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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Abbott can’t stop talking about suing Obama

It’s what he does. A state lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive order shielding as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation could come from Texas in the next two weeks, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott said during a Monday press conference. “Most everyone agrees that the immigration system in America is broken,” Abbott said. “Similarly, most […]

Early voting begins today for SD18

From the inbox: The early voting period for the December 6, 2014 Special Election to Fill a Vacancy for State Senate District 18 will take place Wednesday, November 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday, December 1 and December 2, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. “An estimated 20,000 registered voters […]

On being Ron Reynolds

Just because everyone’s out to get you doesn’t mean your behavior is above reproach. To hear Ron Reynolds tell it, the embattled state representative is just plain misunderstood. Over the past decade, Reynolds has been sanctioned twice by the state bar, fined $10,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission, sued a half-dozen times and investigated twice […]

Fifth Circuit sets their schedule

Mark your calendars. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments about the constitutionality of Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions on Jan. 7. The law passed in 2013, known as House Bill 2, banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, placed heavy new restrictions on clinics and doctors who perform the procedure and […]

Texas same-sex marriage plaintiffs ask for stay to be lifted

I wish them luck. Two same-sex couples have asked U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio to allow gay marriages to begin taking place immediately in Texas. On Monday, couples Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes of Plano and Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon asked Garcia to lift a stay he imposed this winter […]

Supreme Court re-upholds strip club tax

Technically, they declined to re-review it, but practically speaking I figure it’ll amount to the same thing. The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to review whether a $5-per-patron fee at live nude entertainment clubs is an occupation tax in disguise, letting stand a lower appeals court ruling that found alcohol-serving Texas strip clubs must […]

Rural counties skeptical of high speed rail plan

This is a bit concerning. Steve Drake regularly makes the nearly four-hour drive from this city to Houston to visit his fiancée’s family. So he was excited about the news that a private company intended to build a bullet train that would cut that trip to 90 minutes. “I’m passionate about this. I hope it […]

Kleinschmidt to resign in HD17

Just in case you thought there weren’t enough special elections on the horizon. Newly elected Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is reaching out to a former House colleague to fill a key staff position in his new administration. A source close to the Miller transition team said Friday afternoon that Miller reached out to state Rep. […]

Ken Paxton is still an ethical morass

He’s just now a statewide ethical morass. A state judge will determine whether to revoke the securities license of Frederick Mowery, who was linked to the State Securities Board’s May reprimand of Attorney General-elect Ken Paxton, for allegations that included failure to disclose conflicts of interest, plagiarism and lying to investigators. Mowery was given 20 […]

Dallas gets set to tackle vehicles for hire

Good luck. Sticking points remain on Dallas’ proposed car-for-hire rules, as the City Council prepares to vote next month on a new ordinance to regulate taxicabs, limos and app-based companies such as Uber and Lyft. Several council members raised questions Monday at a transportation committee meeting over insurance requirements. And others expressed concerns about nuances, […]

EPA climate change plan would save water

Well, what do you know? As state regulators fret about how President Obama’s effort to combat climate change would affect the Texas power grid, a new study says the rules would be simpler to adopt than those regulators suggest – and that it would save the state billions of gallons of water annually. In an […]

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle in trouble

Dammit. Texas’ official sea turtle is on a slide that could eventually lead to extinction after a spectacular comeback and years of effort to save it, according to figures released Tuesday at a gathering of scientists and environmentalists. “It was on a rapid road to recovery and the recovery came to an abrupt halt in […]

SBOE adopts history textbook changes it hasn’t read

Awesome. After adopting hundreds of pages in last minute updates and corrections, the Texas State Board of Education approved new social studies textbooks Friday. All but the five Democrats on the 15-member board voted to accept products from all publishers except Worldview Software, which they rejected because of concerns over factual accuracy. “When I think […]

Of course Greg Abbott wants to sue

It’s what he does. What else is there to him? Minutes after President Obama doubled down on his promise to change the country’s immigration system through executive action, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott made a vow of his own: Expect a lawsuit from Texas. But some legal experts doubt that Abbott, the governor-elect, could successfully […]

The Woodlands wants to be on the high speed rail route

Can’t blame ‘em. The Woodlands Township is urging federal and state officials to take another look at the potential benefits of adding a high-speed rail corridor along Interstate 45. Last month, the Federal Railway Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation revealed two potential routes for a proposed bullet train that could one day connect […]

It’s OK if energy costs go up for now

That’s my reaction to this. As Texas regulators weigh a response to President Obama’s proposal to combat climate change, the operator of the state’s main electric grid says the plan would raise energy costs and threaten reliability – particularly in the next few years. In an analysis released Monday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) […]

Texas asks for federal funding for pre-k vouchers

Not sure how I feel about this. Teacher groups are up in arms as Texas seeks millions from the federal government to fund a new pre-K voucher program that would begin next fall. Last month, the Texas Education Agency applied for $30 million in prekindergarten grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education, its share […]

