Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Troy Fraser’

No hiding behind privilege

Here’s your latest voter ID litigation update, from the Brad Blog: Just over a week ago, it was North Carolina legislators ordered by the court to cough up documentation relating to passage of new, draconian restrictions on voting rights in their state. Now, legislators in Texas are facing much the same thing, as that state’s extreme polling […]

Shark fins

I’m not sure why the practice of shark finning wasn’t illegal already. Texas lawmakers are considering a ban on the sale and possession of shark fins, a move that reflects a growing trend to protect the imperiled creatures at the top of the ocean food chain. Conservationists say the global trade for the age-old delicacy […]

Division over the payday loan bill

Quite a heated little fight in the Senate yesterday. An ugly scene erupted in the Texas Senate today, with Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) suggesting that some of his Republican colleagues were “shills” for the payday loan industry and worrying that the GOP would be seen as “the party that is backed and bankrolled by payday […]

Protecting polluters

Ridiculous. It’s never been easy fighting powerful polluters in Texas. A bill approved by a Senate committee today would make it even harder. With a big push from the Texas Chemical Council and the Texas Association of Business, the Senate Natural Resources Committee voted 6-3 today for legislation “streamlining” (read: weakening) the process that communities […]

Meet SWIFT

SWIFT is the State Water Infrastructure Fund for Texas, which would be created by the big water bills of the session, HB4 and SB4. Basically, this is a plan to create a water infrastructure bank, to finance various water projects that the state needs at low interest, with some seed money from the Rainy Day […]

Abbott gives on legislative privilege

About time. In an effort to move to trial more quickly, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has quietly dropped his opposition to the Department of Justice’s request to take depositions from state lawmakers in the voter identification case. In March, Abbott asked a federal court in Washington to shield 12 state lawmakers from giving depositions […]

Voter ID lawsuit action this week

Tomorrow, the DC Court will hear “oral argument on the State of Texas’ request to block the depositions of 12 Republican legislators who were involved with the voter ID bill, including State Sen. Dan Patrick and state representatives Debbie Riddle and Leo Berman as well as Speaker Joe Straus”. The motion also sought to bar […]

DOJ defers again on voter ID

In addition to the interim maps, we got some more good news yesterday. Texas provided “incomplete” information that does not enable federal officials to determine whether their proposed voter ID law would be discriminatory, the Justice Department said in a letter Wednesday. Essentially, the letter from DOJ Civil Rights Division Voting Section Chief T. Christian […]

News flash: Voter ID will mean fewer people can vote

I know, I’m as shocked as you are. As many as a quarter of voters in some small Texas counties might not be able to cast ballots if the federal government allows the new state voter ID law to go into effect. And in some places, the potential for that decrease in the number of […]

Death from above, Senate version

The Senate has approved the “pork chopper” bill, with some amendments. State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, said there are more than 2 million feral hogs across the state. They used to be mostly a problem for rural landowners, but now urban dwellers are dealing with the scourge. “We’re having these hogs come in and […]

Can we take a step forward without also taking one back?

From last week’s Texas Tribune on the subject of plastic bag recycling. On Tuesday the Senate’s Committee on Natural Resources heard testimony on a bill sponsored by the committee’s chairman, state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, that would require large retailers like Wal-Mart to have well-labeled bag recycling canisters in their stores. This afternoon the […]

Voter ID 2011

The debate is going on in the Senate today over voter ID – it will be taken up by the House later, after committee hearings that are sure to be a freak show. You can follow the ins and outs at places like the Chron’s Texas Politics blog and the Statesman’s Postcards from the Lege; […]

Dirty deals, done dirt cheap

So I missed this DMN story from the weekend about Rick Perry’s excellent fortune in the real estate market. Three years after Gov. Rick Perry’s biggest real estate score, questions persist about whether the governor benefited from favoritism, backroom dealing and influence-buying. The Dallas Morning News found evidence that Perry’s investment was enhanced by a […]

Solar on the special agenda?

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, said Tuesday that he’s put in a request for several measures, including a bill to improve accountability at member-owned utilities, to be part of an upcoming special legislative session. Fraser said he understands the governor’s office is hoping for a quick “get-in, […]

So what happens now?

