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Posts Tagged ‘special session’

No special session on same sex marriage

Sorry, wingnuts. Gov. Greg Abbott apparently really meant it when he said last week he will not call a special session of the Legislature. In an interview with San Antonio’s WOAI-AM on Monday, Abbott said calls for a session on same-sex marriage haven’t changed his mind about bringing back the lawmakers who left town last […]

Getting ready for the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling

Travis County is prepped and raring to go. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have the right to marry, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir plans to be ready. The clerk’s office, which issues and records marriage licenses from its location at 5501 Airport Blvd., plans to offer extended evening and weekend hours […]

The fallout from the chubfest

Cleaning up some loose ends…The campus carry bill that was the subject of much chubbing passed on final reading. The battle over “campus carry” is headed back to the Texas Senate after House lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to legislation requiring universities in the state to allow concealed handguns on campus. Senate Bill 11 from […]

House chubfest kills several bad bills

Some good news, though as always at the end of a session, the outcome isn’t clean and the details are very murky. As the clock struck midnight, the failure of an anti-abortion initiative — dear to the hearts of the far right — marked the end of a tumultuous day on the floor of the […]

House passes stricter judicial bypass bill

Unfortunate but expected. After about four hours of debate and a barrage of failed amendments by Democrats, the House passed House Bill 3994 by Republican state Rep. Geanie Morrison of Victoria on a 98-47 vote. The measure would enact several restrictions on “judicial bypass,” the legal process that allows some minors to obtain abortions without […]

Anti-immigration bills dying on the vine

I think I’m going to just got to the executive summary at the bottom of this DMN story. AT A GLANCE: WHERE 3 KEY MEASURES STAND 1. Repeal of tuition law: Seeks to change the 2001 law that allows some students who are in the country illegally to pay college tuition at in-state rates. Status: […]

Not a good session for equality

I know, duh, right? Texas lawmakers have filed at least 20 anti-LGBT proposals this year—likely the most in the history of any state. It’s the type of onslaught that was widely expected among LGBT advocates, due to backlash over the spread of same-sex marriage. Daniel Williams, legislative specialist for Equality Texas, said the group is […]

RIP, two-thirds rule

Not a surprise. With a new lieutenant governor installed for the first time in over a decade Wednesday — and over the cries of Democrats — the Texas Senate voted to break from an almost 70-year tradition intended to encourage compromise among its 31 members. Now the approval of only 19 senators instead of 21 […]

Davis’ abortion disclosure

I agree with PDiddie that this is the big story of the weekend, and likely most of the upcoming week, too. State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, reveals in her new book that she terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons, both more than 15 years ago. Davis’ new book, Forgetting to Be […]

The fire still burns

As an addition to my own response to Lisa Falkenberg’s column about the one-year anniversary of Sen. Wendy Davis’s historic filibuster and the popular uprising around it, I want to call your attention to Andrea Grime’ piece in RHRealityCheck. It’s not a response to Falkenberg or anyone in particular, it’s her recollection of the events […]

Special session for border security?

What could possibly go wrong? State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, joined some of his conservative colleagues on Tuesday in calling for “immediate action” to address the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing into Texas. “The Texas Department of Public Safety has indicated that sustained operations along our southern border will require […]

Tesla’s stealth visit to San Antonio

May mean something, or it may not. A pair of executives from Tesla Motors Inc., the electric carmaker that’s scouting a location for its planned $5 billion “gigafactory,” secretly met here Wednesday with top city and county officials, a person close to the discussion said. The meeting came less than a week after the San […]

Fifth Circuit pretends to hear HB2 appeal

We’re all sure what their decision will be, right? Appellate judges on Monday challenged lawyers over provisions of Texas’ new abortion law and whether they have unduly caused the closure of about a dozen abortion clinics. The three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals bore down in particular on the shuttering of […]

HHSC publishes rules relating to HB2

HHSC is all in on the omnibus anti-abortion bill passed during the special session this summer. Texas health officials have a message for the more than 19,000 folks who wrote in to oppose new abortion regulations: Each individual commenter failed to show that clinics will close or that women will face an undue burden under […]

Abortion providers petition SCOTUS for injunction review

We’ll see what happens. Abortion providers on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a lower federal court’s injunction that blocked Texas from implementing strict new abortion rules. “Right now, women in vast swaths of Texas are being turned away at clinic doors because of a bogus law that attempts to do underhandedly what […]