SBOE defers new textbook decision

They’re funny even when they’re not trying to be. After an afternoon spent wrangling over the proper definition of jihad and the influence of Moses on the Founding Fathers, it was Common Core that ultimately derailed the State Board of Education’s initial vote on giving a stamp of approval to new social studies textbooks Tuesday. […]

What to expect from the DACA announcement

So today is the long-awaited, should-have-happened-months-ago announcement of executive action by President Obama on immigration enforcement and deportation. Stace, the Observer, and Politico have good overviews of what to expect. I personally hope Obama goes big, but whatever he does do the one other thing you can expect is a lawsuit. Rick Perry said Wednesday […]

Van de Putte to run for Mayor of San Antonio

Wow. Ending weeks of speculation, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte said Wednesday she is running for mayor of San Antonio. Just two weeks after a crushing defeat in the lieutenant governor ‘s race, Van de Putte — who is credited with running a spirited statewide campaign — is expected to electrify the municipal election. […]

Yet another lawsuit against Texas’ ban on same sex marriage

And then there were ten. Texas now has at least 10 pending lawsuits challenging the state’s bans on same-sex marriage — believed to be the most of any state. An Austin lesbian widow is the latest to challenge the marriage bans after her late partner’s family sought to exclude her from the estate — an […]

Texas For Marriage

This. Law enforcement officials, state legislators, faith leaders and a great-grandmother are among those lending their voices to a new campaign to bring marriage equality to Texas. The national group Freedom to Marry plans to spend $200,000 on the campaign launched Tuesday, in advance of oral arguments before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals […]

McCrum avoids contempt charge

Whew. Mike McCrum, the special prosecutor in the criminal case against Gov. Rick Perry, was cleared Monday of an attempt to find him in contempt of court stemming from a separate case. Visiting Judge Dick Alcala declined to find McCrum, a prominent local defense lawyer, in contempt after a daylong hearing. The district attorney’s office […]

Bell ordered to pay $300K to RGA

Ouch. Unsuccessful 2006 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell, once awarded $2 million in his lawsuit against the Republican Governors Association, has instead been ordered to pay the organization $300,000 in legal fees after losing on appeal. The case dates to the closing days of the 2006 campaign, when the national association wrote two $500,000 checks […]

It’s textbook approval time again

You know what that means, because we can’t do this sort of thing without controversy and a generous side order of knuckleheadedness. Bowing to public pressure, the world’s largest textbook publisher has revised misleading language on global warming in a proposed Texas reader. But another major imprint has yet to do the same, worrying scientists […]

Connecting the high-speed rail line to Fort Worth

This is encouraging. State transportation officials this week are unveiling early plans for a high-speed train line from Dallas to Fort Worth. Like Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s plans to expand transit service in downtown, the project is an attempt to take advantage of plans for a high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston. The Texas […]

The wildlife was here first

Not that it does them any good. For years, caretakers have tended to injured wildlife displaced by development, which has replaced lush treetops with sprawling rooftops. Now, local suburban wildlife centers face a secondary complication of having a shortage of secluded acreage in which to release rehabilitated animals as islands of shrinking forests in the […]

While we wait for a ruling in the Rick Perry case

This story about a group of big-name lawyers filing a brief in support of Rick Perry’s motion to dismiss the charges against him ran a week ago. I put off writing about it because it looked like we might get a ruling on the motions from Judge Bert Richardson, but since he’s still thinking about […]

Diego Bernal to run for HD123

Good. Diego Bernal, a civil rights attorney elected to the District 1 City Council seat in 2011, will leave the office on Tuesday to run in a yet-to-be-called special election for the Texas House of Representatives. “I’m stepping down,” Bernal told the San Antonio Express-News, “because there’s going to be a vacancy in House District […]

Another data point on Uber and Republicans

From Josh Barro. Republicans have hailed Uber, the smartphone-based car service, as a symbol of entrepreneurial innovation that could be strangled by misplaced government regulation. In August, the Republican National Committee urged supporters to sign a petition in support of the company, warning that “government officials are trying to block Uber from providing services simply […]

The privilege of voting

It’s not a right if you aren’t allowed to do it. A day before Texans go to the polls, an unusual group gathered for lunch at a Mexican restaurant not far from downtown: an unemployed African-American grandmother; a University of Houston student originally from Pennsylvania; a pregnant mother who had recently moved back to the […]

Hegar officially resigns his Senate seat

As expected. State Sen. Glenn Hegar, the Katy Republican who will become state comptroller in January, notified Gov. Rick Perry on Friday that he will resign his Senate Seat as of Dec. 5, paving the way for the governor to call a special election. Hegar won 58.4 percent of the vote on Election Day to […]

Even Rick Perry appointees back Medicaid expansion

It’s just the right thing to do. A board of medical professionals appointed by Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that the state should provide health coverage to low-income Texans under the Affordable Care Act — a move the Republican-led Legislature has opposed. The 15-member Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency recommended that the […]

Lawsuit filed over Pasadena Council districts

Good. For 41 years, Alberto Patiño has lived in Pasadena and seen a lot of changes there. Now Hispanics like him make up more than 60 percent of residents and about 40 percent of eligible voters. Patiño wants that reflected on city council. “I feel that we should have more representation on City Council that […]