and controversial immigration enforcement measure. The American Immigration Lawyers Association was scheduled to hold its 3-day […]

Yes, there will be constitutional amendments on the November ballot

They’re not very interesting, which in this environment is a blessing, but they will be there. House Joint Resolution 21 What will be on the ballot: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled […]

Our electors can continue to be faithless

So much for that. The momentum seemed to be there. After Donald Trump easily defeated Hillary Clinton in Texas, two of the state’s 38 Electoral College members cast ballots for someone other than the Republican nominee — a less-than-flattering moment for a state with a strong GOP tradition. In the days — even hours — […]

Do we really have to have a pension bond vote?

So as we know, the Houston pension reform bill that passed contains a provision that requires a vote on the pension obligation bonds that Mayor Turner intends to float as a down payment. Pension obligation bonds have been floated in the past, by Mayor White, without a vote, but for whatever the reason some members […]

Voter ID plaintiffs ask court to void the law

As well they should. Lawyers for minority voters and politicians asked a federal judge Wednesday to void the Texas voter ID law, saying it is the next logical step for a statute found to be discriminatory. The lawyers also said they will ask U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos to require Texas officials to get […]

Abbott calls for special session

To begin July 18, with a laundry list of wingnut wet dreams. Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday called a special session of the Texas Legislature starting July 18 and promised to make it a sweeping one if lawmakers cooperate. Abbott gave legislators an ambitious 19-item agenda to work on — including a “bathroom bill” — […]