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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Here we go again with Planned Parenthood and Medicaid

Rooting for another injunction. Texas officials are back in federal court this week over abortion-related policy, this time to defend efforts to oust Planned Parenthood from Medicaid. Planned Parenthood has asked U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to block the ouster as illegal, unjustified and unfair — an improperly political move that could deprive about 11,000 […]

Pasadena will appeal redistricting ruling

Not a surprise. An attorney representing the city of Pasadena said Tuesday the city will appeal a ruling that found Pasadena deliberately violated the voting rights of its Hispanic population, a move that could have immediate consequences for the city’s upcoming May elections. The attorney, C. Robert Heath, said the city disagreed with Chief U.S. […]

The GLSEN 2015 National School Climate Survey

A lot of the stuff we talk about when we discuss Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill is business – the opposition from businesses, the political ramifications of a GOP/business schism, the economics of the bathroom bill, etc etc etc. But schools and students are a big piece of the picture here, as the lawsuit against the […]

Final ruling in Pasadena redistricting lawsuit

It’s official – back to the original map. With candidate registration set to begin Tuesday, a federal judge Monday prohibited the city of Pasadena from using an unconstitutional redistricting scheme in the upcoming May elections, stating that the scheme violated the voting rights of Latino and Hispanic residents. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in […]

It’s all bathrooms, all the time

People are paying attention to Dan Patrick’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill, and for the most part they do not like it. In early February, the Super Bowl will be in Houston and in late March, the women’s Final Four will be in Dallas. If Patrick pushes the bathroom bill through the Senate by then, as expected, […]

More Paxton-versus-SEC stuff

Keeping the lawyers busy. Lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton say the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission cannot “shoot first and investigate later” as they seek to block 15 new subpoenas issued by the SEC. It is the latest argument by Paxton’s attorneys in their effort to show the SEC is scrambling to save […]

Where we begin with school finance

A nice overview from the Trib on school finance, where the problems are many and the budget situation is non-optimal. The current system is held together by a number of short-term fixes that have not been updated or reformed in decades. The Texas Supreme Court upheld the funding system as constitutional in May, and at […]

The coming legislative border battle

Here we go again. House Republicans on Wednesday said they aren’t backing away from recent efforts to secure the southern border despite an incoming president who made beefed-up immigration enforcement a hallmark of his campaign. And as a final admonishment of President Obama, they said they intended to bill the federal government more than $2.8 […]

Fire ant-killing robots

Let’s just luxuriate in the glory of that headline for a moment, shall we? Harley Myler is working on a “war of the worlds.” That’s what the Lamar Electrical Engineering Department chair calls his latest project: a walking robot that incinerates red fire ants. The idea is to use a camera to identify the species […]

Precinct analysis: Texas Congressional districts

From Daily Kos: Texas’s GOP-drawn congressional map was designed to create 24 safely red seats and 11 safely Democratic districts, with only the 23rd District in the western part of the state being truly competitive. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried the state 57-41 and won those 24 red seats by double digits, while Barack Obama […]

Paxton’s trial date set

Mark your calendars, and stock up on the popcorn. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial on criminal securities fraud charges is set to begin May 1. Jury selection will be held April 20-21 and April 27-28, according to a recent order by George Gallagher, the judge presiding over Paxton’s case. He also scheduled a hearing […]

Feds officially file appeal in transgender bathroom directive lawsuit

This may be the last stop. With two weeks left, the Obama administration has asked a federal appeals court to throw out a lower court’s decision that suspended policies designed to protect transgender people’s access to restrooms — a sign the current leadership of the Justice Department will close shop mid-fight on one of its […]

The other “faithless elector” speaks up

Meet Bill Greene, political science professor at South Texas College, and the other Texas member of the Electoral College who did not cast a vote for Dear Leader Trump. Greene, who has kept a low profile since the vote, explained his decision Monday, telling The Texas Tribune he had wanted to “bring the process back […]

Patrick will run for re-election in 2018

In case you were worried that he was planning to “spend more time with his family”, or whatever. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick formally announced Monday he’s running for re-election, looking to finally quell speculation he’s interested in higher office. “Put it in cement,” Patrick told reporters a day before the start of the 85th legislative […]

Dawnna Dukes case to go before grand jury

Awesome. Travis County prosecutors and Texas Rangers will present evidence to a grand jury that state Rep. Dawnna Dukes abused the power of her office, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore told the American-Statesman. Among possible charges: abuse of official capacity and tampering with public records, Moore said. Dukes was sworn into office for a […]

Here’s your 2018-19 revenue estimate

It’s pretty mediocre. Facing sluggish economic forecasts amid low oil prices along with billions in tax revenue already dedicated to the state highway fund, Comptroller Glenn Hegarannounced Monday that lawmakers will have $104.87 billion in state funds at their disposal in crafting the next two-year budget, a 2.7 percent decrease from his estimate ahead of […]

Dukes un-resigns

Ugh. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes confirmed to the Texas Tribune in an email Monday that she is not resigning from her post with House District 46, just two days after blindsiding supporters and fellow lawmakers with her reverse decision. Dukes, an Austin Democrat, announced in September that she would retire from office on Jan. 10, […]

