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Posts Tagged ‘two thirds rule’

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 […]

Burns not running in SD10

Bummer. Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns announced on Wednesday that he will not run to succeed Wendy Davis in the state Senate. Burns, who replaced Davis on the City Council in 2007, had emerged as a top Democratic contender for the Senate seat after Davis announced her bid for governor earlier this month. But […]

We need you, Leticia

Please decide soon. Leticia Van de Putte did not announce her candidacy for lieutenant governor when she addressed the Bexar County Young Democrats on Wednesday night. But it was the way Van de Putte didn’t announce it that provided encouragement to the 35 party activists in the Weston Centre conference room and fed the growing […]

Protest day at the Capitol

Pretty impressive: The story: Opponents of Republican-backed legislation to dramatically curtail abortion rights in Texas descended on the Capitol by the thousands on Monday, spurred on by musicians, celebrities and their new hero: filibustering state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. Meanwhile, about 100 supporters of the omnibus abortion legislation marched to the Capitol on Monday […]

Patrick is in for Lite Gov

And then there were three challengers to David Dewhurst. Citing the need for “authentic conservative leadership” in Texas, state Sen. Dan Patrick announced on Thursday that he would run for lieutenant governor against incumbent David Dewhurst. “Today begins roughly 18 months of hard work,” said Patrick, a Houston Republican who was joined by his wife […]

Transportation funding advances

Between redistricting and abortion, transportation funding has taken a bit of a back seat in the special session despite being the first additional item on the agenda. The Senate took the first step on that yesterday. Despite concerns raised by both Republicans and Democrats, senators on Tuesday tentatively passed a resolution that aims to solve […]

Special session is called

And no one is surprised. With the ink barely dry on the bills passed during the 83rd Legislature’s regular session, Gov. Rick Perry called lawmakers back into an immediate special session to consider redistricting measures for the Legislature and the Texans who serve in the U.S. Congress. Speculation had been mounting for days that Perry […]

Redistricting remains a partisan issue

We’re not surprised by this, right? Amarillo Sen. Kel Seliger offered a redistricting bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee that would formally adopt interim maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio last year. The maps for Congressional, state Senate and House districts were used for the 2012 election while a federal court […]

Zaffirini and Uresti stand against needless abortion restrictions

Good to hear, but given their histories it’s wise to be vigilant. Texas Republicans are one vote short of passing a controversial abortion bill in the Senate — and the fate of the legislation now rests squarely on the shoulders of two South Texas Democrats. Sens. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, oppose […]

Vouchers continue to be a tough sell

I won’t be happy till they’re dead and buried, but it’s something. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, doesn’t think the Senate has a taste for vouchers. Noting that a two-thirds vote of the 31-member chamber is needed to bring up a bill for discussion, she said, “I believe there are 11 votes to block.” House Public […]

The war on women continues apace

Honestly, I’m surprised that it’s taken as long as it has for this to happen. Abortion clinics in Texas may soon face harsh new state requirements that pro-choice advocates say could greatly reduce access to abortion. Sens Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) filed a bill this morning that would […]

Day One of the Lege

What do we know so far? Same old Rick Perry. Gov. Rick Perry called for tax relief and a lean approach to budgeting as he addressed the Senate, even as the state faces a lawsuit from school districts over funding and concerns over the effects of budget cuts approved two years ago. [...] Perry said […]

Dan Patrick wants to play doctor

Clearly, the man missed his calling. Before Texas’ abortion sonogram law passed last legislative session, some women seeking to end pregnancies in rural communities relied on telemedicine, with physicians — working in partnership with medical technicians or nurses — administering prescription drugs via videoconference to induce early-stage abortions. If new legislation filed by Sen. Dan […]

Succeeding Sen. Gallegos

With the posthumous victory by Sen. Mario Gallegos, there is still one unsettled matter for 2012 in Texas. Mario Gallegos, one of the Texas Senate’s most reliable liberals until his death last month, scored a final win Tuesday, easily defeating his Republican challenger after his name remained on the ballot. Beleaguered Texas Democrats also withstood […]

More on Sen. Gallegos

For better or worse, we must discuss the politics of Sen. Mario Gallegos’ death this week. The first question to address is what happens next? Rich Parsons, a spokesman for Secretary of State Hope Andrade, this morning clarified the timing of a special election in state Senate District 6 if the late Mario Gallegos Jr. […]

On hedging one’s bets

Writing in the Trib, Mustafa Tameez tells Republicans that there such a thing as too much of a good thing for them. If Republicans win in SD-10, there will only be 11 Democrats in the Texas Senate. That means that in order for the majority to pass anything it wants, all they need to do […]

A matter of priorities

Compare and contrast. State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the outspoken voice of the far right in the Senate, said he will be pushing vouchers that parents of school-age children could use for charter schools, online offerings or additional alternatives to the public schools. “To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session,” […]

In which I try to find common ground with Sen. Patrick

From a news item about President Obama’s nomination to helm the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Congress created the bureau a year ago this week with the enactment of the Dodd-Frank law, which overhauled financial regulations after the credit crisis. The bureau, a centerpiece of the sweeping new law, has since emerged as one of the […]

