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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Overview of the Bexar County special legislative elections

From The Rivard Report: Texas House District 123 Former District 1 City Councilmember Diego Bernal resigned his city seat in mid-November to launch his campaign for Villarreal’s former seat. His VoteDiego website offers voters his positions on a number of issues, ranging from education to civil rights. Melissa Aguillon, a small business owner and the […]

More on revamping Secure Communities

Stace responds to me. The involvement of local law enforcement has always been a sticking point for me. I’ve never been a fan of the federalization of local cops for the purpose of rounding non-criminal working brown people; I don’t care if the cops are led by a Democratic mayor or sheriff. Prerna’s post has […]

Landfill opponents win in Hempstead lawsuit

Good news. A jury on Thursday found that Waller County commissioners met illegally in closed sessions among themselves and with developers of a controversial landfill proposal over more than two years before agreeing to host the project. After a three-week jury trial that was the talk of this rural county, the 12-member jury sided with […]

Plastic bag makers fight back

I expect they will be busy during the legislative session working to block municipal laws that tax, limit, or ban single-use plastic bags. For years, Superbag in northwest Houston quietly manufactured the sacks that grocers and retail chains hand out to customers in the checkout line. The business garnered little attention. Now, however, the industry […]

Ty McDonald for HD17

As you know, the special election to replace Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt in HD17 has been set for January 6, with early voting to begin on December 29. This is the same schedule as the elections in HD123 and SD26. As you also know, I have been an advocate for running a Democrat in HD17, on […]

Lawsuit filed against the office of Rep. Blake Farenthold

Um, wow. A woman who worked for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold filed a federal lawsuit against his congressional office, alleging she experienced gender-based discrimination and that a hostile work environment prompted her termination in July. Former Communications Director Lauren Greene alleges that Farenthold, the two-term Republican from Corpus Christi, made lewd and inappropriate comments, according […]

Bill to reduce pot penalties filed

Here we go. A coalition of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans introduced a proposal Monday to make possession of a small amount of marijuana in Texas a civil infraction, instead of a crime. House Bill 507, filed by state Rep. Joe Moody, would make those caught with an ounce of pot or less subject only […]

On game rooms and gambling

Looks like Fort Bend County wants to follow in the footsteps of Harris County when it comes to dealing with game rooms. Last weekend, Fort Bend County sheriff’s deputies raided the H-90 Game Room on U.S. 90A east of Richmond, hauling away 97 slot machines, interviewing and releasing about 30 customers and charging one employee […]

Romo to run in SD26

The race to succeed Sen. Leticia Van de Putte just got a little more interesting. Sylvia Romo, former tax assessor-collector for Bexar County, on Tuesday morning entered the race to replace state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, bringing to four the number of candidates in the special election for Senate District 26. For […]

Legislative special elections set

Gear up quickly, here they come. Gov. Rick Perry on Monday afternoon set three special elections for Jan. 6, including the race to replace state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio. Van de Putte, who lost her bid for lieutenant governor last month, is stepping down to run for mayor of San Antonio, leaving […]

Promote equality, promote the economy

It’s a simple enough formula. When the courts finally declare Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage illegal, which most people think they will, it could mean a boost for the wedding and hospitality industry as 23,200 couples tie the knot, according to a new interactive by the Williams Insititute at UCLA and Credit Suisse. Whether or […]

Republicans will push pro-discrimination bills

I have three things to say about this. Two days after the Plano City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people, a Texas legislator filed a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the ability of cities to enforce such laws. On Wednesday, Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) filed House Joint Resolution 55, which is […]

A better way to cut taxes

Grits has a suggestion for the Legislature. Reduce local jail costs – which have been a big driver of tax increases in many Texas counties – by reducing penalty categories for low-level marijuana possession (currently a Class B misdemeanor for possession of two ounces or less) and driving with an invalid license (DWLI, currently a […]

Tesla is back

I wish them better luck this time, but I wouldn’t expect anything to come of it. Proposals to allow direct car sales in Texas stalled during the 2013 legislative session, but the Pala Alto, California-based automaker appears poised to rev up efforts to revive the issue as lawmakers head back to work next month. “We’re […]

San Antonio special legislative elections appear to be set

Rumor has it. State Rep. Mike Villarreal said Friday that Gov. Rick Perry has set Jan. 6 as the date for a special election to fill his position in the state House and a Senate seat being vacated by Leticia Van de Putte. Villarreal and Van de Putte are leaving the Texas Legislature to run […]

Buc-ee’s wins logo legal challenge

Don’t mess with the beaver. A lawsuit between two beaver-loving Texas-based businesses was dismissed before it even reached the courtroom, with the bigger company coming out victorious and the other left logo-less. Back in early July the lawyers for popular Texas roadside chain Buc-ee’s filed a lawsuit against Frio River Grocery. Lawyers for Buc-ee’s argued […]

Same sex marriage will have to wait for the Fifth Circuit

Bummer. A federal judge has refused to permit immediate same-sex marriages in Texas, saying he expects they will be allowed some day but he doesn’t want to act precipitously. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia on Friday rebuffed a request by same-sex couples Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes of Plano and Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole […]

