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Posts Tagged ‘The Lege’

It’s just school bathrooms Dan Patrick really cares about

So claims a surrogate, who may have been floating a trial balloon. An incoming state senator suggested Thursday that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will focus on schools, not businesses or sporting venues, as he crafts an already controversial proposal to prohibit transgender Texans from using bathrooms that match their gender identity. The remarks by state […]

No faithless electors!

Dan Patrick has had enough of this nonsense. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Wednesday that a Texas Republican elector’s decision not to vote for Donald Trump may lead state legislators to pass a law requiring electors to support the winner of the statewide popular vote. Christopher Suprun, an elector from Dallas, announced Monday that he […]

More on the cost of a bathroom bill

Whatever one thinks of the Texas Association of Business, you have to hand it to them for their lobbying focus on the great potty issue. With the legislative session just weeks ahead, the Texas business community is digging in its heels in opposition to Texas Republicans’ anti-LGBT proposals, warning they could have dire consequences on […]

One HD46 hopeful calls on Rep. Dukes to resign now

From the inbox: This morning, Chito Vela called on current State Representative Dawnna Dukes to immediately resign her position as State Representative for Texas House District 46 instead of waiting until January 10, as she previously announced. If Rep. Dukes waits until January 10 to resign, the seat will likely not be filled until March […]

The costs of the “fetal remains” rule

This is going to cost a lot of people a lot of money. State health officials have contended that the “minimum costs in complying with the rules” would total $450 a year per health care facility, arguing that those costs would be offset by the elimination of the cost of landfill disposition. But Michael Land, […]

Whitmire files complaint against bail-denying magistrates

Good. An influential Texas lawmaker on Thursday filed formal complaints against three Harris County magistrate judges after they were captured on videotape rushing misdemeanor defendants to jail without considering no-cost bonds. State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, filed the complaints with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, citing an article published Thursday in the Houston Chronicle […]

Anderson maintains lead after recount

It’s over. After a recount, state Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie, is still the apparent winner in his re-election battle against Democrat Terry Meza. It was not immediately clear what the exact official outcome of the recount was, but the Dallas County GOP said in an email that Meza “conceded upon discovering Rep. Anderson would […]

Trump’s toll roads

Who wants more toll roads? Part of president-elect Donald Trump’s promise to create new jobs for Americans relies on a “deficit-neutral plan” to spend $1 trillion on public works projects, including hundreds of billions for roads and rail. But the strategy could result in something many Texans aren’t going to like: more toll roads. “Unfortunately […]

Straus not very excited about Patrick’s potty bill

Take this for what it’s worth. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus doesn’t think passing a transgender bathroom bill is a pressing issue state lawmakers need to address during the 2017 legislative session. “This isn’t the most urgent concern,” Straus, R-San Antonio, said on Tuesday during an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith. When asked […]

Precinct analysis: District courts

Today we will look at the Harris County-specific judicial races, by which I mean the district courts plus two County Court benches. I’m going to begin with something a little different, which is a look at the distribution of how many votes each candidate received. We know that most people know little to nothing about […]

We’re going to be fighting about vaccinations for a while

I wish it weren’t so, but it is. Texas is one of 18 states that allow non-medical exemptions to the vaccines required for school attendance. California had a similar law allowing non-medical exemptions, until last year when it enacted a law that has one of the strictest requirements in the country after a 2014 outbreak of measles traced […]

Texting while driving ban bills filed again

We’ll see if this gets a different result. Drivers know the risks, and in more than 95 Texas counties they live under local cell phone ordinances that ban texting while driving. But the Lone Star State remains one of four states in the country without a statewide ban on the practice. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, hopes to […]

Who’s in to succeed Rep. Dawnna Dukes?

There are three confirmed candidates already to succeed Rep. Dawnna Dukes when she steps down next month. Despite announcing her plan six weeks earlier to resign instead of serving another term, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes handily won re-election earlier this month. Dukes, an Austin Democrat, abruptly announced her plan to retire in late September, citing […]

Plano for high speed rail

More support for Texas Central. The Plano City Council has lent it support to a 240-mile high-speed rail project that would run from Dallas to Houston. The council voted 7-1 Monday night to adopt a resolution supporting the project, with Council member Tom Harrison the lone dissenter. City spokesman, Steve Stoler, said the council supported […]

Federal court rules there is such a thing as a too-partisan gerrymander

Worth keeping an eye on. In a potentially transformative decision that could hobble partisan gerrymandering and restore a degree of fairness to many legislative races, a divided federal court held on Monday that Wisconsin’s state assembly maps are unconstitutional. The court reached this decision despite a web of Supreme Court decisions that have discouraged, if […]

Recount in HD105

Still not decided yet. The tight Texas House District 105 race between Republican state Rep. Rodney Anderson and Democratic challenger Terry Meza is headed for a recount. Meza trails Anderson by 69 votes, according to the latest Dallas County elections office tally. The Secretary of State’s office today approved Meza’s request for the recount, which […]

Uber wants back in Austin

It’s how they get back that’s the question.

