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Posts Tagged ‘Todd Smith’

The state’s voter ID failure is much bigger than you think

You really have to read this. The confusion started in the first hour of the first day of early voting in San Antonio last October. Signs in polling places about the state’s controversial voter ID law contained outdated rules. Poll workers gave voters incorrect information. Lines were long — full of people who were full […]

Another point of order delays Eissler’s school bill

HB400, the bill by Rep. Rob Eissler that among other things raises the 22:1 student:teacher limit in grades K-4, came up for debate last night after the “sanctuary cities” bill got sidetracked by a point of order. Here was the original AP story about this bill going into the debate. Districts could increase class sizes, […]

Will the Lege change the rules about corporate campaign contributions?

I think the answer to that question is probably “No”, but given the Citizens United ruling and the effect it had in the 2010 election, one cannot rule it out. Immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, the Texas Ethics Commission, acting within state law, issued rules for individual corporations or unions to disclose their […]

Deferred adjudication for DWI

There are thousands of drunk driving cases on district court dockets around the state. To try and help get them cleared out, a bill has been filed to allow first time offenders to get deferred adjudication. First-time offenders could be acquitted of the offense if they complete supervision and treatment. If the offense were repeated, […]

Texas Voices update

Grits gives a report. I was pleased to get to spend a little time with Mary Sue Molnar and the folks at Texas Voices (a group made up of families of registered sex offenders) at their statewide conference here in Austin. By the time I showed up in the late morning there were perhaps 60-70 […]

Smith bashes Perry for vetoing HB3148

Rep. Todd Smith takes Governor Perry to task for vetoing HB3148, which would have exempted some teenagers who had engaged in consensual sex with a minor less than four years younger than themselves from having to register as sex offenders. Gov. Rick Perry vetoed one of the most morally compelling bills I have ever filed […]

Friends and foes

The Texas Observer poo-poos the idea of “Best Of” and “Top Ten” lists, then gives us its stab at a Best and Worst tabulation by naming six of “The People’s Friends” and five “Foes”. Where Texas Monthly focuses more on effectiveness in getting things done, the Observer takes the position that it’s not just about […]

Campaign finance bill passes the House

High school registrars

We know that the Republicans like voter ID. We shouldn’t be too surprised that they don’t much like voter registration. [The House] barely passed a bill Monday night that would allow high school principals to appoint four deputy registrars to help 18-year-old students sign up to vote. The bill passed, 73-72, before a roll-call verification […]

Voter ID passes out of House committee

The session that’s been all about voter ID is finally headed into its final act as SB362 gets approval from the House Elections Committee on a 5-4 vote. It wasn’t actually a straight-party vote – Rep. Joe Heflin, who had tried to work a compromise, voted for it so as to retain the ability to […]

Updates on some criminal justice bills

As Grits notes, this is the time of the session in which bills die because there’s no longer the time for them to make it through the process. Fortunately, as he writes in that post, many of the bills related to innocence and exoneration are in a position to be debated and voted by both […]

Smith caves in to the Browns

The voter ID “compromise” bill

Here we go. The voter identification bill likely to reach the House floor would allow Texans to cast ballots if they can show two forms of non-photo ID, despite pressure from many Republican members to require picture identification for all voters. Rep. Todd Smith’s compromise bill – circulated on the House floor this morning – […]

The Speaker speaks, and a Voter ID update

So how is Speaker Joe Straus doing? Three months into his first term leading the 150-member chamber, Republican Speaker Joe Straus is emerging as a bipartisan compromise-seeker, rejecting much of the power that his predecessor so coveted. Straus still faces some tough tests, but just four years after Craddick was anointed as the most powerful […]

More on Day One of the House hearings on voter ID

House Elections Committee Chair Todd Smith is full of ennui at how things have gone so far. Throughout today’s proceedings, Chairman Todd Smith, R-Bedford, has repeatedly insisted that he is “unimpressed,” and even on one occasion, “fabulously unimpressed,” with both sides of the debate. […] “Both sides are guilty of speculating without any substantiating evidence […]

Blaming the nuns

So as we know, today is expert testimony day for the voter ID hearings in the House. It’s still going on as I type this, and is expected to last till about midnight. Vince is liveblogging, Rep. Pena has a report, and the Lone Star Project takes a swipe at Elections Committee Chair Rep. Todd […]

Let the shenanigans begin!

Boy, we only thought voter ID would not be brought up in the House till next week. Apparently, Rep. Betty Brown tried to attach a voter ID bill she has pending in its entirity to HB71, an otherwise fairly innocuous bill “relating to the establishment of a program to provide a ballot by electronic mail […]

The Heflin plan for voter ID

While I still have hope that voter ID can be stopped one more time, I can certainly understand the viewpoint that a sufficiently determined Republican majority can push through what it wants to if it really tries, especially if we do wind up having one or more special sessions, and that as such the best […]

Voter ID coming to the House

Well, that didn’t take long. Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, chair of the House Elections Committee, announced today his committee will devote two days of hearings to voter ID on April 6 and 7. The first day will be devoted to expert testimony, with an equal number of people for and against the bill invited. The […]

House committee assignments are out

At long last, we know who’ll be working on what in the House. The full list is here (PDF); a list of chairs only is beneath the fold. Evan notes that Dems got 16 of 18 chairs. The main concern of course has been with Voter ID. I would have preferred a Democratic chair, or […]