Steve Stockman may leave Congress but his stench will linger

Steve Stockman, ladies and gentlemen. When Rep. Steve Stockman won a long-shot bid in 2012 to return to the House of Representatives, he credited a dream team of tech-savvy volunteers who worked long hours and slept on the floor of a cluttered Webster motorcycle-repair shop that was eventually shut down for building-code violations. At the […]

Lawsuit filed against Comcast over residential WiFi hotspots

This ought to be interesting. Two San Francisco-area residents are suing Comcast for plugging their home’s wireless router into what they call a power-wasting, Internet-clogging, privacy threatening network of public WiFi hot spots. The class-action lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court on behalf of Toyer Grear and her daughter Joycelyn Harris, claims Comcast […]

San Antonio City Council passes vehicles for hire revision

Unlike Dallas, it’s the cab companies that are happy about it. After nearly three hours of debate Thursday, the San Antonio City Council voted 7-2 to approve new rules for ride-share companies Uber and Lyft that provide service in the city. Only council members Ron Nirenberg and Rey Saldana opposed the motion. Councilman Roberto Trevino, […]

The Lege is unlikely to do anything substantive on education this session

Oh, there will be lots of sound and fury, as well as various sideshow distractions, but in the end the main issue to resolve – school finance – will be at best “tweaked”. For anything more than that, we will have to wait till the Lege is forced to act by the Supreme Court. Public […]

Microbreweries file lawsuit over distribution rights

Interesting. Three Texas breweries filed a lawsuit against the state on Wednesday seeking to to overturn a 2013 law they say violates the Texas Constitution by forcing them to give away their territorial distribution rights for free. In their complaint, filed in state district court in Austin, the heads of Live Oak Brewing in Austin, […]

Houston pastors to fight against the Plano equal rights ordinance

Of course they will. When Houston passed its Equal Rights Ordinance earlier this year, the Texas Pastor Council came out strongly in opposition of the law. Now the Houston-based group is challenging the nondiscrimination ordinance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents of Plano. Director Dave Welch says the group will work with pastors in […]

Some Republicans embrace tuition re-regulation

This is a welcome change, but let’s not be distracted by what isn’t being said. Tuition and fees at the state’s public colleges and universities would be capped at their current levels and only be permitted to grow at the rate of inflation under a bill filed Tuesday by state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown. Schwertner […]

Dallas City Council approves vehicles for hire revisions

It was smooth sailing, relatively speaking. Starting in late April, ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft will be able to operate legally in the city of Dallas. The City Council on Wednesday voted 13-2 to overhaul the city’s ordinance for taxicabs, limos and those app-based companies. In doing so, they introduced more competition and brought […]

Abbott puts on a moderate act

He cares about education! During a Capitol news conference in which he announced the selection of his senior staff, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott said Monday that education will be his top policy priority. Abbott said he wants to improve the educational foundation that students receive in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. “I want to ensure that all […]

Plano passes equal rights ordinance

How about that? In a split vote Monday, the Plano City Council passed the controversial Equal Rights Policy over the objections of many residents in the standing-room-only crowd. The amendment to the city’s 1989 anti-discrimination policy extends protections from housing, employment and public accommodation discrimination to include sexual orientation, gender identity and other categories. “Providing […]

Will the TNCs leave San Antonio?

The upcoming Council vote in San Antonio over vehicles for hire could have some repercussions. City Council will meet Thursday to vote on proposed rules that would allow rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber to operate legally in San Antonio. But the new regulations and requirements are so onerous, say rideshare company representatives and advocates, […]

Revamping Secure Communities

Long overdue. A federal jail screening program known as Secure Communities epitomized for critics the worst failings of the nation’s immigration system, causing the deportations of tens of thousands of immigrants who had committed no crimes or only minor infractions. The program matches fingerprints of any jail inmate charged with a crime against a federal […]

Once again with Anglo Dems and Anglo voters

Time once again for the biennial eulogy for Anglo Democrats in the Texas Legislature. When Donna Howard of Austin won a seat in the Texas House in 2006, she was the only white woman among Democrats in the state Legislature. Over time, several others joined her briefly. But four elections later, Howard will once again […]

What’s the Lege going to do with the revenue?

Not as much as it should, of course, because the Lege never comes close to doing as much as it should. It’s a question of whether they’ll try to address some real problems, or just engage in an orgy of tax cutting. Texans can expect tax relief, a laser focus on border security and more […]

On grand juries

Some folks are trying to change the makeup of grand juries in Harris County. It was a largely black crowd with at least a third of the audience made up of white people and a few anarchists sprinkled in. They were there to share ideas, sign some petitions, and to vent about injustice in the […]

How Texas can improve its pre-k programs

From Raise Your Hand Texas: Raise Your Hand Texas recently released a report highlighting research-driven practices proven effective in public pre-kindergarten programs across the country, and comparing how Texas’ pre-k program stacks up. “Pre-Kindergarten for the Modern Age: A scalable, affordable, high-quality plan for Texas” was prepared by Dr. Robert Pianta, Dean of the Curry […]

Abbott and the Latino vote

The Trib drops a number on us. Along with his 20-point margin of victory, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott accomplished something on Election Day that many naysayers doubted the Republican could: He took 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. For Texas conservatives, Abbott’s performance indicated that Republicans are making headway among this increasingly crucial voting bloc, which […]