Hell if I know. In a last-minute legislative meltdown, the Texas Senate adjourned Monday night without passing key measures to avert a shutdown of the Texas Department of Transportation and other state agencies, raising the specter of a special session this summer. The sticking point was $2 billion in transportation bond funding that the House […]

House approves windstorm insurance bill

The one known threat of a special session has just been dramatically reduced. House members today approved the conference committee report shoring up a fund supporting hail and windstorm insurance coverage for coastal property-owners. Assuming the Senate similarly OK’s the legislation, it’ll go to Gov. Rick Perry, whose threat to call a summer special session […]

Extending the deadline

The deadline for finishing up conference committee work was supposed to be last night at midnight. There was too much work to do for that, so the deadline got pushed back for 24 hours. That means the Senate on Monday likely will be approving dozens of conference committee reports — the final versions of bills […]

The state of solar power

The Chron has a feature story on efforts to ramp up solar power in Texas. [S]olar advocates say the right legislation could do the wind industry’s success one better. One approach, incentives to install solar panels on homes and businesses, could be the catalyst for a homegrown industry of system installers and panel manufacturers, they […]

Windstorm insurance bill passes House committee

I’ve mentioned the prospect of a special session several times lately. One of the issues that could be the cause of a special session is windstorm insurance, as the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association took it on the chin last year thanks to Hurricane Ike. Governor Perry even came to the floor of the House yesterday […]

Windstorm insurance changes

If you live near the coast, get ready to pay more for windstorm insurance. Coastal residents insured by the state windstorm fund could see increases of 5 percent per year for the next three years under a bill passed Thursday by the Senate. The vote to send the bill to the House was 27-4. One […]

Go Solar Texas

You won’t see this ad in Houston, but it is running in other parts of the state in support of solar energy and legislation to promote solar energy in Texas. In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, ACT Texas gives us an update on three renewable-energy bills: SB 545 – Senator Fraser: relating to the creation […]

Voter ID begins in the House today

Two days’ worth of hearings on the single most important issue facing Texas today. Here’s the schedule for today – unclear when it will start, probably sometime after lunch. Invited testimony only today, meaning all the usual charlatans and hoaxsters who claim in-person fraud is rampant will have yet another chance to spew their falsehoods. […]

Senate wraps up voter ID

In the end, after more debate and a bunch of Democratic amendments that were rejected by the same 19-12 vote, SB362 itself was passed on second reading in the Senate on a 19-12 party line vote. There were two amendments that were tacked on. The amendment, introduced by Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, and adopted unanimously, seems […]

No voter ID today

The Senate was supposed to finish doing its dirty work on voter ID today, but a clerical error has put things off for another day. Including all previously scheduled committee meetings, because nothing else can get done till the single most important issue facing Texas today is disposed of. Well, if nothing else that helped […]

Why it really is about suppressing the vote

Once the voter ID debate shifts over to the House, there will be several bills there for them to consider as companions to SB362. One such bill is HB1414 by Rep. Dwayne Bohac, which is as far as I can tell essentially identical to the Fraser/Estes bill. Bohac has been filing such legislation for several […]

Who will be affected by voter ID?

Let’s take a moment as we wait for the next round in the voter ID battle to consider who might actually have their right to vote affected by this unneeded piece of partisan legislation. Meet Bessie Jenkins Foster. The 98-year-old African-American woman, who is recovering from gallbladder surgery and is hard of hearing, went to […]

What you can do today to fight against the Voter ID bill

Via email from State Sen. Mario Gallegos: This Tuesday, March 10, 2009, the Senate Committee of the Whole will conduct a hearing on proposed photo Voter Identification (SB 362 by Fraser) legislation in the Texas Senate Chamber. On behalf of all Texans, your testimony is vital to blocking unnecessary Voter ID legislation. Please come to […]

Voter ID already moving in the Senate

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the relative quiet in the Lege these past few weeks, because it will be coming to an end soon. The controversial Voter ID bill that triggered a nasty Senate fight last month over a rules change today was referred directly to the full Senate for a vote, setting the stage […]