Down to the wire for “sanctuary cities”

There’s an 11th hour lobbying effort to stop the “sanctuary cities” bill as it is. As two of Texas’ most politically-involved business leaders emerged as opponents, a bill banning “sanctuary cities” lost crucial momentum Friday, raising the possibility the measure will be killed or substantially weakened before the special session of the Texas Legislature ends […]

“Sanctuary cities” bill passes the Senate

Once it was added to the call, this became inevitable. Senate Republicans finally passed a priority issue for their party early Wednesday morning when they outmuscled their Democratic colleagues on an immigration-related bill intended to make it easier for law enforcement to corral illegal immigrants. At its core, SB 9 allows law enforcement officers to […]

Smoking ban lives again

Never say never when the Lege is in session. The House Appropriations Committee voted 19-1 to recommend their colleagues approve HB 46, designed to stop secondhand smoke from polluting the air and lungs for others. “It’s the No. 1 public health issue for this session. It’s the No. 1 clean air issue in this session,” […]

Senate Dems block “sanctuary cities” bill

They did it as they said they would. The state’s contentious sanctuary cities bill failed to move out of the Senate late Tuesday — a move some senators said effectively killed one of the most controversial measures the Texas Legislature has considered this session. As late as 11 p.m., an aide to Lt. Gov. David […]

Senate Dems say they will block “sanctuary cities” bill

This is exactly what they should be doing. The twelve Democrats in the Texas Senate signed a letter that they delivered today to their colleagues, vowing to oppose the sanctuary cities bill — a move that could, but not necessarily, kill its passage. The Senate this session has side-stepped its rule requiring 21 votes for […]

Senate redistricting map approved by committee

That didn’t take long. Rejecting pleas to keep most of Travis County in a single Senate district, the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting [Friday] morning approved a plan that will divide the capital city into four senatorial districts. The Republican-dominated panel also rejected an amendment to the plan that would have returned Austin-Bergstrom International Airport […]

The budget work is far from done

The Senate may have passed its budget via some creative interpretation of its rules, but there’s more to what has to happen now than just the conference committee. As Abby Rapoport notes, they still have to rewrite the formula for school finance. You see, under current law, schools are entitled to a certain amount per […]

Senate passes its budget

Once the rules were suspended to allow the budget bill CSHB1 to come to the floor, this became a mere formality. The Texas Senate took minutes to tentatively approve a proposed $176.5 billion, two-year state budget Wednesday in a party-line 19-12 vote, steamrolling Democrats who said it cuts back crucial services while leaving billions unspent […]

Senate fails to bring the budget to the floor

It started Monday when Senate Finance Chair Sen. Steve Ogden said he might pull same Rainy Day funds out of the budget in order to get more Republican (read: Dan Patrick) support for it. After some discussion about alternate ways of incorporating Rainy Day funds and some griping about the Comptroller, CSHB1 was brought up […]

Voter ID passes the House

As expected. There was a long and often contentious debate, but when you have a 2/3 majority as the Republicans currently do, you usually get what you want. Gov. Rick Perry declared the voter ID issue an emergency issue, which also ranks as a high priority for the Texas Republican Party. The House tentatively approved […]

Bradley’s confirmation delayed

Good. In a bid to diffuse a partisan showdown, the name of Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley was temporarily stricken this morning from a list of nominees to be submitted to the full Senate for confirmation. [...] Nominations Committee Chairman Robert Deuell, R-Greenville, said [earlier] that he plans to submit the list of Monday’s […]

Here come the “sanctuary city” bills

The Lege gets set to tackle another “emergency”. Top state lawmakers filed the latest legislation Wednesday to prohibit so-called sanctuary city policies, saying local governmental bodies would risk losing state grant money if they prohibit enforcement of state or federal immigration laws. “We just want to make sure that if someone is lawfully detained that […]

Sonogram bill coming up for a vote

Sen. Dan Patrick’s “I know what’s best for you ladies” sonogram bill SB16 is on the schedule for today. I had previously expressed pessimism that there was anything to be done to prevent its passage based on the expected support of Democratic Sens. Lucio and Zaffirini, but it has since occurred to me that Sen. […]

Sonogram bill passes out of committee

As expected. One of Gov. Rick Perry’s designated “emergency” pieces of legislation cleared an early hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate State Affairs Committee voted in favor of a bill that would require a physician to perform a sonogram on a pregnant woman at least 24 hours before performing an abortion. The bill passed on […]

It’s going to be a misogynistic year

It already has been, unfortunately. Here’s Gail Collins on the recent efforts by some right wing activists who are targeting Planned Parenthood: The people trying to put Planned Parenthood out of business do not seem concerned about what would happen to the 1.85 million low-income women who get family-planning help and medical care at the […]

Senate retains 2/3 rule

The Senate will mostly operate as it did in 2009, retaining the traditional 2/3 rule and the exception for voter ID legislation. Though there was still some heated discussion around the matter, which will likely continue as long as Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is in office. Though he lacked the votes to do away with […]