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Posts Tagged ‘Tommy Williams’

SD04: Creighton defeats Toth

I went to bed before the final wrapup stories were written, but trust me, Rep. Brandon Creighton is now Sen. Brandon Creighton. In early returns in the race to succeed Sen. Tommy Williams, state Rep. Brandon Creighton was ahead of his opponent, Rep. Steve Toth, Creighton, R-Conroe, was outpacing Toth, R-The Woodlands, for the District […]

Endorsement watch: Chron for Creighton

Hey, did you know that there’s an election coming up? It’s the special election runoff for SD04 to succeed Tommy Williams and it features the ghastly Rep. Steve Toth and the slightly less ghastly Rep. Brandon Creighton. The Chron, who had endorsed third-place finisher Gordy Bunch back in April, now chooses the lesser evil of […]

The Senate is likely to get stupider again

The cause. The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents officially named state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, the sole finalist to be the system’s next chancellor in a press release issued Monday afternoon. Duncan is expected to start in his new position on July 1. A special election will have to be held to replace […]

SD04 special election results

It’s Creighton versus Toth in the runoff, as expected. Preliminary voting results show that Montgomery County state representatives Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, and Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, will face off in a June runoff for the District 4 seat. Creighton earned about 45 percent of the vote, while Toth received nearly 24 percent. Businessman […]

Early voting for SD04 special election begins today

Go make the best of the bad choices being offered. Early voting begins Monday in a special election to fill the seat vacated last year by former state Sen. Tommy Williams. The Woodlands Republican left the upper chamber last October after a decade in office to serve as vice chancellor of federal and state relations […]

Endorsement watch: The not-so-special SD04

Before we get to the primary runoffs, we must first settle the special election business in SD04. The Chron attempts to pick the best of a mostly sorry lot of candidates to replace Sen. Tommy Williams. Residents of state Senate District 4 through the years have shown a penchant for electing big men to represent […]

Another trip down Demography Lane

From the Sunday Chron op-ed pages: Texas is headed for the ditch, but few people are aware of the state’s perilous path. The demographers have seen the future, though, because it’s foretold in their numbers. And they’ve been sounding the alarm. There hasn’t been much of a public-policy response, so far. Texas could be the […]

Oh yeah, that other election

We’ve had the primary, and we’ll have the runoff in late May. In between, there’s the special election in SD04 to replace Tommy Williams. Overshadowed by a heated primary season, a special election will be held on May 10 in Harris and four surrounding counties to determine the next state senator from District 4, a […]

Montgomery County voting shenanigans

Fascinating story out of Montgomery County in which a handful of self-styled activists in Montgomery County attempt to register to vote in a Road Utility District (RUD), a taxing entity that has literally almost no voters, and wind up getting arrested on felony voter fraud charges. In May 2010, [Adrian] Heath, along with nine of […]

January campaign finance reports for Harris County legislative candidates

This could take awhile, and that’s with me limiting myself to contested races. First, the Senate. SD04 Brandon Creighton Steven Toth SD07 Paul Bettencourt James Wilson Jim Davis SD15 John Whitmire Damian LaCroix Ron Hale SD17 Joan Huffman Derek Anthony Rita Lucido Here’s a summary chart. For the record, Davis, Whitmire, LaCroix, and Lucido are […]

Endorsement watch: Pennington

The Chron endorses CM Oliver Pennington for a third term. For the past four years, District G has been ably represented by attorney Oliver Pennington. We recommend a vote for Pennington to continue his service at city hall. Pennington, a retired Fulbright & Jaworski partner and 40-year District G resident, brings decades of invaluable experience […]

Lege may have found a way on transportation funding

As of Thursday, Special Session 3: Beyond Thunderdome was looming. Both chambers of the Legislature were filled with activity Thursday afternoon but they ended up essentially where they had started: waiting on House and Senate negotiators to come up with a transportation funding plan most lawmakers could agree on. There was little sign Thursday that […]

Patrick and Williams keep squabbling

Just as a reminder that Senate Republicans don’t need Democrats to stir up trouble, here’s a flare-up of an earlier kerfuffle. Fire one. In a recent interview with The Texas Tribune, my colleague, state Sen. Dan Patrick, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, attempted to explain his vote against our no-new-tax balanced state budget that […]

Even Rick Perry thinks the slash and burn crowd is nuts

Insert pithy quote about reaping and sowing here. Gov. Rick Perry shot back Monday at conservative critics who say the state budget is growing too fast, offering the clearest signal yet that he plans to sign the two-year, $197 billion appropriations bill into law. The governor noted that he is still analyzing the legislation and […]

Perry signs HB5, adds transportation to the special session

There had been some buzz about a possible veto, but in the end this was to be expected. When Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 5 on Monday, he ended weeks of speculation that he might veto the high-profile education legislation because of concerns that it would weaken high school graduation standards. The bill, by […]

Patrick involved in another Senate squabble

Must be something in the water. A powerful Republican urged the Senate last week to strip a plum committee chairmanship from a GOP colleague who voted against the state budget, six senators said Friday. Chief Senate budget writer Sen. Tommy Williams polled colleagues on whether they would support removing Sen. Dan Patrick as head of […]

