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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Judicial bypass is already a huge obstacle

Jane’s Due Process highlights just how hard it is for a pregnant teenager to get a judicial bypass for the purpose of obtaining an abortion under existing law. The Survey. Jane’s Due Process (JDP) is a 501(c)(3) organization that formed shortly after Texas’ parental involvement law went into effect in 2000. Our mission is to […]

Ted Cruz still really dislikes gay people

Though he’s happy to take their money if they’re foolish enough to offer it to him. Nobody tell the adoring fans at U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential announcement at Liberty University that he was palling around liberal New York City with well-known gay activists. On Wednesday, Cruz attended a small New York City event hosted […]

SCOTUS rejects North Carolina redistricting

Of interest. On Monday, the Supreme Court vacated a ruling from North Carolina’s highest court that had upheld Republican-drawn maps of the state’s congressional and legislative districts. While we don’t yet know what the final outcome will be, the court’s decision could have a real impact on one of the most aggressively partisan gerrymanders in […]

Profiling the high speed rail opponents

City Lab takes a look at the people who are resisting the proposed Texas Central Railway. Turns out you don’t need to rely on public money to be hated as a U.S. high-speed rail project. That much is becoming clear from the battering being given to a big Texas bullet train plan that’s privately funded. […]

More on the Texas Compassionate Use Act

The Chron covers the legislation that has been introduced to loosen medical marijuana laws just a bit. The twin bills, both authored by Republicans and supported by lawmakers across the aisle, await hearings in Senate and House subcommittees. The bills are far more restrictive than those that legalized medical marijuana in 23 states, broad laws […]

Two anti-gay bills advance

Look out. Gay rights advocates began sounding the alarm Wednesday after two anti-LGBT bills cleared House committees and another received a favorable hearing. Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, said if LGBT groups and their corporate allies don’t work quickly to generate the type of backlash seen over a religious freedom bill in […]

A different push for health care expansion

This ought to spark some interesting conversations. Two Democratic lawmakers called Wednesday for Texas leaders to explore a new type of Medicaid waiver that they say could provide health coverage to many of the state’s millions of uninsured. The waiver, characterized by the legislators as the kind of block grant that Republicans favor, is not […]

Prosecutors respond to latest Team Perry filings

Back and forth, forth and back. The special prosecutor in the case against Rick Perry is asking a judge to deny the former governor’s latest two efforts to quash the indictment against him. Perry, meanwhile, is once again showcasing a high-profile group of legal scholars who think the case against him should be dismissed. The […]

A little trouble in paradise

It’s that time of the biennium, y’all. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s tea party advisory panel on Tuesday blasted Gov. Greg Abbott’s quality pre-K legislation as “socialistic” and “a threat to parental rights,” contributing friction to the already tense balancing act between the state’s top Republican leaders. “We are experimenting at great cost to taxpayers with […]

Statewide Uber/Lyft bill passes out of committee

It’s gotten better, but it’s still not good enough. A bill to establish statewide rules for “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft has been tweaked to address some concerns that its background check requirements weren’t stringent enough. That change – which would allow cities to require that drivers be fingerprinted as part of such […]

Meet your Paxton prosecutors

Technically, they’re district attorneys pro tem, for those of you keeping score at home. Two Houston attorneys have been appointed to replace Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis in any potential prosecution of his friend and business partner Attorney General Ken Paxton. The Texas Rangers are looking into whether Paxton should be criminally prosecuted for […]

Senate passes a voucher bill

Hopefully, this will die in the House. Some low-income families unhappy with their public schools would get help paying private school tuition under a plan that won tentative approval in the Texas Senate Monday. Senate Bill 4, which would use state tax credits to entice up to $100 million in business donations to fund a […]

Minjarez wins in HD124

At long last, that’s a wrap. Former Bexar County prosecutor Ina Minjarez cruised to victory late Tuesday in the runoff for José Menéndez’s old seat in Texas House District 124 the last vacancy this session in the Legislature. With all precincts reporting, Minjarez led Delicia Herrera, a former member of the San Antonio City Council, […]

Lone Star Rail District update

Haven’t heard from these guys in awhile. According to [Lone Star Rail District], the [proposed rail line] will provide essential relief from the I-35 highway congestion. The express trip from downtown Austin to downtown San Antonio would take 75 minutes. Completing the project, however, crawls slowly forward as the approval for the train involves several […]

Willis recuses himself from Paxton probe

Good call. Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis has asked a judge to relieve him from further involvement in investigations of his friend, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Late Monday, Willis said that earlier in the day, he filed a motion with state District Judge Scott Becker to recuse himself from probes of whether Paxton, […]

No, seriously, expand Medicaid or else

Bring. It. On. The federal government is officially holding state leaders’ feet to the fire, hoping to get Texas to expand its Medicaid program to provide health insurance to more low-income Texans. Federal officials called the state’s health agency this week to say that Texas’ reluctance to expand Medicaid — a key tenet of President […]

House approves bill to move Public Integrity Unit

Like it or not, looks like this is going to get done. The Texas House gave initial approval Monday to a stripped-down bill that would remove public corruption cases from Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit. Final House approval is expected Tuesday. House Bill 1690, initially approved 94-51, was amended on the House floor to apply […]

