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Posts Tagged ‘The Lege’

Two runoff recounts in the works

It’s not over yet in HD128. In a reversal, state Rep. Wayne Smith is now pursuing a recount in his narrow loss in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff. Deer Park attorney Briscoe Cain beat Smith, a longtime incumbent from Baytown, by 23 votes in the runoff. As soon as the outcome became clear in House District […]

Texans say they favor Medicaid expansion

This comes with a huge “but” attached to it. More than 60 percent of Texans support an expansion of Medicaid here and plan to take those views into the voting booth in November, a new survey commissioned by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute finds. The survey results, unveiled Wednesday at the annual Medical […]

Democratic primary runoff results

Harris County results Fort Bend County results Statewide results Trib liveblog Just for the record, we didn’t get any precinct results until 8:34, at which time only 8% of precincts had reported. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because of overwhelming turnout this time. We did get a big batch just after 9, but thanks to […]

Lawsuit filed over STAAR exams

Interesting. A backlash against this year’s STAAR exams escalated Monday when a group of parents sued the state in an attempt to keep schools from using 2016 test scores to rate students — including deciding whether students should advance to the next grade or attend summer school. The lawsuit, filed against the Texas Education Agency […]

Overview of the Commissioners Court Precinct 1 “race”

I put “race” in quotes because it’s not like any other race you’v ever seen. The campaign for the next Harris County Precinct 1 commissioner appears in many ways like any other: candidates are raising money, seeking endorsements and sending out targeted mailers touting their credentials. But this is not a typical election, and voters […]

Final runoff early voting numbers

Here are your final early voting numbers for the Republican and Democratic primary runoffs in Harris County. Note that in both cases, mail ballots have accounted for the majority of the total so far: On the Dem side, there have been 10,913 mail ballots to 10,364 in-person votes, and for the Rs it’s 15,297 to […]

The latest good news/bad news on Texas uninsured numbers

Good news: Texas’ percentage of uninsured residents continues to drop. Bad news: It’s still higher than what the national average was in 2010, the year before the Affordable Care Act was passed. The percentage of Texans without insurance has dropped dramatically since the launch of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control […]

San Antonio to re-revisit its rideshare requirements

Just when you thought it was all over… With Transportation Network Company (TNC) tension looming from Austin and Houston, the City of San Antonio is preparing its push to renegotiate with ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft. And one of the officials taking the lead on the talks believes they’ll be a model for […]

Board of Disciplinary Appeals suspends Rep. Reynolds’ law license

More bad news. Convicted of five misdemeanor counts of illegally soliciting clients to his personal injury law practice, state Rep. Ron Reynolds is now without a license to practice law. As Reynolds appeals his convictions, the Texas Supreme Court’s Board of Disciplinary Appeals has suspended the Missouri City Democrat’s law license, saying it would render […]

Abbott comments on Austin rideshare referendum

Sort of. Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday the fight is not finished when it comes to regulations in Austin that have driven ride-hailing companies out of the state capital. “The issue’s not over,” Abbott said in an interview on CNBC. “Republicans in the Texas Legislature have already raised proposals coming up in the next session […]

TEA Commissioner has no opinion yet on federal transgender bathroom directive

Noted for the record. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday praised the state Supreme Court’s recent opinion upholding the state’s public school funding system and demurred on questions about bathroom use by transgender students. “Last time I checked, it was a free country,” Morath said in a wide-ranging interview with The Texas Tribune’s Evan […]

Supreme Court upholds school finance system

I’m stunned. The Texas Supreme Court on Friday issued a ruling upholding the state’s public school funding system as constitutional, while asserting it could be better. “Our Byzantine school funding ‘system’ is undeniably imperfect, with immense room for improvement. But it satisfies minimum constitutional requirements,” Justice Don Willett wrote in the court’s 100-page opinion, which […]

So far, so good for Mayor Turner

That’s the general consensus of his first four-plus months in office. Faced with a $160 million budget shortfall that would leave some wringing their hands until deadline day, Mayor Sylvester Turner presented his plan a month ahead of schedule. The proposal being reviewed by City Council includes a few one-off gimmicks, by Turner’s own admission, […]

Endorsement watch: Still saying No to Reynolds

The Chron reiterates its opposition to Rep. Ron Reynolds in the HD27 primary runoff. Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton has been indicted for securities fraud. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is under criminal investigation by the Texas Rangers for misusing state funds. When corruption and criminality become the go-to descriptors for statewide Republicans, it becomes that […]

Dan Patrick is obsessed with children’s bathrooms

This guy, I swear. Transgender advocates derided Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday for what they described as his “fake outrage” over the Fort Worth school district’s new transgender bathroom guidelines, calling the Republican a shameless bully. “A bully like Dan Patrick can’t go unchallenged. He is wrong,” said Joel Burns, an openly gay former […]

Yeah, we’re still talking about the Austin rideshare referendum

The tech community was as divided as everyone else. Joshua Baer, founder of Capital Factory, the downtown technology incubator, has been a critic of the proposed regulations. He said he believes the vote sent signals that Austin is hostile to startups. “Losing Uber and Lyft is a major setback to our reputation as an innovative […]

We’re still lousy at funding schools

In case you were wondering. Texas still ranks in the bottom third of states in spending per pupil in the U.S., with essentially no change in either amount or standing, a new study shows. The finding doesn’t help, and could undercut, the state’s position in a long-running school finance case. Figures compiled by the National […]