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 […]

Transportation funding shouldn’t be intractable

As previously noted, Sens. Tommy Williams and Robert Nichols want to take another crack at finding additional funds for transportation. The problem, as always, is political

The special session won’t be so short

The original idea behind the special session on redistricting was that it would be a quickie – gavel in, vote to adopt the interim maps as permanent, maybe vote on a few wingnut wish list items, and gavel out again. That may yet be the basic timeline, but it will take more time than first […]

Combs not running for re-election

And a domino falls. Comptroller Susan Combs opened up the logjam that has been statewide office in Texas by announcing Wednesday that she will not seek election in 2014. Announcements were immediately flying with state Rep. Harvey Hildebran, R-Kerrville, throwing his green eye-shades into the race. Combs, 68, was first won the comptroller’s post in […]

Calling to add to the call

The special session is just a day old, and already legislators are lining up to extend its agenda to cover things that didn’t get done during regulation time. Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, and Senate Transportation Chairman Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, have filed a resolution that would ask voters to approve diverting some of […]

We appear to have a budget

Took them long enough. After days of jockeying and one-upsmanship, the Texas House and Senate each approved measures Wednesday evening critical to passing their next two-year budget. “The results of these two bills together is a good conservative budget, and it’s something we can all be proud of,” said Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The […]

Someone attempted to do something about MBIA and the Sports Authority

And others expressed their disapproval about it. What the “it” is, and who it was that was trying to do “it” remain unclear. A surprise legislative maneuver has local government lobbyists scrambling to defend the agency that pays the debt on Houston’s sports stadiums against an alleged takeover attempt by the company that insures its […]

Budget deal reached

And the crowd goes wild. Top House and Senate negotiators agreed to a two-year budget for the state of Texas Friday that restores about $4 billion of $5.4 billion in cuts to public education made in 2011. It also creates a path for lawmakers to put $2 billion toward water infrastructure projects. The five House […]

Maybe I buried Medicaid expansion too soon

I still think it’s dead, but I could be wrong about that. The fate of Medicaid reform in Texas could rest solely on an up-or-down vote on the 2014-15 budget. State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, a member of the conference committee that is hashing out the differences between the House and Senate budget plans, said […]

Perry works against his own stated interests

I don’t understand this at all. A bill that would have increased vehicle registration fees to raise money for transportation projects met its demise in the Texas House on Thursday. House Bill 3664 by state Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, was designed to generate money to pay down the state’s transportation-related debt and fund improvements […]

Drivers licenses for all – maybe

Not quite drivers licenses, exactly, but close enough. A Dallas Democrat has teamed up with two powerful Republicans to craft a compromise version of a bill that would give immigrants here illegally the ability to drive legally in Texas and obtain insurance – but only after they submit to a criminal background check, fingerprinting and […]

Senate officially taps the Rainy Day Fund

Well done. Texas senators hammered out a sweeping deal to increase state funding for water and transportation projects and schools on Tuesday, tackling some of the thorniest issues of the legislative session all at once. The senators voted 31-0 for Senate Joint Resolution 1, which would ask Texas voters to approve taking $5.7 billion out […]

Still arguing about road funding

I still don’t quite get why the obvious solution is so blithely dismissed. With most of the work of developing a state budget behind them, lawmakers can now drill deeper into the state’s spending plan to find a way to fund billions of dollars in road maintenance, highway upgrades and other projects under the umbrella […]

Senate to tap that Rainy Day Fund

It is just sitting there, not doing any good if it’s unused. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, laid out an ambitious plan to spend $6 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund on Thursday morning while also setting the stage for a serious debate in the remaining weeks of the session on […]

Williams’ “Medicaid” plan

I’m really not sure what to make of this. State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, is crafting a Medicaid reform plan that would use premium tax revenue to subsidize private health plans for uninsured Texans, his office confirmed on Tuesday night. Gary Scharrer, a spokesman for Williams, said the proposal is “still a concept,” one […]

Senate passes its budget

Let the damning with faint praise for this jerry-rigged excuse for not adequately funding our needs yet not eviscerating them as badly as last time begin. The Texas Senate approved a $195.5 billion two-year budget Wednesday, with Democratic state Sens. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth and Sylvia Garcia of Houston voting against the spending plan. […]

We have a budget

It is what it is. The 15 members of the Senate Finance Committee unanimously voted on Wednesday for a $195.5 billion two-year budget that undoes some of the cuts from the 2011 legislative session. The budget, which now heads to the full Senate, is 2.9 percent higher than the estimated size of the current two-year […]

Here come the voucher bills

The Observer reports from the Senate, where two voucher bills were on display. In fact, the business-tax-credit-totally-not-vouchers bill had already been filed Monday, by McKinney Republican Ken Paxton. So ends the great mystery, begun in a little Catholic schoolroom last December, of who would carry Sen. Dan Patrick’s voucher bill. That leaves two school voucher proposals—defined […]