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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

PPP: Abbott 51, Davis 37

Another discouraging poll from PPP. In the Governor’s race Greg Abbott’s at 51% to 37% for Wendy Davis. Those numbers are largely unchanged from our last poll of the state in early November when Abbott had a 50/35 advantage. Davis had a 39/29 favorability rating right after her famous filibuster last June, but since then […]

SA City Council to begin the plastic bag debate

I look forward to seeing what direction they go. City staffers Wednesday plan to recommend to the City Council’s Governance Committee that San Antonio move forward with a ban on single-use plastic and paper bags. The recommendation comes after vetting by the Solid Waste Management Department, which researched policies in other cities across the state […]

The Rick Perry grand jury convenes

Game on. A grand jury was sworn in Monday to look into whether Gov. Rick Perry acted improperly last year when he threatened to kill funding for the Travis County district attorney’s public corruption division unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after her drunken driving conviction. The office of the governor – who carried through […]

Another trip down Demography Lane

From the Sunday Chron op-ed pages: Texas is headed for the ditch, but few people are aware of the state’s perilous path. The demographers have seen the future, though, because it’s foretold in their numbers. And they’ve been sounding the alarm. There hasn’t been much of a public-policy response, so far. Texas could be the […]

Regulating Bitcoin in Texas

Bitcoin regulations. We have ‘em. Texas will not treat Bitcoin and other virtual currencies as legal money, according to a new memo from the Texas Department of Banking. Yet some companies that deal in Bitcoin transactions could draw state oversight, even if they are based outside of Texas. Texas Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper issued a memo this month […]

What’s the health insurance enrollment status in Texas?

The short answer is that we don’t know. The longer answer, as this Express-News story indicates, is that we’ll never really know. Self-sufficiency. Distrust. Desire for flexibility. Those are some reasons many consumers bypassed health insurance plans sold on government-run exchanges and instead chose to buy coverage directly from insurance agents or brokers before open […]

Davis keeps up the attack on Abbott over pre-k

She is not letting up. While addressing the Texas State Teachers Association’s convention in San Marcos on Saturday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis accused her Republican opponent, Greg Abbott, of backing away from his early education policy proposal. Abbott, the state’s attorney general, recently came under fire from Democrats and education advocates for language in […]

We really should have expanded Medicaid

We know it would have done a lot of good, at a very reasonable cost. Turns out that cost was even less than what we had been told. News reports and state officials have commonly stated that expanding the Medicaid program in this fashion would cost the state about $15 billion over 10 years. Except, that figure, provided […]

Two truths about testing

Lisa Falkenberg boils it down. While there’s no doubt standardized tests are an important part of student assessment, somewhere along the way, they became too important. We’ve tethered them to everything from student promotion to teacher pay to school reputation. And it’s not just the test days that take away from meaningful learning but the […]

Abbott denies his pre-k plan means standardized testing for 4-year-olds

Glad we cleared that up. After questions were raised about language in a policy proposal that appears to call for the biannual testing of pre-kindergarten students, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign is clarifying his early education plan, saying he is not calling for such tests. The proposal — the first detailed glimpse at Abbott’s education policy — […]

Planned Parenthood petitions Fifth Circuit for en banc review of HB2 ruling

From the inbox: Today, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas filed a petition on behalf of their patients to request that the full bench of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals consider the constitutionality of harmful abortion restrictions that were struck down by  a federal district court last fall. On March 27, a three-judge panel of the court […]

No hiding behind privilege

Here’s your latest voter ID litigation update, from the Brad Blog: Just over a week ago, it was North Carolina legislators ordered by the court to cough up documentation relating to passage of new, draconian restrictions on voting rights in their state. Now, legislators in Texas are facing much the same thing, as that state’s extreme polling […]

SBOE does something OK

I know, I’m as surprised as you are. Instead of making Mexican-American studies an official high school course, the Texas State Board of Education has settled on a tentative compromise that would allow school districts to decide whether to offer the course. “It wasn’t necessarily what we were hoping, with a stand-alone course for Mexican-American […]

A grassroots fighting force of extraordinary magnitude

At least, I hope it is. Addressing hundreds of volunteers on Saturday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis highlighted her efforts to mobilize Texas voters and once again attacked her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, for being what she called a political “insider.” Davis also talked gender equality in the workplace — which she’s made […]

James O’Keefe is a lying liar

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the special prosecutors that investigated the allegations by O’Keefe’s group Project Veritas made against Battleground Texas. A conservative activist’s allegations that Democratic group Battleground Texas illegally acquired voter information in San Antonio have been rejected by a Bexar County district court after a pair of special prosecutors […]

No, there won’t be a flood of equal pay lawsuits in Texas

There wasn’t one before, when the federal Lilly Ledbetter Act passed. There’s no reason to believe there will be one if a state version of the Ledbetter law is approved. Candidates for statewide office have wrangled recently over an effort to address sex-based wage discrimination by extending the window for lawsuits. But as the campaigns […]

The microbreweries aren’t done with the Legislature

Microbreweries took a big step forward in 2013, but there’s still more to be done. The 2013 legislative session, which featured the largest overhaul of the beer industry since 1993, was viewed by many observers as a watershed moment for craft brewers in Texas. But in testimony before the House Economic and Small Business Development […]