Uber and Lyft do what they said they would

They’ve cut and run. Uber and Lyft made good on their threat to end Austin service Monday, pulling out two days after voters rejected their $9.1 million bid to overturn the city’s rules for ride-hailing companies. Their departure came despite offers from Mayor Steve Adler to return to the table to negotiate a compromise. Meanwhile, […]

Sugarek/Jeffery foster family update

From Lisa Falkenberg: The drab little courtroom off the square in Wharton, with its blond wood, stoic flags and idle metal detector at the door, seemed like an alternative universe. Two Houston foster mothers who entered Thursday with anticipation and profound concern for the little boys recently removed from their home were jolted back by […]

Roundup of runoff candidate interviews and Q&As

As we know, early voting for the primary runoffs begins in a week. I did my usual series of interviews and judicial Q&As for the primary, but there were a few candidates I didn’t get to for one reason or another. So, to refresh everyone’s memory and to give another chance to get acquainted with […]

More on the Austin rideshare referendum

The fallout continues to fall. Austin voters on Saturday decisively rejected Uber and Lyft’s $8.6 million bid to overturn the city’s rules for ride-hailing apps, bringing a stunning conclusion to the most expensive campaign in city history. The failure of Proposition 1 brought new threats that the ride-hailing giants would retreat from Austin as the […]

Austin rideshare referendum goes down

Boom. Preliminary election day results in Austin show 56 percent of voters against Proposition 1, a ride-hailing ordinance supported by Uber and Lyft. With 76.76 percent reporting, 13,957 have voted against the ordinance and 10,901 have voted for. These numbers mirror early voting results, where of the 54,759 ballots cast, 30,683 (about 56 percent) voted […]

Jarvis Johnson wins HD139 special election

For whatever it turns out to be worth. Houston voters on Saturday selected Jarvis D. Johnson to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of former District 139 State Representative Sylvester Turner, now mayor of Houston. Johnson, a former Houston city councilman, defeated Rickey “Raykay” Tezino in Saturday’s race, according to unofficial results. He was […]

Endorsement watch: Remember the runoffs

The Chron makes their endorsements for the primary runoffs, which will happen on May 24, with early voting from the 16th to the 20th. Let me sum up: Republican Member, Railroad Commissioner: Gary Gates Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2: Mary Lou Keel Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5: Scott Walker Democrats Member, […]

Use of abortion pill rises

Until the Lege reconvenes, anyway. There’s been a sharp increase in the number of Texas women who are using the abortion pill to end their pregnancies now that federal officials have eased restrictions on the drug, according to officials at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. Until recently, the number of women seeking medically induced abortions […]

Mayor Turner delivers State of the City 2016

Here’s the press release. Flooding, pensions, City finances and public safety were front and center as Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered his first State of the City before the Greater Houston Partnership. In a major move designed to produce tangible results and instill confidence among residents, the mayor announced the selection of Stephen Costello to fill […]

Early voting ends for HD139 special election

Here are the final early voting totals from the HD139 special election. The disparity between absentee ballots and in-person votes is pretty amazing, isn’t it? I’m going to guess that the Saturday in-person total will be less than the 200 early votes, making the overall total in the 1500 to 1600 range. As I noted […]

Houston’s anti-pollution ordinance killed by Supreme Court

Alas. In passing two ordinances designed to regulate air pollution, the city of Houston overstepped its authority and illegally subverted state law, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling is a victory for a coalition of industrial facilities whose emissions were subject to inspection and possible prosecution by the city. The case pit the […]

Reynolds hit with $500K judgment

Geez. State Rep. Ron Reynolds has been ordered to pay $504,000 in damages for failing to give a grieving mother her share of settlement money from a 2010 lawsuit. The embattled lawmaker, who is also an attorney, failed to give his former client, Nancy Ann Calloway, her share of a $250,000 settlement from a lawsuit […]

Uber says it will leave Houston if it does not change its fingerprinting requirement

I called it. Uber announced Wednesday that the company plans to cease operations in Houston if the city council does not repeal its existing regulations relating to vehicle-for-hire companies. Houston is one of two cities in the country where Uber continues to operate despite a local requirement that its drivers undergo fingerprint-based background checks. Uber […]

Dan Patrick supports potty package check legislation

Of course he does. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, weighing into a national controversy over transgender restrooms, said Tuesday he supports keeping men out of women’s restrooms, even if it takes legislation to do so. Since the issue erupted into controversy nationally, some Texas lawmakers have said they will support a state law for single-sex restrooms, […]

Endorsement watch: Why bother?

The Chronicle barely musters a shrug for the special election in HD139. The winner of this election will cast no ballots in the state Legislature – presuming that Gov. Greg Abbott doesn’t call an unexpected special session. At the very best, that person will get to sit on a few interim committees and use the […]

Early voting for May 7 elections begins today

Hey, remember that special election to fill out Mayor Turner’s unexpired term in HD139? Early voting for it – and for the other elections on the May 7 ballot – begins today. Who knew, right? Here’s the press release from the County Clerk’s office: The Early Voting Period for the May 7, 2016, Special Election […]

The state is starting to feel the squeeze

Things are tough all over. The state is facing big problems affecting vulnerable populations that will take significant money to fix at the same time that a slump in the energy industry is chipping into its revenues, House Speaker Joe Straus warned Tuesday. “Writing a balanced and disciplined budget that appropriately funds our top priorities […]