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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Still reviewing the video on the line item vetoes

Any day now. With varying degrees of concern, a smattering of government offices and higher education institutions around the state are waiting to learn the fate of more than $200 million in funds that the governor might — or might not — have excised from the state budget. The Legislative Budget Board is challenging several […]

Paxton indicted

It just got real, y’all. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been indicted on three charges in Collin County, according to KXAS-TV NBC 5, The Dallas Morning News’ media partner. The grand jury’s indictments were issued on Tuesday, then immediately sealed. Paxton was indicted on two counts of first-degree securities fraud and one-count of third-degree […]

No, we shouldn’t have any kind of elections for SCOTUS justices

Your junior Senator, ladies and gentlemen. Dismayed by a pair of Supreme Court decisions upholding Obamacare and gay marriage, Republican Ted Cruz presided over a packed Senate hearing Wednesday calling for judicial elections and term limits to rein in what he called “judicial tyranny” and “the abuse of judicial power.” While term limits or recall […]

Pasadena City Council member Cody Ray Wheeler announces for HD144

From the inbox: I am excited to announce that I have decided to seek the Democratic nomination for State Representative District 144. As a Pasadena City Councilmember, I have worked hard to ensure that under-served communities have a voice in city government. But it is clear that now more than ever, working people need a […]

I’m not the only one who thought the state’s response to the birth certificate lawsuit was specious

Actual legal experts didn’t think much of it, either. The state of Texas can’t hide behind sovereign immunity to escape a lawsuit for denying birth certificates to U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants, the director of the University of Texas’ Transnational Worker Rights Clinic said Tuesday. That state’s claim of immunity is mere “boilerplate,” said […]

Who’s afraid of a little climate change?

We should be in Texas, but we’re not. Texas probably will see a sharp increase in heat-related deaths and coastal storm-related losses in the coming decades if nothing is done to mitigate a changing climate, according to a new study commissioned by a bipartisan group of prominent policymakers and company executives aiming to spawn concern […]

Split decision on cross-state air pollution rule

Not too bad, actually. Texas’ Republican leaders and environmentalists are both claiming victory Tuesday following an appeals court ruling that requires the federal government to ease limits on certain emissions for Texas and a dozen other states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to revisit […]

Paxton girding for indictment

So are we, Kenny. So are we. A Collin County grand jury is expected to weigh evidence brought by two temporary district attorneys assigned to the case. Paxton’s advisers are furiously preparing for a criminal indictment. The looming showdown has the camps bickering. Anthony Holm, a spokesman for Paxton, contends the AG should not face […]

Three panels investigating Sandra Bland’s death

One was appointed by the Sheriff: In the wake of the controversial arrest of Sandra Bland and her jailhouse suicide, Waller County Sheriff R. Glenn Smith has asked for an independent panel of civilians to evaluate all aspects of the way he runs his department, from the cell blocks to the streets, and make public […]

Woodfill is still pursuing his anti-same-sex benefits lawsuit

From the inbox and the febrile mind of Jared Woodfill: Last year Houston Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction and ordered Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston to immediately stop recognizing same-sex ‘marriages’ and stop providing benefits to the same-sex couples married in other states. Judge Millard stated, “This court does […]

We wouldn’t be having these problems if we had just expanded Medicaid

The chickens, they are roosting. Hospitals that serve large uninsured populations in Texas stand to lose critical funding if the state can’t convince the federal government to continue helping with the cost, doctors and health advocates told the state health department Thursday. With the expiration date of a five-year, $29 billion program approaching, the Health […]

Texas Central Railway gets some initial funding

They’ll need more than this, but it’s a start. Texas Central Partners, which aims to build a bullet train between Texas’ two biggest cities, announced Wednesday they had raised $75 million in private investments in the company’s first round of fundraising. That funds are intended to allow the ambitious $10 billion project to move forward […]

“Let’s just be real” about charter schools

Very interesting. “Let’s just be real,” Chris Barbic wrote last week when announcing his resignation as superintendent of Tennessee’s Achievement School District. Then Barbic admitted what skeptics of charter schools have preached for years — “achieving results in neighborhood schools is harder than in a choice environment.” Barbic, as founder of the highly acclaimed YES […]

To the moon with David Adickes

Awesome. Before David Adickes walked out his door to get to a news conference Wednesday, he decided to paint a 12-13 inch model of an Apollo astronaut perched on a roughly 5-inch base that he was holding. The 88-year-old artist and sculptor had used colors of the American flag. His right hand reaching for the […]

Perry wins one and loses one at the appeals court

He’s still under indictment. Former Gov. Rick Perry must face one criminal count in the abuse-of-power case against him but another would be dismissed under a Friday ruling by an appeals court. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin gives Perry a partial victory but, at least for […]

Sandra Bland’s death ruled a suicide

That’s only part of this tragic story. Waller County prosecutors said Thursday that a preliminary autopsy found that Sandra Bland committed suicide, but they pledged to continue investigating the circumstances surrounding her controversial arrest by a state trooper as well as her death in a county jail cell. “The pathological findings … conclude that the […]

