Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

HD124 special election goes to runoff

There won’t be much time left in the session before this race is finally decided. Two Democrats are advancing to a second round in the race to replace former state Rep. Jose Menendez in House District 124, likely adding a few weeks to the last in a series of special elections. With 100 percent of […]

Somewhat watered down fracking bill advances in House

By “fracking bill”, I mean a bill to limit how cities can regulate fracking, because that’s how things are these days. In a 10-1 vote, the House Committee on Energy Resources approved an updated version of House Bill 40, among the most prominent of nearly a dozen bills filed in the aftermath of Denton’s vote […]

Remember the Alamo lawsuit

Release the lawyers! Earlier this month, Texas General Land Commissioner George P. Bush fired The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, longtime managers of the Alamo, effective July 10. In a letter to the group, Bush cited 10 contract violations and said the state would be moving in a new direction. Now, the group is […]

Let the budgetary games begin

The House takes up the budget today, with over 300 amendments and riders queued up for votes. A couple of things to watch for as the debate goes on: Killing vouchers. Lawmakers in the Texas House will have a chance to draw a line in the sand over private school vouchers during the upcoming battle […]

National Dems say they’re looking at Farenthold’s seat

I’ll believe it when I see it. The hunt is on in Southeast Texas for a Democrat to challenge U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi. At first glance, it might seem like an absurd notion; Farenthold won re-election by a 2-to-1 margin in 2014. But some Democrats say they have designs on the seat because […]

No gambling expansion this session

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. It’s a sure bet that when Texas lawmakers convene every two years, legislation will be proposed to expand gaming in the state. This year, there are nearly a dozen pieces of legislation covering casino games, slot machines and eight-liners. And just like each time before, the […]

Precinct analysis: Abbott versus Perry in Latino districts

District level election data for 2014 has been available for a few weeks now. Seems like as good a time as any to return to a favorite topic, namely how Greg Abbott did in heavily Latino areas. An exit poll from November claimed Abbott drew 44% of the Latino vote, which would be a very […]

Once again to SCOTUS for Texas and the EPA

Plus ca change, and all that. Texas again went head-to-head with the Environmental Protection Agency before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, this time challenging federal limits on the emission of pollutants like mercury, acid gases and other toxic metals from power plants. Joined by 20 other states, Texas is arguing that the EPA didn’t […]

Eversole to seek Presidential pardon

For real. Three years after pleading guilty to lying to FBI agents and resigning his post as a Harris County commissioner to avoid further prosecution, Jerry Eversole is seeking a presidential pardon for his misdeeds. In a letter sent to at least one of his supporters, lawyers for the disgraced Pct. 4 commissioner are asking […]

Injunction granted against FMLA benefits for same sex couples

What a load of crap. A Wichita Falls federal district judge on Thursday granted Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request to temporarily stop the federal government from revising the Family and Medical Leave Act to include federal employees in same-sex unions. Paxton and attorneys general from Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska who sued the federal government “have […]

Hearing set for appeal of immigration order ruling

Coming soon. A court hearing has been set for April 17 on whether a temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action should be lifted, a federal appeals court announced Tuesday. […] The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said each side will have an hour to make their arguments about […]

Diabetes

What happens when you expand access to health care in America? More people with previously undiagnosed illnesses can get the diagnosis and treatment that they need. Putting off visits to the doctor because you don’t have insurance is common, says Dr. Vivian Fonseca, a professor of medicine and endocrinology at Tulane University, in New Orleans. […]

State-run Women’s Health Program continues to be a failure

Quelle surprise. Thousands fewer women are getting health services through the now state-run Women’s Health Program after Planned Parenthood was barred from being a provider. A report released Monday by the state Health and Human Services Commission showed that almost 30,000 fewer women were served through the program in 2013 than in 2011, and 63,581 […]

Rural hospitals

If this story was meant to evoke my sympathy, I’m afraid it failed. Since the hospital closed in Paducah, a town 30 miles to the north, patients in Guthrie have 60 long miles to travel to Childress for care. It’s a feeling of isolation that has crept up on other rural corners of the state […]

Backlash anti-gay marriage bill heard in committee

Turns out bigotry has a price tag. House Bill 1745, by Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia), seeks to bar Texas officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognizing their marriages—regardless of whether courts determine the state’s ban is unconstitutional. More than a dozen witnesses gave nearly two hours of sometimes emotional testimony during a […]

House will address school finance

Good. With a plan that would add $3 billion to the state’s public education budget, the Texas House has decided to take on school finance reform this legislative session. As he announced a deal Wednesday that would put $800 million on top of the $2.2 billion the chamber had already allocated to public schools, Public […]

Cruz may go on Obamacare

Go ahead, laugh it up. You know you want to. Ted Cruz, one of the loudest critics of Obamacare, will soon be using it for health insurance coverage. “We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we’re in the process of transitioning over to do that,” Cruz, a Republican […]

