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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Interview with Bill Kelly

You may have heard that the city of Houston has some legislative business to take care of this session. Most notably, the city wants to get a bill passed to implement its pension reform plans, which may or may not have been complicated by the news that a vote could be required for the city […]

The “border adjustment tax” is a sales tax increase by another name

That’s a feature, not a bug. Retailers across Texas and the country are warning that a proposed border adjustment tax would increase the cost of imports and, by extension, the price of food, clothing and other consumer goods. Texas companies, including Stage Stores of Houston and Neiman Marcus of Dallas, have joined more than 150 […]

The NBA is keeping an eye on SB6, too

I’d be shocked if they weren’t. While lauding the work of New Orleans to take on the NBA All-Star game after the league pulled its events from Charlotte because of House Bill 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people in the state, NBA commissioner Adam Silver did not sound eager to […]

The legal case against the “sanctuary cities” bill

Ken Paxton says that the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill meets legal muster, and the state won’t get sued to smithereens if it passes. Not all lawyers agree with that. The office of the Texas Attorney General can no better predict when the Dallas Cowboys will win the Super Bowl than it can how an appeals […]

AG’s office sanctioned in voter registration lawsuit

They were warned. A federal judge has ordered sanctions against the state of Texas for blowing past deadlines and ignoring a court order to hand over thousands of pages of documents in a lawsuit challenging its voter registration practices. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office’s “months-long delay” in producing the documents “has been disruptive, time […]

How the Legislature is raising your property taxes

RG Ratcliffe explains it all to you: Just how much money does the increased appraisal on property in your school district and elsewhere save the state budget writers? The projection is $1.5 billion for the next two-year budget. And where does this money go? In its initial budget, the Senate plans to use the savings on other state expenditures. […]

As goes Tarrant

The Trib ponders the one big urban county that is not like the others. Among the state’s five biggest counties, Tarrant is the only one that hasn’t backed a Democratic presidential candidate in the past decade. The 2016 presidential election heightened Tarrant’s status as an outlier. Even as the rest of the state’s big-city territories […]

We may be voting on pension obligation bonds

Oh, boy. A state lawmaker carrying Houston’s pension reform bill says her version of the proposal will require a public referendum on a $1 billion cash infusion central to the negotiations, an idea Mayor Sylvester Turner called a “poison pill” that could derail the reforms and force “massive” layoffs. The requirement that voters have a […]

Twice the trials, twice the fun

The Paxton special prosecutors want to separate the charges into two trials. Special prosecutors said Thursday they would like to try Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton first on charges he failed to register as an investment advisor, pushing a lengthy trial on his securities fraud charges until a later date. Kent Schaffer, one of the […]

FBI and IRS raid Sen. Carlos Uresti’s office

That’s never a good thing. FBI and IRS agents raided the San Antonio law offices of state Sen. Carlos Uresti on Thursday morning — confiscating documents and other items. A law enforcement source told the the San Antonio Express-News, which first reported the raid Thursday, that it was connected to Uresti’s involvement with a now-bankrupt […]

Popovich for Governor

This site was set up by a Facebook friend of mine. Right now, all that’s there is a form to fill out to exhort Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to run for Governor, plus links to buy Pop-for-Governor T-shirts. I doubt it will be more than that, but I’d pay good money to see a sideline […]

Again, there is no such thing as an acceptable bathroom bill

The current strategy for Dan Patrick in trying to round up support for, or at least blunt opposition to, his bathroom bill is to claim that it will contain exceptions for sports venues, so no one needs to worry about boycotts or other bad things. Unfortunately for Dan, no one is buying it, and the […]

Ogg launches her pot prosecution reform program

We’ve been waiting for this. The Harris County district attorney’s plan to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana drew reactions swift and strong Thursday from both sides of the debate. District Attorney Kim Ogg made the announced Thursday backed by a bevy of local officials, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Sheriff […]

Paxton files brief in favor of Muslim ban

Because of course he does. Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an amicus brief Wednesday expressing his support of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, effectively becoming the first state attorney general to back the controversial executive order. Under the executive order, travelers from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya are barred from entering the […]

Pasadena won’t fight election order

The May election in Pasadena will proceed under the pre-redistricting eight-district Council map. The city of Pasadena will not fight an appellate court ruling over its election system, a decision that will allow the upcoming May council elections to proceed with eight-single member district seats, according to the lead attorney for the city in the […]

More on the Whitmire Astrodome bill

I still don’t care for this. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett voiced concern Tuesday that a bill filed by a veteran state senator jeopardizes the county’s plan to revitalize the Astrodome, adding that county representatives would continue to try to persuade legislators to support the $105 million project. Emmett said state Sen. John Whitmire’s bill, […]

Abbott shakes fist at NFL

Seriously? Gov. Greg Abbott is blasting the NFL for raising the prospect that Texas’ so-called “bathroom bill” could impact future events in the state — wading into a debate he has so far mostly steered clear of. “The NFL is walking on thin ice right here,” Abbott told conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday. […]

