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Posts Tagged ‘The Lege’

Paxton courts the business lobby

Not sure what to make of this. Making his case for the “bathroom bill” to Texas business leaders, Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday that Senate Bill 6 would have a narrow focus, and he urged them to listen to parents “just concerned about the safety of their children.” […] Paxton, who has been battling […]

Dukes indicted

Boom. A grand jury has indicted state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, on abuse-of-office charges, the Travis County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday. She could face up to 28 years in jail and fines of up to $138,000. The first indictment charges 13 counts of tampering with a governmental record, a felony punishable by up to […]

The GLSEN 2015 National School Climate Survey

A lot of the stuff we talk about when we discuss Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill is business – the opposition from businesses, the political ramifications of a GOP/business schism, the economics of the bathroom bill, etc etc etc. But schools and students are a big piece of the picture here, as the lawsuit against the […]

It’s all bathrooms, all the time

People are paying attention to Dan Patrick’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill, and for the most part they do not like it. In early February, the Super Bowl will be in Houston and in late March, the women’s Final Four will be in Dallas. If Patrick pushes the bathroom bill through the Senate by then, as expected, […]

Sung and Vilaseca sworn in at HISD

The HISD Board is back at full strength. As Anne Sung and Holly Flynn Vilaseca took their oaths of office and became Houston ISD’s newest Board of Education trustees on Thursday, their husbands swaddled their months-old babies in one hand and held holy books in the other. Sung’s 11-month-old daughter, Sarita, and Flynn Vilaseca’s 13-month-old, […]

Where we begin with school finance

A nice overview from the Trib on school finance, where the problems are many and the budget situation is non-optimal. The current system is held together by a number of short-term fixes that have not been updated or reformed in decades. The Texas Supreme Court upheld the funding system as constitutional in May, and at […]

The coming legislative border battle

Here we go again. House Republicans on Wednesday said they aren’t backing away from recent efforts to secure the southern border despite an incoming president who made beefed-up immigration enforcement a hallmark of his campaign. And as a final admonishment of President Obama, they said they intended to bill the federal government more than $2.8 […]

Dawnna Dukes case to go before grand jury

Awesome. Travis County prosecutors and Texas Rangers will present evidence to a grand jury that state Rep. Dawnna Dukes abused the power of her office, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore told the American-Statesman. Among possible charges: abuse of official capacity and tampering with public records, Moore said. Dukes was sworn into office for a […]

Here’s your 2018-19 revenue estimate

It’s pretty mediocre. Facing sluggish economic forecasts amid low oil prices along with billions in tax revenue already dedicated to the state highway fund, Comptroller Glenn Hegarannounced Monday that lawmakers will have $104.87 billion in state funds at their disposal in crafting the next two-year budget, a 2.7 percent decrease from his estimate ahead of […]

Dukes un-resigns

Ugh. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes confirmed to the Texas Tribune in an email Monday that she is not resigning from her post with House District 46, just two days after blindsiding supporters and fellow lawmakers with her reverse decision. Dukes, an Austin Democrat, announced in September that she would retire from office on Jan. 10, […]

Business really doesn’t want a bathroom bill

Because this can’t be said enough. Texas business leaders are gearing up for a fight with state lawmakers over Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s push to bar transgender Texans from bathrooms tied to their gender identity. Business groups vehemently oppose the legislation, which they say would discriminate against the LGBT community, make the Lone Star State […]

This fight feels different

The more I read about the forthcoming fight between Dan Patrick and his minions and everyone else over the bathroom bill, the more I am struck by the thought that we have never seen anything quite like this before in Texas. Standing in front of reporters Thursday, Patrick was still a man on the mission, […]

New school grading system looks pretty harsh

Brace yourselves. Schools in poor neighborhoods overwhelmingly received the worst grades under Texas’ new rating system — but even typically high-performing districts got C’s and D’s, according to scores that will be released Friday. The “what if” grades show how schools and districts could fare in the new A-F system, which won’t take effect until […]

More MUD muddles

Who needs collateral? When Houston businessman David Lucyk decided to develop land in northeast Harris County, he lined up a bank loan to pay for water pipes, sewers, roads and a stormwater detention pond. He offered the bank three items as collateral: land his company owned, an ownership stake in a business, and the promise […]

Effort to expedite redistricting ruling denied

From the Lone Star Project: Earlier today, Federal District Court Judge Xavier Rodriguez denied the motion filed by the Texas congressional and State House redistricting plaintiffs calling on the three-judge federal district court in San Antonio to rule on the pending redistricting case.  Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle released the following statement: “While we […]

Patrick plunges ahead with his potty bill

Brace yourselves. After months of sparring over whether transgender Texans should be allowed to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday officially set the legislative stage for the debate. Following North Carolina’s lead, Texas Republicans announced Senate Bill 6, which would require transgender people to use bathrooms […]

Fifth Circuit hears immigrant harboring lawsuit appeal

This time it’s the state that’s appealing a lower court ruling. A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether a key portion of Texas’ omnibus border security bill is legal. Lawyers for the state of Texas argued that two landlords, and an immigrant services agency, who sued the state over […]