The farm team

Roll Call takes a look at the Texas Democrats of the future. Democrats rarely fielded competitive Senate candidates over the past two decades — the party’s three best performers in that time span received 44 percent, 43 percent and 43 percent — but that may change by the next midterm cycle. State and national Democrats […]

HISD board votes for Mexican-American studies class

You would think this wouldn’t be a big deal. The Houston school board, representing the largest district in Texas, threw its support Thursday behind the creation of a Mexican-American studies course in Texas public schools. The 9-0 vote followed some debate over whether the district would appear to be favoring one culture over another. “Unanimous […]

What the Burnam case is about

I’m still not sure what to think about Rep. Lon Burnam’s electoral challenge against Ramon Romero in HD90. In a case that election officials statewide are monitoring — because it involves the use of electronic devices such as iPads — attorneys say enough ballots are in question to make a difference in the race Burnam […]

Would pot be a cash crop?

The Trib takes a serious look at Kinky Friedman’s campaign platform. Currently, it is illegal to grow and possess marijuana in Texas and most other states, and while hemp is legal for consumption, Texas and most other states do not allow farmers to grow it. Experts with experience in the legal pot industry in other […]

Who’s afraid of the Republican slate?

I was reading this story about a kerfuffle in the Republican runoff for Railroad Commissioner when a thought struck me. A Republican candidate seeking a post that regulates the state’s oil and gas industry said he won’t cut ties to his energy business if elected to the Texas Railroad Commission – a state board that […]

Look out for LVdP

Do not underestimate her. In the lavish Belo Mansion, tucked in the heart of this city’s downtown, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte is locked in a back-and-forth with small-business owners from the region. Van de Putte, the San Antonio Democrat running for lieutenant governor, is courting support — and cash — from the mix of […]

Don’t forget about Kesha

From the HuffPo: Texas Democrats are working hard in the U.S. Senate race — against a member of their own party. Activists in the state want to make sure that Kesha Rogers doesn’t get their party’s Senate nomination because she is a follower of Lyndon LaRouche, who heads a fringe political movement that has been […]

Pasadena lurches towards redistricting

It’s getting ugly. A Pasadena councilwoman was forcibly ejected by armed officers and the mayor was accused of packing a gun during recent meetings on a controversial redistricting plan. Councilwoman Pat Van Houte was removed from a meeting Tuesday on orders of Mayor Johnny Isbell after exceeding a three-minute speaking limit. And at a redistricting […]

National ag groups not happy with Republicans

It’s all about immigration reform. Craig Regelbrugge, who co-chairs the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, says a large majority of his group’s members — which include large and small farming enterprises and growers all around the country — are Republican, and many give to the GOP. But he’s increasingly hearing from members who are so […]

News flash: The Bigfoot exhibition was a fake

I know, I’m as shocked as you are. After a falling out with his Bigfoot crew, master tracker Rick Dyer, whose new title may be “con artist”, admitted that the 8-foot tall body named “Hank” that wooed crowds last month in Houston is a prop made to look like a Bigfoot. The crew, including spokesman […]

Perry special prosecutor is “concerned”

As are we all. A special prosecutor investigating whether Gov. Rick Perry abused his authority when he eliminated state funding of the Texas public integrity unit — which investigates government corruption and is housed in the Travis County district attorney’s office — said what he’s found so far is “concerning.” “I cannot elaborate on what […]

Collier’s sales tax criticism of Hegar makes the news

That’s how you do it. Democrat Mike Collier, a certified public accountant from Houston, will start airing television ads criticizing opponent Glenn Hegar, a Republican state senator from Katy, for his support to phase out property taxes and increase state sales taxes. Collier and Hegar are vying to replace outgoing Comptroller Susan Combs, a Republican. […]

The rideshare battles continue

From Houston: The issue came up at yesterday’s council meeting and Mayor Annise Parker said that undercover Houston police sting operations have resulted in 26 citations for Uber and Lyft drivers. They were likely, misdemeanor violations for operating an illegal taxi. The mayor’s remark was in reply to testimony from Duane Kamins, a partner, along […]

It’s called “social media”, Ted

Ted Cruz is shocked, shocked to learn that his silly little Facebook poll got shared with some people who weren’t supposed to answer it. An old maxim about the law – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s chosen profession – holds that courtroom litigators don’t ask questions if they don’t already have the answers. But in the […]

The Mayors opine for high speed rail

They pen an editorial in its favor. We are proud to be mayors of three of the largest and fastest-growing cities in America. Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston have weathered the recent economic downturn and are now the engines powering our state’s tremendous job growth. While we celebrate the individual successes of our respective cities, […]

Abbott’s pre-K plan

It’s about what you’d expect from someone who isn’t particularly interested in improving public education. Announcing the first of his education policy proposals Monday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott called for reforming pre-kindergarten programs before expanding access, saying that additional funding should be tied to academic outcomes. Abbott’s plan, which was unveiled in Weslaco, proposes […]

Another lawsuit against HB2 to be filed

If at first you don’t succeed… Less than a week after a federal court upheld two new Texas abortion requirements already in effect, abortion providers announced plans to file a second lawsuit targeting additional regulations that the Republican-led Legislature passed in July. The suit that the group plans to file Wednesday in a federal court […]