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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Craddick’

Speaker Straus not running for re-election

A bombshell no one saw coming. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election in 2018, a decision that has the potential to upend the political balance of power in the state. Straus, who has lately been the most powerful moderate Republican in the Texas Capitol, […]

Abbott signs texting while driving ban

That’s the good news. The bad news is that being Greg Abbott, he wants to make it worse. Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed into law a bill that creates a statewide ban on texting while driving. The measure, authored by state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, goes into effect Sept. 1. This is the fourth […]

Texting while driving ban passes the Senate

We’ll see if this one gets signed into law. Legislation that would create a statewide texting-while-driving ban overcame a last-ditch attempt in the Senate on Friday to gut the bill. The bill’s author, state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said he will concur with the changes the Senate made. The measure will then head to Gov. […]

One more thing about vouchers

I’m going to enjoy this just a little bit more. The Texas House of Representatives all but killed Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s prized school choice bill Thursday, dealing the powerful Republican a major loss as he struggles to push his agenda through this year’s legislative session. House members considering the state’s budget plan for the […]

This could be the session that a statewide texting-while-driving ban passes

I haven’t followed the progress of the filed-every-session statewide-band-on-texting-while-driving bill, but recent tragic events have put a spotlight on it and raised the probability of it actually becoming law. Texas is one of four states that do not have a statewide ban on texting and driving. That distinction has drawn renewed attention in recent days […]

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 […]

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 […]

If you really want to improve turnout in city elections

This is a plan that would do it. Councilman Ron Nirenberg [recently] called for a major change to local elections that he says would boost voter turnout and bolster public participation. The councilman said he’s spent years considering ways to address abysmal turnout in municipal elections, which are held in May of odd-numbered years. His […]

Chron Mayoral profile: Sylvester Turner

This is the seventh (and last!) in a series of profiles on the top candidates running for mayor in Houston. Sylvester Turner followed his mother’s wisdom like a beacon, through the University of Houston, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science, through Harvard Law School and 26 years in the […]

Taking decentralization too far

Seriously? The governor and attorney general might have to work in Austin, but under a proposed constitutional amendment, they won’t have to live there. Under the proposed amendment, the century-old requirement that state leaders reside in the capital city would be erased and all statewide officeholders could live anywhere in Texas. Supporters cited modern communications […]

Some Republicans embrace tuition re-regulation

This is a welcome change, but let’s not be distracted by what isn’t being said. Tuition and fees at the state’s public colleges and universities would be capped at their current levels and only be permitted to grow at the rate of inflation under a bill filed Tuesday by state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown. Schwertner […]

More on the Mayor’s payday lending ordinance

From the Chron story on Mayor Parker’s proposed payday lending ordinance, which is described as having been toughened up from an earlier proposal: Consumer groups had called [City Attorney David] Feldman’s compromise proposal too weak; he said he preferred tougher restrictions but said those were unlikely to pass the Legislature, would invite a lawsuit, and […]

Who will be on the Ten Best and Ten Worst lists?

The Trib starts the speculation. Texas Monthly‘s list of the best and worst legislators of the 83rd session doesn’t come out until June 12, but why should Paul Burka and his colleagues have all the fun? Use this interactive to select your own personal best and worst list. Click or drag to put up to […]

House debates its budget

As you know, yesterday was Budgetpalooza in the House. The House budget puts more money into public education and less into health and human services than a Senate proposal that passed the upper chamber last month. “No one is or will be entirely happy with this bill, but there is something for everyone this year,” […]

Payday lending legislation may go nowhere

I can’t say I’m surprised, since Sen. John Carona’s most recent version of a payday reform bill was not met well by advocates for consumers and the poor. Among other things, Carona’s proposal would limit the maximum size of loans to a percentage of the borrower’s monthly income and cap the number of times a […]

What can you get for $10,000?

You can now get a college degree – at some colleges, in some programs, if you’re lucky. Many were skeptical when Gov. Rick Perry last year challenged Texas public colleges and universities to offer degrees costing no more than $10,000. Now 14 institutions have embraced the concept, which Perry sees as a promising way to […]

Simpson in, Hughes out to challenge Straus for Speaker

It started with an announcement that Rep. David Simpson would make the Speaker’s race a three-way, which I assure you sounds dirtier than it actually is. Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, filed papers to run for Speaker of the House, he said in a letter to colleagues Monday morning. He joins Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, in […]

The Lege will take another crack at payday lending

I’m glad to see this, because the Lege definitely left business unfinished last time. About 83 percent of customers in Beaumont and 75 percent in the Houston and San Antonio metro areas are locked in a loan renewal cycle, latest lender reports show. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and state Sen. John […]