Business really doesn’t want a bathroom bill

Because this can’t be said enough. Texas business leaders are gearing up for a fight with state lawmakers over Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s push to bar transgender Texans from bathrooms tied to their gender identity. Business groups vehemently oppose the legislation, which they say would discriminate against the LGBT community, make the Lone Star State […]

This fight feels different

The more I read about the forthcoming fight between Dan Patrick and his minions and everyone else over the bathroom bill, the more I am struck by the thought that we have never seen anything quite like this before in Texas. Standing in front of reporters Thursday, Patrick was still a man on the mission, […]

New school grading system looks pretty harsh

Brace yourselves. Schools in poor neighborhoods overwhelmingly received the worst grades under Texas’ new rating system — but even typically high-performing districts got C’s and D’s, according to scores that will be released Friday. The “what if” grades show how schools and districts could fare in the new A-F system, which won’t take effect until […]

Rep. Sam Johnson to retire

One of Texas’ longest-serving members of Congress will call it quits next year. U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson announced Friday morning that he will not seek re-election to represent his Plano-based seat in Congress. Johnson, a Vietnam War veteran, made the announcement over email Friday. “After much prayer, I have decided I will not seek re-election […]

The history of the Chicken Ranch

Chron columnist and Texas historian Joe Holley writes about an attempt to put a marker by the site of the infamous Chicken Ranch. It’s been 43 years since KTRK-TV’s crusading consumer affairs reporter (“Slime in the ice machine!!”) rolled into town with a cameraman to bust the unassuming, little country brothel that had flourished just […]

Judge rules for Pasadena plaintiffs

Wow. A federal judge in Houston dealt a major blow Friday to the city of Pasadena in a closely watched voting rights case, ruling that officials deliberately diluted the clout of Hispanic voters by revising the system for electing City Council members. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal ordered Pasadena to revert to its […]

What is the environmental impact of building an Ike Dike?

Maybe we should try to figure that out. Plans for building a massive storm-surge protection system for the Houston area are rushing ahead before officials determine whether the project could harm Galveston Bay, environmental groups say. The Sierra Club and the Galveston Bay Foundation, the environmental groups most closely watching the planning process, worry that […]

More MUD muddles

Who needs collateral? When Houston businessman David Lucyk decided to develop land in northeast Harris County, he lined up a bank loan to pay for water pipes, sewers, roads and a stormwater detention pond. He offered the bank three items as collateral: land his company owned, an ownership stake in a business, and the promise […]

O’Rourke and Dowd say they want to challenge Cruz in 2018

Rep. Beto O’Rourke upgraded his chances of running for the Senate in 2018 to “very likely”. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Thursday he is all but certain to make a run for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s seat in 2018. “I’ve had the chance to talk to a lot of people around the state of Texas […]

Effort to expedite redistricting ruling denied

From the Lone Star Project: Earlier today, Federal District Court Judge Xavier Rodriguez denied the motion filed by the Texas congressional and State House redistricting plaintiffs calling on the three-judge federal district court in San Antonio to rule on the pending redistricting case.  Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle released the following statement: “While we […]

CCA Judge Alcala not running for re-election in 2018

Our first open office for the next cycle. A Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judge who is well known for her criticism of the death penalty announced on Thursday that she will not run for reelection when her term ends in 2018. Judge Elsa Alcala, a Republican who was appointed to the court in 2011 […]

Patrick plunges ahead with his potty bill

Brace yourselves. After months of sparring over whether transgender Texans should be allowed to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday officially set the legislative stage for the debate. Following North Carolina’s lead, Texas Republicans announced Senate Bill 6, which would require transgender people to use bathrooms […]

Fifth Circuit hears immigrant harboring lawsuit appeal

This time it’s the state that’s appealing a lower court ruling. A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether a key portion of Texas’ omnibus border security bill is legal. Lawyers for the state of Texas argued that two landlords, and an immigrant services agency, who sued the state over […]

“Fetal remains” rule still on hold

Take all the time you need. As he considers a final ruling on the state’s fetal remains burial rule, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks is delaying the start date of the rule for at least another three weeks. On Wednesday afternoon, after attorneys for the state of Texas and the Center for Reproductive Rights […]

Chris Suprun’s eventful year in voting

How weird is this? The self-described “voting addict” was an apparent casualty of the confusion amid legal wrangling over the state’s 2011 voter ID law. Now, [Texas Republican elector Chris] Suprun is calling for courts to clarify the rules once and for all. “Pick a course and run with it,” he urged U.S. District Court […]

A look ahead to Fort Bend County elections in 2017

(Note: From time to time I solicit guest posts on various topics, from people who have a particular interest or expertise in a particular topic. I don’t know much about local and municipal elections in Fort Bend County, so today’s post is by Steve Brown. As has been aptly reported here over the last couple […]

Motion filed to compel redistricting ruling

From the Lone Star Project: The major plaintiffs challenging the Texas congressional and State House boundaries filed a joint motion earlier today to compel the three-judge federal district court in San Antonio to finally issue a decision on their claims that the Texas maps adopted in 2011 are discriminatory in violation of the Voting Rights […]