Not all of HB2 was blocked

That injunction didn’t cover everything. As state officials appealed a federal judge’s order blocking a portion of Texas’ new abortion law, a prohibition against performing the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy quietly took effect Tuesday. While the ban will affect only a small percentage of abortions in Texas, abortion rights proponents say the new […]

No action from Fifth Circuit yet

HB2 is still enjoined. The Texas attorney general’s office is seeking an emergency stay, asking the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel’s ruling against abortion regulations in House Bill 2. Beginning Tuesday, abortion providers would have been required to obtain hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the […]

Injunction granted against HB2

Good. Less than 24 hours before new abortion regulations were set to take effect in Texas, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Monday blocked implementation of one provision challenged by abortion providers and partially blocked a second provision, ruling that they could place an undue burden on women and are therefore unconstitutional. In his opinion, […]

Up to the judge in the abortion lawsuit trial

We expect a quick ruling. With days remaining until new abortion regulations take effect in Texas, attorneys for abortion providers and the state of Texas presented their final arguments Wednesday on whether those restrictions meet constitutional muster. “The result is much more obvious to each side than it is to me,” said U.S. District Judge […]

Lawsuit against abortion restrictions goes to trial

Here we go. Seeking to block the state of Texas from implementing new abortion regulations, plaintiffs representing abortion providers argued Monday in a federal court that the state’s law violates the constitutional right of women to access the procedure. But the state’s attorneys defended Texas’ right to enact laws that advance protections for the life […]

First lawsuit filed over abortion restrictions

Good. The next stage in abortion rights advocates’ efforts to block implementation of strict new regulations on the procedure in Texas began on Friday, as the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union and a group of abortion providers across the state filed a lawsuit in federal court. “Today’s lawsuit is a united […]

And that’s a wrap on Special Session 3

Hallelujah. The Texas Legislature adjourned its third special session since May on Monday night after passing a measure estimated to increase transportation funding by $1.2 billion annually if Texas voters approve it next year. “Let’s adjourn this mutha,” said state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, after the Senate had sent House Bill 1 back over to […]

Maybe the same failed approach will work this time

It could happen, right? Transportation experts now estimate that the state needs $5billion a year to keep Texas moving. The proposal that fell apart in the House this week would add less than a billion annually. And after months of wrangling, relations between the House and Senate have grown increasingly testy. Republicans, who control both […]

Special Session 3: Beyond Thunderdome

Beyond ridiculous, if you ask me, not that they did. Standing before mostly empty chairs in the 150-member Texas House on Tuesday, House Speaker Joe Straus adjourned the second special session and announced that Gov. Rick Perry would be calling them all back for a third special session later in the day. After gaveling in […]

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 […]

Lege may have found a way on transportation funding

As of Thursday, Special Session 3: Beyond Thunderdome was looming. Both chambers of the Legislature were filled with activity Thursday afternoon but they ended up essentially where they had started: waiting on House and Senate negotiators to come up with a transportation funding plan most lawmakers could agree on. There was little sign Thursday that […]

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 […]

Special election set in HD50

Mark Strama announced his resignation from the Lege in February to go and run Google Fiber in Austin. Last week, Rick Perry set November 5 as the special election date to replace him. The race to serve out the remainder of former state Rep. Mark Strama’s current term got an official election date Thursday as […]

When tampons are outlawed, only outlaws will have tampons

This is one of those things you just can’t make up. Inside Texas’ state legislature, loaded guns are fairly common. As the New York Times reported in March, “Just as Texas has long embraced its guns, so has the Capitol. Legislators have walked the terrazzo hallways, attended committee hearings, met with constituents in their offices […]

Four things to work on now that the omnibus anti-abortion bill is reality

1. Organize, organize, organize. Maintain the energy and sense of urgency that originated with the #StandWithWendy filibuster. This is a good way to draw people in while the iron is hot. Progressives and Planned Parenthood took their opposition to the abortion-restricting bill winding its way through the Texas Legislature on the road to Houston Tuesday […]

Elsewhere in the House

No action on transportation yet. House budget writers on Tuesday ended a hearing on transportation funding with no clear decision about how to raise money for Texas roads. The House Appropriations Committee is considering several proposals to see which has the most support, even if that means trying to pass a combination of bills in […]

Back to the House

After the Senate adjourned on Tuesday morning without a committee vote on its omnibus anti-abortion bill following the long hearing in which there was a lot more hearing than listening, the House took up its bill, with more of the same in store. State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, the chairwoman of the House women’s health […]