The conservative case for more rail transit

Noted for the record. As conservatives, we find it odd that many people expect us to oppose public transportation, especially rail. In fact, high-quality transit, which usually means rail, benefits conservatives in a number of important ways. It spurs development, something conservatives generally favor, especially in Texas. It saves people, including conservatives, precious time, because […]

State wants birth certificate lawsuit dropped

I don’t know about that. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal district judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims a state agency violated the U.S. Constitution by denying birth certificates to U.S.-citizen children of immigrant parents. Attorneys with Paxton’s office said that the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is […]

It’s a little easier to run for a statewide judicial office now

From the Quorum Report: In a change that flew under the radar for most and was signed by Gov. Abbott, candidates for statewide judicial offices will no longer be required to gather petition signatures from around the state before they can file. One of the changes quietly made by the Texas Legislature this year will […]

Montgomery County hasn’t given up the fight against the high-speed rail line

Keep hope alive, I guess. A newly formed regional planning commission will enable Montgomery County and the city of Magnolia to monitor and work against any high speed rail projects that may cut through western Montgomery County, said County Judge Craig Doyal. The county and area communities have expressed concerns about Texas Central Rail’s proposal […]

Auditing HCDE

We’ll see about this. Later this summer, state auditors are expected to release their final report on the Harris County Department of Education. They’ve been examining the agency since last December. Superintendent James Colbert told lawmakers about it at a hearing in April. “We should have absolutely nothing to hide as far as I’m concerned […]

Vetoes: You’re doing it wrong

Oops. Some of Gov. Greg Abbott’s line-item vetoes in the state budget might be invalid, the state’s Legislative Budget Board said in a 14-page letter sent Tuesday to Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. The director of the LBB said the governor’s veto proclamation, listing line items he chose to excise from the new budget, doesn’t have […]

Dashcam video from Sandra Bland arrest released

The Press has a good writeup. I’m just going to quote the two bits of transcript they provided: “What’s wrong?” the trooper asked as he delivered Bland her ticket. “You seem very irritated.” “I really am, because I feel like it’s crap for what I’m getting a ticket for,” Bland said. “I was getting out […]

Paxton concedes FMLA lawsuit

Excellent. Almost a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quietly conceded a case against the federal government over medical leave benefits for certain same-sex couples. Paxton and the attorneys general of Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Nebraska filed a voluntary dismissal on Friday with […]

Sandra Bland’s death being investigated as a homicide

Doesn’t mean that’s how it will be ruled, but it’s at least a sign that it’s being taken with appropriate seriousness. The probe into Sandra Bland’s hanging death inside a Texas jail — which a medical examiner ruled a suicide last week — now includes the possibility of murder. “This is being treated like a […]

More allegations against Kelly Siegler

Here they come. Howard Guidry was 18 years old when he was charged being the triggerman in a 1994 murder-for-hire case that involved a Missouri City police officer and his estranged wife. Twice he was convicted and sent to death row, and both times the prosecutor who sent him there was Kelly Siegler, the legendary […]

Will there be TMF-Menendez round 2?

Maybe. Who knows? Last February, Jose Menendez beat Trey Martinez Fischer to serve the remainder of Leticia Van De Putte’s term when she decided to run for mayor. Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday may point to a rematch this fall. “Without money you don’t get your message out, so that’s why having money is important,” […]

We don’t want to share marriage with those icky gay people

Ed Kilgore detects a new trend. Now that the Christian Right has been reduced to the sputtering defiance of Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal or to the sullen silence of many others, one can hope that conservative acceptance of same-sex marriage will follow as rapidly as it did for the public as a whole. But […]

Abbott sides with auto dealers

Sorry, Tesla. Giving a nod to long-established franchised auto dealerships, Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas doesn’t need to carve out a loophole in its laws that would allow Tesla to sell its high-end electric cars directly to consumers. “Texas has a very robust, very open, very effective automobile sector that seems like it’s working quite […]

Paxton’s partner in alleged crime

Meet Fritz Mowery, the man who helped get AG Ken Paxton into trouble. Fritz Mowery was on a mission. Last April, he tried to convince investment clients to sign backdated forms saying they knew Ken Paxton had received money for referring clients. In a hearing in March, Mowery said he did it, “because it became […]

More on the state’s refusal to issue birth certificates

The Observer follows up. Two legislators have weighed in on the controversy over Texas’ refusal to grant birth certificates to some children of undocumented families. On Wednesday, Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, sent a letter to Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Kirk Cole, referencing an […]

Please don’t feed the gators

Should be obvious, but apparently not to everyone. In the time it took for something to hit the water and the unseen creature lying in wait to snap at it, the legend of the “killer gator” was born. It didn’t take much longer for the story to spread around the world, from the small Texas […]

What happened to Sandra Bland?

This is horrible. There are big questions about the final hours of Sandra Bland’s life. The official story is that the 28-year old committed suicide by hanging herself in a Waller County jail cell. Her family doesn’t buy it. Bland, a black woman who graduated from Texas Prairie View A&M and had recently accepted a […]

Revisiting birth certificates

This is one of those next steps that needs to be taken. After the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, some gay and lesbian couples in Texas have raised questions about another legal document – birth certificates. They want Texas birth certificates to list two parents’ names, even if a child has two moms or […]