TEA officially backs off special education limits

We’ll see about that. Facing increasing criticism over its special education enrollment benchmark, the Texas Education Agency this week told schools that they must provide services to all eligible students with disabilities and that they will no longer be penalized for serving too many children. In a five-page letter, Penny Schwinn, the agency’s deputy commissioner […]

So now what for voter ID?

It’s hard to say how much prospects have changed now that Donald Trump gets to appoint the ninth Supreme Court justice, but it’s fair to say that thing haven’t improved for the plaintiffs. Five years ago, Texas passed one of the strictest Voter ID laws in the country. The legal fight began immediately and has […]

Pot bills get their own post

They got their own story in the Trib, so why not their own post. Texas lawmakers across the state say they want leniency in how the state prosecutes marijuana crimes. In an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith Monday, State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, said he thinks the Legislature could decriminalize possession of small […]

Smoke-free Houston, ten years later

From the inbox: It’s been 50 years since the release of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health and the harmful consequences from the use of tobacco. 2016 marks the 10th year of the adoption of Ordinance No. 2006-1054 prohibiting indoor smoking in Houston public areas and places of employment. Individuals could no longer […]

Sustaining the Harris County Democrats’ success

All things considered, I feel reasonably optimistic about Democratic prospects in Harris County going forward, but I felt that way in 2008 as well, so I certainly understand the inclination to be cautious. Democrats swept Harris County last Tuesday in nothing short of a rout, claiming every countywide position on the ballot as Hillary Clinton […]

City reaches deal with Uber

From the inbox: Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced a comprehensive strategy to streamline the City’s vehicle-for-hire licensing process to ensure that Uber remains in Houston and that Houstonians and visitors have as many transportation options as possible during the upcoming Super Bowl. As part of the plan, Uber has committed to continuing operations in Houston […]

As long as we’re talking about improving our voting machines

Then this is what we should be talking about. [Travis] County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir called Rice University computer science professor Dan Wallach, who has been poking holes in voting-machine security for years. He’s testified before Congress on the subject. Now DeBeauvoir wanted him to design a new one. “Wow,” he says. “That doesn’t happen very […]

It’s bill-filing season

And they’re off. Today is the first day of early filing in the Texas Legislature. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate may begin filing the bills that will be discussed when the legislature convenes in January 10, 2017. So how does that work and what does it mean? For the most part bills are […]

Precinct analysis: Hillary in Harris County

Let’s get started with the precinct data, shall we? Here’s a Chron story from the day after the election about how things looked overall in the county. The country’s most populous swing county turned a shade bluer Tuesday, when Hillary Clinton trounced Donald Trump in Harris County despite trailing nationally. Clinton’s commanding victory here is […]

HD105 race remains unresolved

I hadn’t realized this was still an open question. The ballots are still out in the race for Texas House district 105 between Republican Rep. Rodney Anderson and Democratic challenger Terry Meza. The race for the west Dallas County seat remained virtually tied during Election Night. The incumbent Anderson leads by 120 votes with all […]

Initial thoughts: Statewide

See part 1 on Harris County here. The current statewide tally is Trump 52.39%, Clinton 43.34%. She received 3,848,617 votes to his 4,651,955. That’s an improvement of some 540K votes over Obama in 2012, which I certainly would have deemed acceptable going into Tuesday, while he added about 100K to Mitt Romney’s score. As with […]

Initial thoughts: Harris County

I’m still not quite ready to resume regular blogging. I’ve got a few things drafted from before the election, several of which are non-political, that I’ll begin to put in the queue, and a couple of ones that were political that may need to be amended now. For the time being, I’ve got some initial […]

Dems sweep Harris County

Hillary Clinton had a 100K lead in early voting in Harris County, and increased her lead as the night went on. The only countywide Republican who was leading early on was Mike Sullivan, but later in the evening, at the time when 80% of the Election Day vote was in, Ann Harris Bennett caught and […]

Races I’ll be watching on Tuesday, Legislative edition

Here are the legislative races I’ll be looking at to see what kind of a day it has been for Texas Democrats. After the 2012 general election, the Dems had 55 seats in the Lege. Thee Democrats lost in 2014, lowering that total to 52. As things stand right now, Dems are at 50 seats, […]

How much is that bathroom bill worth to you, Danny?

Is it worth $8.5 billion and 185,000 jobs? The Texas economy stands to lose $8.5 billion and 185,000 jobs if anti-LGBT legislation passes in next year’s session, according to an analysis from the Texas Association of Business, the state’s chamber of commerce. The TAB analysis is based on actual or projected losses in four states […]

“Denied”, continued

Here’s Part 2 of the Chron’s reporting on special education limits. A few days before school began here in 2007, district administrators called an emergency staff meeting. The Texas Education Agency had determined that they had too many students in special education, the administrators announced, and they had come up with a plan: Remove as […]

The answer is to always cram more people in the jails

Seriously? Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman is asking the state jail commission to let nearly 200 inmates sleep on plastic cots on the floor of the already overcrowded county jail system, a request challenged by more than a dozen Houston-area lawmakers. The lawmakers note that county officials have not fully followed the advice of their […]