The At Large trend

From Think Progress: Yakima, WA is one-third Latino, but a Latino candidate has not been elected to the city council for almost 40 years. Santa Barbara, CA is 38 percent Latino, but only one Latino has been elected to its council in the last 10 years. And Pasadena, TX is 43 percent Hispanic, but the […]

WaPo profiles Mayor Parker

Nothing we didn’t already know, but a nice story nonetheless. Annise Parker keeps a leather-bound journal on the desk in her wood-paneled office in City Hall. If it had a title, she says, it would be: “Would This Have Happened to Another Mayor?” Its pages are filled with her cursive script of the stories she […]

Cruzing for President

I just have one thing to say about this. As Sen. Ted Cruz announces he will run for president, he likely has two things on his mind: money and Iowa. Cruz will formally enter the presidential race ahead of any of his competitors Monday at Liberty University, a Christian school in Lynchburg, Va. But Texas’ […]

The scared institution of marriage

Smell the fear and desperation. Several hundred Christian fundamentalists gathered on the south steps of the Capitol today in a rally that was less about the defense of traditional marriage than about preparing for civil disobedience if, as expected, the U.S. Supreme Court later this year declares bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Beneath a sweltering […]

Trouble in tax cut paradise

What if you propose a tax cut but the beneficiaries of it say they’d rather the money went to something else? Major business groups pushed back Friday against a multi­billion-dollar package of tax cuts advancing in the Texas Senate, calling it inequitable and saying state needs should be funded before lawmakers consider tax relief. The […]

Compromise bill to reform property tax appraisals

Better than nothing, I guess, but not clear to me yet how much better. State lawmakers are looking to partly close a tax loophole that has allowed big companies to drain tens of millions of dollars from local government coffers in recent years, but any reforms that pass may still not end the legal battles […]

Alvarado’s term limits bill

From the inbox: State Representative Carol Alvarado has filed HB 2917 that, if passed by the Legislature and approved by voters, would change the city’s term limit structure to two four-year terms for the mayor, city controller and councilmembers. “The city’s current structure of three two-year terms restricts an elected official’s ability to truly dive […]

Driverless car legislative update

Like just about everything else under the sun, there were bills filed last week to deal with driverless cars. As self-driving cars move from futuristic concept to plausible technology, the Texas Legislature is looking to become a magnet for the fast-developing industry. Three lawmakers have filed bills aimed at encouraging the use of the technology […]

Trying again to fix birth certificates

This is encouraging. A Republican committee chairman smacked down an anti-LGBT witness Wednesday during a hearing on a proposal to allow same-sex parents to have both their names on the birth certificates of adopted children. Julie Drenner, of Texas Values, claimed the bill would lead to threesomes adopting, affect all birth certificates and require the […]

What if they threw an election and nobody ran?

Congratulations, Katy! The Katy City Council on Monday night canceled May’s municipal elections after no one sought to challenge the mayor and two other incumbents. The deadline to file to run was at the end of February. The only candidates to file were Mayor Fabol Hughes and council members Bill Lawton and Jimmy Mendez, from […]

Endorsement watch: Minjarez in HD124

On the eve of early voting in HD124, the Express News makes their choice for a candidate in the HD124 special election. Former Bexar County prosecutor Ina Minjarez, who now practices civil law in San Antonio, is the best choice in the race, and we recommend that voters cast their ballots for her. […] Minjarez, […]

HD124 special election overview

Early voting for the special election to fill Sen. Jose Menendez’s now-vacant HD124 seat begins Monday. The Rivard Report provides a brief profile of three of the candidates in that race. Delicia Herrera, 41, who served on council from 2007 through 2012, said her experience representing the district, which overlaps the House district by 90 […]

We’re not #1 any more!

Looks like we’re going to need some new applause lines for our elected officials. When it comes to job growth, some Rust Belt states are gaining an edge on Texas amid the fallout from plunging oil prices. In January, Texas lost its spot as the nation’s top job creator. The state ranked No. 4 with […]

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 […]

State Bar accuses Willingham prosecutor of misconduct

Wow. In a major turn in one of the country’s most-noted death penalty cases, the State Bar of Texas has filed a formal accusation of misconduct against the county prosecutor who convicted Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texas man executed in 2004 for the arson murder of his three young daughters. Following a preliminary inquiry that […]

Costco joins in on liquor sales

Not just Wal-Mart any more. Wholesale giant Costco has joined Wal-Mart and other retailers in the fight to let public corporations sell liquor in Texas. Texans for Consumer Freedom, a group formed last month to lobby Texas lawmakers to loosen restrictions on the state liquor market, announced Wednesday that Costco Wholesale Corporation would lend its […]

Paxton files his first lawsuit against the feds

Won’t be his last, I’m sure, but as the first it sure seems like a rearguard action. The state of Texas is suing the Obama administration for giving medical leave benefits to certain same-sex couples, according to an announcement Wednesday from Attorney General Ken Paxton. The lawsuit comes in response to a rule change announced […]