Chris Suprun’s eventful year in voting

How weird is this? The self-described “voting addict” was an apparent casualty of the confusion amid legal wrangling over the state’s 2011 voter ID law. Now, [Texas Republican elector Chris] Suprun is calling for courts to clarify the rules once and for all. “Pick a course and run with it,” he urged U.S. District Court […]

Chron favors a jail administrator

I remain unconvinced. Next month, we’ll have a new sheriff in town. Ed Gonzalez will take command of the largest sheriff’s office in Texas, the third-largest in the nation, with more than 4,600 employees responsible for serving and protecting the estimated 4.5 million people who call Harris County home. It would be nice if our […]

Motion filed to compel redistricting ruling

From the Lone Star Project: The major plaintiffs challenging the Texas congressional and State House boundaries filed a joint motion earlier today to compel the three-judge federal district court in San Antonio to finally issue a decision on their claims that the Texas maps adopted in 2011 are discriminatory in violation of the Voting Rights […]

A look ahead to Houston’s 2017 elections

I want to return to something in that story about Mayor Turner’s 2017 agenda, which was near the bottom but which is a very big deal for the coming year: A lawsuit over the ballot language used last year to extend terms to a maximum of two four-year terms, from three two-year terms, hovers in […]

Rep. Martinez to introduce “don’t shoot guns in the air” bill

You’d think this wouldn’t be necessary, but it is. After being hit in the head with a bullet shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve, state Rep. Armando Martinez plans to file legislation aimed at reducing or preventing celebratory gun firings. “If my legislation could help save a life, you know, then definitely that’s what […]

How not to celebrate New Years Eve

DO NOT SHOOT GUNS IN THE AIR! Seriously. Local law enforcement authorities here have confirmed that State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez, District 39, is recovering after being struck by a “stray bullet.” According to Weslaco police, Martinez underwent surgery today related to a gunshot wound to the head. Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra confirmed that […]

Another take on the potty drama

Ross Ramsey plunges in, and no I don’t regret that at all. Gov. Greg Abbott wants lawmakers to take a bathroom break, and you can’t blame him for trying to find relief. The next legislative session hasn’t even started and regulation of which restrooms transgender Texans use is getting the kind of attention usually reserved […]

Making divorce harder

I have no idea why anyone would want to do this, but here we are. Conservative Republican Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, said he wants to strengthen families and reinforce the sanctity of marriage by eliminating no-fault divorces, which now allow couples to split amicably with neither legally alleging blame. “I don’t know if we […]

Precinct analysis: Brazoria County

I had some time to spare, so I spent it with the canvass reports from Brazoria County. You know, like you do. Here’s what I was able to learn. Trump Clinton R Avg D Avg Weber Cole ======================================================= Votes 36,572 15,127 37,036 14,996 37,917 14,678 Pct 68.58% 28.23% 71.18% 28.82% 72.09% 27.91% Trump Clinton R […]

Year Two for Mayor Turner

Year One was busy, but a lot of what was done this year depends on what happens next year. Tasked last year with distinguishing himself from a crowded field of mayoral candidates, Sylvester Turner styled himself as a progressive with expansive policy goals. He pledged to boost wages, improve educational opportunities and implement a new […]

HPD retirements

This is a concern, but I don’t think it’s a big one. A dozen of the Houston Police Department’s top commanders were among 123 officers who filed paperwork this week indicating they plan to retire in the first half of next year, senior City Hall and HPD sources said, a sign that a rumored exodus […]

Fighting the bathroom bill

It will take all hands on deck. During a panel discussion hosted by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, [Sen. Sylvia] Garcia suggested that lawmakers should concentrate on issues like education funding and the state’s ongoing child welfare crisis. “It’s a huge distraction, but it is nothing but a good political hot-button issue for the Republican […]

Who is paying for public education

The state is paying less, while local districts are paying more. The state of Texas will spend a projected $40.5 billion on public education during the current 2016-17 budget period, and when state officials tell you they’re spending more on education, they’re telling the truth. Not all of the truth, but some of it. Their […]

The coming measles outbreak

I hope we’re wrong about this. Peter Hotez used to worry mostly about vaccines for children in far-away places. An infectious diseases researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, Hotez is developing shots against diseases in poorer countries such as hookworm and schistosomiasis. But now, Hotez is anxious about children much closer to […]

Council approves Uber deal

I’d forgotten about this. Uber will remain operating in Houston at least through the Super Bowl, after City Council approved changes to the city’s paid ride rules ironed out between the popular ride-hailing service and Mayor Sylvester Turner. Council members, after a sometimes contentious discussion on Wednesday, approved the revised city rules for taxis, so-called […]

Abbott says something about bathrooms

Typically wishy-washy of him. Gov. Greg Abbott is adopting a wait-and-see approach about anticipated legislation that would prohibit transgender people in Texas from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. “I have not seen any proposed legislation yet,” a characteristically cautious Abbott told reporters Tuesday at the Capitol. He added that there are […]

Precinct analysis: Fort Bend State Rep districts

Following on from yesterday’s post, here’s a look at the vote in Fort Bend from the perspective of the State Rep districts. Office Rep Dem Rep % Dem % =============================================== President 35,005 31,558 52.59% 47.41% CJ, 1st CofA 40,047 28,336 58.56% 41.44% 1st CofA #4 39,311 28,940 57.60% 42.40% 14th CofA #2 39,351 28,873 57.68% […]