More on judicial bypass

Nonsequiteuse provides an update, and it’s not looking good. Rep. King’s HB723, which was left pending in the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee last week, was weak sauce compared to Rep. Morrison’s HB3994, on the State Affairs Committee agenda for Wednesday, April 22nd. Was King’s bill a bare bones practice run for Morrison’s more robust […]

More on the potential Hillary effect in Texas

From the Trib, from shortly before Hillary Clinton made her official announcement. 2. She could resuscitate Texas’ Democratic farm teams. Beyond the presidency, Democrats are betting on gains in the U.S. House in 2016. They’ve got nowhere to go, they say, but up. And the notion of a Clinton atop the ticket is a recruitment […]

The alternate approach to statewide regulations for Uber and Lyft

That’s one way to do it. Another round of sparring between Texas cities and car service companies like Lyft and Uber played out on Tuesday before a panel of Texas lawmakers. The proposal that was debated — which would let cities regulate Lyft and Uber the same way they regulate traditional taxi companies — would […]

Still no action on fixing birth certificates

It’s shameful that this doesn’t have the votes to get out of committee. Prior to a hearing on a bill that would permit faith-based adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT people, Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) delivered an impassioned speech on the House floor in support of a proposal to allow the adopted children of same-sex […]

Fifth Circuit hears request to lift immigration injunction order

Always best to temper one’s expectations with these guys. An argument from U. S. Department of Justice lawyers that the state of Texas doesn’t have standing to challenge the Obama administration’s controversial immigration policy met with resistance from a pair of federal appellate judges Friday. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals […]

Early voting totals for HD124 runoff

Early voting for the HD124 runoff was last week, with Tuesday the 21st being Runoff Day. According to the Bexar County Elections website, 1165 early votes cast so far in the runoff for HD124. That’s a slight improvement over the March 31 election, in which 1002 early votes were cast, with 1981 votes total. That […]

AirBnB in Texas

The Rivard Report offers a useful overview of this growing service. With success comes regulation and Airbnb, the wildly popular “sharing economy” website that allows users to rent out portions of their home to adventuresome travelers, has had more than its share of success. Recently valued at $13 billion, the company has more than 340 […]

Tesla makes its pitch

It’s a start. At a packed committee hearing Monday evening, advocates for Tesla Motors told a panel of Texas House members that it was time to bring state car sales laws into the 21st century and allow the company to sell its luxury electric vehicles in Texas. “The future is here,” said state Rep. Eddie […]

Our corporate allies

Whatever else you may think, they represent our best chance to beat back anti-LGBT legislation this session. With more than 20 anti-LGBT bills pending in the Texas Legislature, a coalition of major employers in the state — including Dell, Samsung and Southwest Airlines — is making the business case for fair treatment of gay, bisexual […]

Mostly positive reviews for the Aycock school finance plan

So far, so good. A plan from a top House lawmaker to overhaul the state’s public education funding system received largely favorable reviews from school districts during a marathon legislative hearing that ended late Tuesday night. “While this bill, some consider it not to be perfect, for us fortunately it is a significant step in […]

High speed rail opponents go to Congress

Here’s a press release from Texans Against High Speed Rail: Lawmakers in Austin who represent thousands of Texans along the proposed Dallas Houston high-speed rail project being promoted by Texas Central Railway (TCR) have officially requested opposition to the project from the Texas delegation in Washington, DC. With an application to the federal level Surface […]

Widening I-10 to San Antonio

Like, all the way. The roughly 200-mile stretch of Interstate 10 from San Antonio to Houston could become more spacious, as the Texas Department of Transportation has raised the idea of adding a third lane to the highway in each direction. An expansion of I-10 between San Antonio and Houston would be the latest effort […]

Bill to ban anti-fracking ordinances likely to go forward

Disappointing. Despite vociferous opposition from local elected officials, environmentalists and citizens, many Democrats in the Texas Legislature are supporting controversial legislation that would strip local governments of the power to regulate or ban fracking. House Bill 40, by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), is one of 11 measures in the Legislature filed in response to […]

Fort Bend ISD

A lot going on over there. With a fifth-grader in Palmer Elementary School in Missouri City, Steve Brown has begun to think about where his son should attend middle school. The campus is just a two-minute drive from the current one but the change has him concerned. According to the latest accountability rating, the middle […]

As usual, the Fifth Circuit is where hope goes to be strangled

Ugh. Judge Jerry E. Smith’s presence on the panel that will hear oral arguments in Texas v. United States on Friday is simply a disaster for the DAPA and expanded DACA programs. Smith, the self-described former right-wing activist, once described feminists as a “gaggle of outcasts, misfits and rejects.” He is one of five judges […]

More Uber safety debating

It’s a topic that’s not going away. With the new, smartphone-based services, drivers and passengers said, the relationship between the person behind the wheel and the person paying for the trip is unique: “It’s just you and them,” one driver said, asking not to be identified. “That’s a big level of trust.” Accommodating the model […]

Al Bennett confirmed to federal district court

Great news. After months of delay, a unanimous U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Alfred Bennett to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, cracking open slightly a national logjam of judicial nominations and a backlog of cases. Bennett’s 95-0 vote, though welcomed by legal reformers, still leaves in limbo at least […]