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Posts Tagged ‘The Lege’

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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” […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Still more big businesses against the bathroom bill

It’s like there’s a strong, overwhelming consensus or something. Top executives of big oil companies and other major Houston firms and organizations on Monday weighed into the political dogfight over the controversial bathroom bill, calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to block passage of the legislation that they warned will harm Texas’ ability to grow its […]

Dukes offered deal to resign

Take it, I say. Beleaguered state Rep. Dawnna Dukes has until the end of the day Tuesday to resign from office — and submit to a drug and alcohol assessment — as part of a plea offer in her criminal corruption case. The plea offer is similar to one Dukes rejected last year prior to […]

Pushing the NFL Draft angle

Every angle is going to be needed, and this is one that ought to speak to some folks. The Cowboys’ efforts to land the NFL draft and how it could be derailed by the legislative push for a bathroom bill is part of a $1 million ad buy that will begin to play on radio […]

The bathroom bill would affect disabled people, too

Yet another problem caused by this harmful “solution”. As lawmakers this summer debate yet another controversial measure regulating bathroom use based on biological sex, disabled Texans say they — like many transgender men and women — believe the Legislature is further complicating something that’s already difficult to navigate. On Tuesday, the Texas Senate advanced Senate […]

House takes a different direction on trees

Better than the Senate version, for sure. The Texas House added a potential wrinkle to Gov. Greg Abbott’s special session agenda on Thursday, giving early approval to a bill that would allow property owners to plant new trees to offset municipal fees for tree removal on their land. The initial 132-11 vote on House Bill […]

The bathroom bill in the House

Mostly good news here. Dangerous. Discriminatory. Chilling. Hurtful. Those are words used by House State Affairs Chairman Byron Cook to describe bathroom legislation headed to his committee in the Texas House in the coming days. The Republican from Corsicana said legislation that would force transgender people to use bathrooms in line with their birth sex […]

Abbott versus the cities

The continuing story. If Gov. Greg Abbott has disdain for how local Texas officials govern their cities, it didn’t show in a Wednesday sit-down with three mayors who were among 18 who jointly requested a meeting to discuss legislation that aims to limit or override several municipal powers. “Whether we changed anybody’s mind or not, […]

House committee hears largely pointless property tax bills

Something will probably come out of this, but it’s hard to understand why. A Texas House committee on Tuesday spent more than seven hours plowing through more than 30 bills that aim to tackle rising property tax bills — months after similar legislation died amid an intra-GOP war over how conservatively state officials should govern. […]

Law enforcement against the bathroom bill

Add another group to an ever-expanding list. Police chiefs from three of the five biggest cities in the state gathered at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to spurn proponents’ claims that such legislation is needed to protect privacy, arguing that proposals being considered by the Legislature are discriminatory, won’t keep people safe and would divert […]

Senate has mostly completed the Abbott special session agenda

I’m just going to hit the highlights here because this stuff is happening quickly and often late in the day, but most of the Abbott 20-point special session agenda has been turned into bills that have as of this morning passed the Senate. Yesterday’s action included vouchers and still more unconstitutional abortion restrictions, while the […]

One side benefit of the continued Republican repeal follies

It depresses the base. Texas-based Republican political consultant Brendan Steinhauser’s early read of the fallout was that the party has reasons to be worried about next year’s midterm elections. “I think that you will see that if this fails, Republicans in Congress will get blamed,” he said. “I think you will see a very angry […]

The bathroom bill is a threat to Quidditch

How much more do you need to know? It’s not quite time to get out the broomsticks in Round Rock. A national quidditch tournament headed to town next year has been put on hold while legislators consider the bathroom bill during their special session, said Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan. U.S. Quidditch recently told the […]

War on local control update

Example one: Sen. Craig Estes’ Senate Bill 18 would require cities and counties to get voter approval if they plan to spend a certain amount more than they did in a previous year. His bill ties such an election trigger to inflation and statewide population growth. “You ask people about that and they generally think […]