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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Court invalidates CDs 27 and 35

We are one step closer to having a new Congressional map. Federal judges have invalidated two Texas congressional districts, ruling that they must be fixed by either the Legislature or a federal court. In a unanimous decision Tuesday, a three-judge panel in San Antonio ruled that Congressional Districts 27 and 35 violate the U.S. Constitution […]

Smell ya later, Senate

How about that? The special legislative session is over — in one chamber, at least. The Texas House abruptly gaveled out Sine Die – the formal designation meaning the end of a session – on Tuesday evening after voting to approve the Senate’s version of a school finance bill that largely stripped provisions the chamber […]

HISD and the TEA

Still catching up on things. Texas education officials are warning that Houston ISD could be placed under the jurisdiction of state-appointed managers as early as next year if 13 district schools don’t show improvement. The warning was issued during a meeting [last] Monday between Texas Education Agency officials and Houston’s legislative delegation. TEA officials told […]

Houston city employees file their own lawsuit (again) on spousal benefits

A shame it’s had to come to this, but this is where we are. On Thursday, three married couples from Houston filed a lawsuit in federal court aimed at forcing the city to preserve health coverage and other benefits for same-sex spouses of city employees. That’s because, despite the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell […]

White nationalist rally at A&M canceled

I’ve been on the road with limited Internet access, so I’m just now catching up on recent events. Unlike our garbage president, I wholeheartedly condemn the appalling racist violence committed in Charlottesville by a bunch of Nazi scum. As such, I was heartened to see this. A white nationalist rally planned on Texas A&M University’s […]

Fran Watson for SD17

Awesome news. It’s OFFICIAL! I have launched my campaign for TX State Senate District 17. The campaign slogan is People First. “When the people are part of the legislative process instead of a few leaders in Austin, our laws are more expansive, which in turn provide families access to healthcare, jobs, stronger public schools, and […]

Paxton joins defense of Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering

Of course he does. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is backing Wisconsin in a high-profile case asking the U.S. Supreme Court whether lawmakers can go too far when drawing political maps to advantage one party. Paxton, a Republican, filed an amicus brief seeking to protect the status quo in political gerrymandering — redistricting maneuvers that […]

They don’t make libertarian paradises like they used to

I love a good cautionary tale. For the last few years, Von Ormy has been in near-constant turmoil over basic issues of governance: what form of municipal government to adopt, whether to tax its residents, and how to pay for services such as sewer, police, firefighters and animal control. Along the way, three City Council […]

Where have all the foreign students gone?

Wherever it is, it’s increasingly not here. Students from India, China, Iran and other countries have long flocked to Texas campuses to work with top professors and to earn a prestigious American degree. But this year, those students appear to be less enamored by the Lone Star State. International applications to Texas’ four-year public universities […]

More birth control by mail options

Good to see. “We want women to see us and say, ‘These are people who believe that if you want birth control you should have it,’” said Hans Ganeskar, co-founder and CEO of Nurx, a California-based site founded in 2015 that can both dispense and prescribe by way of computer or app. Nurx (pronounced New […]

Ten digit dialing comes to San Antonio

It’s the end of an era. The era of knowing someone is from San Antonio based solely on the “210” at the start of a phone number is drawing to a close. San Antonio is outgrowing its singular 210 area code and will have to add a second code, 726, later this year. The North […]

Paxton’s preemptive “sanctuary cities” lawsuit dismissed

Good. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Wednesday dismissed the state of Texas’ lawsuit against Travis County and other defendants over the state’s new immigration enforcement law. Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a pre-emptive lawsuit shortly after the bill was signed in May seeking a ruling that the controversial measure is constitutional. Among the defendants […]

The rural/suburban tradeoff

Martin Longman returns to a point he has been making about the way the vote shifted in the 2016 election. Let’s try to be clear about what we mean. Hillary Clinton won a lot of votes in the suburbs from people who had voted for John McCain and Mitt Romney. She lost even more votes […]

Dallas Observer Q&A with CD32 candidate Colin Allred

A good read. What was it like transitioning out of football and then into your kind of life of public service? I think any football player always has a hard time coming out of it. The longer you’re in, the harder it is. Even people who play high school football, I think, have a hard […]

July 2017 campaign finance reports: State Senate targets

The Trib highlights a couple of races of interest. Senate District 8 State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, has not yet announced he’s running for Congress — he is expected to after the special session — but the race to replace him is already underway. Phillip Huffines, the chairman of the Dallas County GOP who has […]

From the “Actions speak louder than words” department

RG Ratcliffe of Texas Monthly speaks to former Railroad Commissioner and Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams about his disapproval of bathroom bills. RGR: You told me political parties over time curdle and spoil, but is there something about the debate over the bathroom bill that is particularly disappointing to you? MW: Yes, there is. Where […]

And then there’s the birth certificate issue

Just another problem that would be exacerbated by a bathroom bill. In order to modify a birth certificate in Texas, the Department of State Health Services requires transgender individuals to present a certified court order stating the recorded sex on a birth certificate should be changed. But a transgender person’s ability to obtain that court […]