The CFPB and payday lending

This ought to be good. Picking his first public fight with the banking industry, Washington’s top consumer cop, Richard Cordray, promised on Thursday that his examiners will scrutinize a handful of big banks that make high-cost loans. Inspection of major financial institutions will be part of a broader review of payday lenders, he said at […]

Payday lenders face new regulation

New regulations aimed at curbing the excesses of payday lenders are now in effect, but they will not be the last word on the subject. Proponents of the new regulations passed by lawmakers during the 2011 session say they’re needed because the practice of offering short-term, high-interest loans to consumers has led thousands of Texans […]

It’s news but it’s not new

Before the Labor Day weekend, Sen. Dan Patrick said something that was considered to be newsworthy even though he and others have been saying it for years. A Republican state senator calling for a tax increase is clearly in the man-bites-dog media category. When that senator is tea party champion Dan Patrick, R-Houston, it’s in […]

Texting while driving ban passed

Somehow, this managed to happen as everything else was going on at the end of the session. The Senate voted for a statewide ban on texting while driving Wednesday night, as an amendment added to another bill. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, added the bill as an amendment to a bill that would allow retired peace […]

Lege gets set to tackle payday lending

The good news is that the Lege is ready to tackle legislation dealing with the scourge of payday lenders. The bad news can be summarized by the following remarks in this Chron story. This week, State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, will ask the Texas House to approve a package of three bills written as part […]

Payday lending bills advance

Good. Legislation by Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth that would cap fees and interest on loans made by payday and car title lenders was approved Thursday by the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. The bill, which now heads to the full Senate, has strong support from a coalition of consumer and faith-based groups, who […]

House passes texting while driving ban

Put that phone down and drive. This is no LOL matter: Texting while driving could soon be prohibited statewide. The House preliminarily passed a bill [Thursday] that singles out “text-based communication” — texting, instant messaging or e-mailing — while driving as a punishable traffic offense. Using other applications, like GPS, Google or Facebook, on a […]

It’s way past time to regulate payday lenders

From the Observer: As an industry, when you’ve got Tom Craddick, consumer groups, the Midland County District Attorney and Bible-quoting Baptists arrayed against you, most likely you’re facing a serious come-to-Jesus moment. Today, a House committee heard hours of impassioned testimony in favor of legislation that would curb Texas’ Wild West payday and auto-title lending […]

Another look ahead at redistricting

The short version of this Chron story is basically “Republicans would like to control every aspect of the redistricting process, while Democrats would at least like to win the Governor’s office and maintain some semblance of parity in the House”. A few points: “The governor’s race is critical to redistricting,” declares U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, […]

The DeLay trial finally gears up

OMG, I’m almost as excited about this as I am about the World Series. Lawyers in the Tom DeLay conspiracy trial have subpoenaed a who’s who of witnesses, from associates of disgraced Washington, D.C., lobbyist Jack Abramoff to former Texas Speaker Tom Craddick, for the biggest political trial in Austin in years. The witness list […]

Chisum running for Speaker

We may have ourselves another Speaker’s race this January. State Rep. Warren Chisum is delivering a letter to colleagues today saying he will run for House speaker next year, challenging Speaker Joe Straus, his fellow Republican. He says the speaker should be elected from the majority of his own party. It was mostly Democrats who […]

Interview with State Rep. Armando Walle

State Rep. Armando Walle is finishing his first term representing HD140 in northeast Harris County. Walle won a contested primary in 2008 against Craddick D Kevin Bailey, which helped contribute to the downfall of the former Speaker. At 32 years old, he’s one of the youngest members of the House, but he had plenty of […]

Interview with State Rep. Jessica Farrar

State Rep. Jessica Farrar has represented me in the Lege since I moved into the Heights in 1997; she was first elected in 1994, and is now the longest-serving Latina in the House. I have always admired her progressive values and her willingness to speak out when needed. She was one of the first Democrats […]

Interview with State Rep. Sylvester Turner

State Rep. Sylvester Turner is one of the senior members of the Houston-area delegation, having served HD139 since he was first elected in 1988. He doesn’t have a campaign webpage, so let me refer you to his Texas Tribune biography for a brief summary of his career. He was Speaker Pro Tempore under Tom Craddick […]

Let’s call it what it is

I do not understand the resistance to renaming the Texas Railroad Commission to reflect what it actually does. The Railroad Commission is the state’s chief regulator of oil and gas production. The agency no longer deals with railroads yet still regularly receives calls from Texans about train schedules. In 2005, when its last shred of […]

Berman to challenge Straus

I can’t say I’ve been thrilled with Joe Straus as Speaker of the House. He’s worlds better than Tom Craddick was, which still isn’t saying that much, but he hasn’t been all that friendly to his largely Democratic group of supporters. Which I expected to some extent, but still. Having said all that, I’ll take […]