Castro will let his Senate plans be known soon

Allow six to eight weeks for delivery. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, said Saturday that he will decide in eight weeks whether to run in 2018 for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Ted Cruz. Castro set the date for a decision in a Q&A session with reporters before speaking to crowd […]

Turns out a little budget flexibility is a good thing

Some lessons have to be learned the hard way. More than a year after Texas voters approved routing billions in state sales taxes to roads and bridges, some lawmakers are questioning whether the first payment of $5 billion should move forward as planned. Texans voted in 2015 to boost funding for state’s public roadways and […]

Artists against SB6

I’m glad to see this, but I have some questions. More than 135 musicians and artists are joining the chorus of opposition against Texas’ so-called “bathroom bill.” Singers and other artists including Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper, Alicia Keys have signed onto an open letter asking Texas lawmakers to stand down from passing Senate Bill 6 […]

The border tax effect on your food

You’re gonna pay more. Any questions? The idea of a tariff on Mexican imports or a radical change to the North American Free Trade Agreement — another Trump promise — worries many Texas agriculture industry leaders, who say it is in the state’s best interest to continue fostering a positive trade relationship with Mexico rather […]

The people who would have been denied the opportunity to vote in 2016

There were a lot of them. At least 16,400 Texans who voted in the November election wouldn’t have been able to cast ballots if the state’s voter identification law had been in full effect, state voting records show. […] Through a public records request to the Texas secretary of state’s office, the American-Statesman obtained copies […]

Houston’s tourism business

People like to spend money here. In particular, people from Mexico like to spend money here. Mexicans are the largest group of international tourists who visit Houston – and recently, their numbers have grown. In 2015, Houston received 2.5 million international tourists, 1.8 million of whom came from Mexico. In 2016, the convention and visitors […]

A telemedicine breakthrough

This is good to see. A years-long fight over the use of telemedicine in Texas appears to have been resolved, with medical and industry groups agreeing to compromise legislation that, if it passes, could benefit patients, especially those in rural areas. Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Charles Schwertner, a Georgetown Republican and orthopedic […]

Texas Dems look to 2018

I have a few things to say about this. A tight-knit group of Texas Democratic leaders traveled to the state capital [in late January] to begin preliminary conversations about the 2018 midterm races. According to over a dozen interviews with Texas Democratic insiders and national Democrats with ties to the state, the meeting included some […]

Trump Justice Department to drop appeals in transgender bathroom directive case

From ThinkProgress: The Trump administration has elected not to contest a Texas federal judge’s injunction barring the federal government from implementing Obama administration guidelines that protect transgender kids in schools. Oral arguments for the Obama Justice Department’s appeal of the judge’s decision were scheduled for Tuesday. The DOJ cancelled them in a legal brief submitted […]

Super Bowl or bathroom bill?

Choose one or the other. Texas’ next trip to the Super Bowl may hit a roadblock in Austin, where conservative lawmakers are pushing a bill to ban transgender people from the public bathrooms they feel most comfortable using. “If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law (in Texas), […]

Paddie files another rideshare bill

From the inbox: Texas State Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) has filed legislation proposing a statewide regulatory framework for transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft. House Bill 100 will help bring economic opportunity and access to safe, reliable transportation to more Texans. “It is time to end the inconsistencies of regulations across the […]

ReBuild re-vote?

It could come to that, but it’s not clear to me that it has to. The funding scheme for ReBuild Houston, the city’s street and drainage repair initiative, remains in limbo after a state appeals court agreed Thursday that the 2010 charter referendum creating the program is void. The Texas 14th Court of Appeals ruling […]

Supreme Court hears TDP-KSP appeal

Here‘s a little blast from the past. A meandering legal dispute between Texas Democrats and a Houston tea party group has landed before the Texas Supreme Court in a case that could overturn longtime election laws that require certain political committees to disclose donors and ban direct political contributions from corporations. Arguing before the court […]

How SB6 will hurt people

Nell Gaither counts the ways. SB 6 identifies a target without naming it and erases policy intended to offer at least some protection for vulnerable populations, building a legal excuse for harming those people and for coercing them not to fight back. Once the law is in place, the “responsible adults” will turn their backs […]

How all that activism is being received

Texas Monthly looks at the recent spate of rallies and visits to Texas elected officials’ events and offices to see what’s up. John Simpson and Mark Leech had never participated in a protest before last month. In fact, the couple—who got married in Temple last June—wasn’t particularly political before the 2016 election. They became concerned, […]

Counting to 19 on SB6

That’s the number of votes needed to move the Patrick potty bill to the floor of the Senate for a full vote. At times, it seemed like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was a bit like a man on an island when it came to one of his signature priorities this legislative session: the Texas Privacy […]

Paxton prosecutors want change of venue

At this point, who can blame them? The prosecutors in Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud case are asking for a change of venue, arguing they cannot get a fair trial in Collin County. The prosecutors say Judge George Gallagher should move the case out of Paxton’s home county because he and his associates have […]