Dan Patrick hates Texas’ cities

I have so many things to say about this. City governments, particularly those led by Democrats, are to blame for problems nationwide, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said during a nationally televised interview Friday. “People are happy with their governments at their state level, they’re not with the city,” said Patrick, a Republican, in an […]

Gina Ortiz Jones

We have our first declared challenger in CD23. U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, is getting his first major Democratic challenger for re-election in Texas’ swing 23rd congressional district. Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, is entering the race Wednesday, wading into a potentially crowded primary field for a shot at Hurd, who […]

Still no word on what Pasadena will do with the redistricting appeal

We’re waiting. Because the ruling went against the city, Pasadena is required to pay legal costs to attorneys for that group, the Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund. In addition, the city’s fees to its legal representatives at Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado and Acosta now total approximately $2.8 million as it pursues the appeal. […] The […]

How the redistricting case could play out

Michael Li games out how the Texas redistricting litigation may go from the anticipated court ruling to final resolution. So, in short, Texans could end up with a new set of maps (drawn by the Texas Legislature or drawn by the court or drawn by the legislature and then tweaked/modified by the court). Or the […]

Ethics, schmethics

This little exchange says so much about our weak and insecure Governor. The fireworks began with a press conference called by GOP Rep. Sarah Davis, chair of the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics. Davis, flanked by both Democratic and Republican members of the committee, noted that Abbott had made ethics reform an “emergency” […]

RIP, Mark White

Former Texas Governor Mark White has passed away. Former Gov. Mark White, who championed education reforms while serving as Texas governor from 1983 to 1987, died Saturday in Houston. He was 77. Julian Read, a close friend of White who served as press secretary to Gov. John Connally during the 1960s a confidant to many […]

House passes school finance bills

I doubt they’ll meet a different fate than they did in the regular session, but kudos anyway. The Texas House on Friday passed a package of bills that would put $1.8 billion into public schools and help out struggling small, rural school districts. House members voted 130-12 to approve the lower chamber’s main piece of […]

Halfway through the session

The House is doing House things, and that’s fine. Brushing aside concerns that they are not moving swiftly enough to enact Gov. Greg Abbott’s 20-point agenda, Texas House members opened the second half of the special session Wednesday with a flurry of activity Wednesday. “We made good progress, and we’re only half the way through,” […]

Republican voters are “meh” on the bathroom bill

From the inbox: The Texas Association of Business conducted surveys in five GOP-controlled legislative districts across the state the week of July 24th. “Texas business has long opposed the bathroom bill because it is unnecessary and will have significant negative economic impact on Texas.  The significance of these surveys, is the voice of individual Republican […]

Religious groups get into the SB4 fight

Good. For the first time, religious groups have filed court briefs against the so-called sanctuary cities ban in Senate Bill 4, entering the fray in a lawsuit that seeks to prevent the implementation of the law, which they say will harm their faith communities. The Episcopal Diocese of Texas, numerous individual religious leaders and a […]

Fort Bend DA to retire

The end of an era, and an opportunity for change. Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey announced Friday that he will not seek re-election, marking an end to what will be 26 years in office, according to a news release. Healey said he will retire at the end of his term in 2018 to […]

The economic impact of SB4

It could be big. Representatives from Texas’ business, local government and higher education sectors argued Tuesday that the state’s new immigration-enforcement law, which is slated to take effect Sept. 1, could do billions of dollars in damage to the Texas economy. Using data from the 2015 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, […]

Fifth Circuit sets bail hearing

Mark your calendars. Harris County will have another chance to defend its embattled cash bail system this fall in a lawsuit brought by indigent defendants who languished in jail for days because they couldn’t afford money bail. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced Tuesday it has set oral arguments for the week of […]

Dear business community: Dan Patrick is not your ally

Here’s the full Chron story about the latest group of business leaders to call for a stop to the bathroom bill. I want to focus on one key aspect of this: A week after police chiefs from Houston, San Antonio and Austin joined in protest against the bill, Abbott said the legislation specifically attempts to […]

Maternal mortality bills pass the House

Good. House lawmakers tentatively approved a series of bills Monday aimed at helping Texas curb its unusually high rate of women dying less than a year after childbirth. The primary measure, House Bill 9, would direct the state’s Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity to continue studying pregnancy complications and maternal deaths until 2023. […]

No deal for Dukes

The die is cast. The Travis County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday said its offer to drop all corruption charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, in exchange for her agreeing to resign immediately had expired. In a statement sent to The Texas Tribune after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said […]

Let’s do talk about Democratic legislative candidates

I have so many things to say about this. The hottest new trend in Democratic politics these days is running for Congress — everybody’s doing it. So far, more than 200 Democrats have filed to challenge Republican incumbents and raised at least $5,000. That’s more than the number of Democratic congressional candidates who had announced […]