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Posts Tagged ‘veto’

Rick Perry really wanted Rosemary Lehmberg to quit

From the Trib. Even after Gov. Rick Perry stripped funding for the agency that prosecutes state public corruption cases, his emissaries worked to swap the resignation of embattled Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg for restoration of the money, several sources told The Texas Tribune this week. The Tribune learned of the proposal as a […]

The Rick Perry grand jury convenes

Game on. A grand jury was sworn in Monday to look into whether Gov. Rick Perry acted improperly last year when he threatened to kill funding for the Travis County district attorney’s public corruption division unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after her drunken driving conviction. The office of the governor – who carried through […]

Perry lawyers up

It’s getting real. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has hired a high-profile Austin defense lawyer to represent him in an investigation into whether he illegally withheld money from the Travis County District Attorney’s office. KVUE News and the Austin American-Statesman confirmed Sunday evening the hiring of David L. Botsford. The hiring comes as a special Travis […]

No, there won’t be a flood of equal pay lawsuits in Texas

There wasn’t one before, when the federal Lilly Ledbetter Act passed. There’s no reason to believe there will be one if a state version of the Ledbetter law is approved. Candidates for statewide office have wrangled recently over an effort to address sex-based wage discrimination by extending the window for lawsuits. But as the campaigns […]

Perry special prosecutor is “concerned”

As are we all. A special prosecutor investigating whether Gov. Rick Perry abused his authority when he eliminated state funding of the Texas public integrity unit — which investigates government corruption and is housed in the Travis County district attorney’s office — said what he’s found so far is “concerning.” “I cannot elaborate on what […]

Just a reminder, the Ledbetter bill was bipartisan

I mean, it had to be bipartisan to pass in the Lege, but let’s keep that in mind as the debate continues. After 42 years in the Texas House, Rep. Senfronia Thompson has earned a nickname – “Miz T” – that evokes equal parts respect, affection and fear. When she filed the Texas version of […]

No pay equity problems here

No sauce for the gander, either. Women in Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ Senate office last year averaged about $3,000 more in earnings than the male employees, according to data acquired by Austin bureau chief Peggy Fikac. Out of 12 employees in Davis’ office, women averaged $43,050 and men averaged $40,378. There are six men […]

Abbott comes out for inequality

Turns out he’s been a practitioner of it for some time. Equal pay for women is in the spotlight of the Texas governor’s race, and figures from Attorney General Greg Abbott’s state agency show most female assistant attorneys general make less on average than do men in the same job classification. Abbott’s office said the […]

Perry special prosecutor seeks to hire investigator

Moving right along. The special prosecutor in an ongoing investigation into whether Gov. Rick Perry violated state law by vetoing funding for the Travis County ethics-enforcement unit is seeking to hire an investigator and researcher, the first public hint the probe is moving forward past its initial stage. In a request filed Tuesday in Travis […]

Grand jury convening in Perry/Lehmberg veto threat case

Can’t wait to see how this turns out. A visiting state district judge began convening a special grand jury Wednesday to consider two possible criminal cases stemming from the April drunken driving arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. The 12-member panel with two alternates, which may be seated as early as Friday, will […]

Special prosecutor appointed in Perry/Lehmberg veto threat case

Meet Mike McCrum. District Judge Robert Richardson named Mike McCrum to look into a complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice against the governor. The watchdog group alleges that Perry abused his power by threatening to cut funding to the Public Integrity Unit if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg didn’t resign. The Democrat pleaded […]

Special prosecutor to be appointed in Perry/Lehmberg veto case

Moving forward. A San Antonio senior state district judge confirmed Thursday that he will name a special prosecutor to investigate possible charges of coercion and abuse of official capacity against Gov. Rick Perry. Judge Robert “Bert” Richardson said he expected to name someone early next week, at which time “an order will be prepared and […]

Travis County to fund Public Integrity Unit

Not optimal, but better than the alternative of shutting it down till 2015. The Travis County Commissioners Court agreed [last] Tuesday to restore some money to the Travis County district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit after Gov. Rick Perry in June eliminated state funding for the office. The five-member commissioners court voted 4-1 on the proposal, […]

Unfair pay

Patricia Kilday Hart uncovers some skulduggery in one of Rick Perry’s vetoes. Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have let victims of wage discrimination sue in state court after receiving letters against the measure from the Texas Retailers Association and five of its members, mostly grocery stores, according to records obtained by the […]

Judge assigned in complaint about Perry veto of Public Integrity Unit

Moving along slowly. A San Antonio judge on Tuesday was assigned to hear a complaint that alleges Gov. Rick Perry committed coercion, bribery and official oppression by vetoing funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit. Senior Judge Robert Richardson of the 379th District Court will hear the complaint, which was filed byTexans […]

Public Integrity Unit employees get layoff notices

What is to come if nothing changes. Travis County commissioners are still holding out hope the state will fund the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, but took an early step to let employees know their jobs are on the line. Voting unanimously Tuesday, commissioners are giving layoff notices to more than 30 employees whose jobs […]

The 2011 maps are officially dead

Rick Perry has signed the redistricting bills, thus making the 2012 interim maps the official state-sanctioned maps and thus dropping any further pursuit of the maps drawn by the 2011 Lege. On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Perry signed all three redistricting bills that lawmakers sent to him. With his signature, Perry set the district boundaries for […]

No override of Public Integrity Unit funding veto

Alas. A legislative move to restore state funding for the ethics-enforcing Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County district attorney’s office died Friday afternoon. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said no vote is expected on House Concurrent Resolution 6 — the attempt by state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, to override Gov. Rick Perry’s […]

Turner seeks a way to get around Public Integrity Unit de-funding

Rep. Sylvester Turner takes aim at one of Perry’s vetoes. Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said he would propose a House Concurrent Resolution advocating restoration of funding for the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County district attorney’s office, which was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry last week. [...] This morning on the floor of the […]

Perry goes on a veto spree

Here’s the full list. Among the victims are the omnibus ethics bill HB217, thus giving Allen Blakemore his fondest wish; two bills aimed at reducing the number of standardized tests some students must take, one of which will make William McKenzie happy; SB15, which would have placed new limits on the power of the University […]

TPJ alleges Perry broke the law when he threatened to veto Public Integrity funds

Well, now isn’t this a nice little can of worms. In a complaint sent to prosecutors today, Texans for Public Justice alleges that Governor Rick Perry potentially committed several criminal offenses related to his recent threat to use his discretionary power to withhold money from the Travis County District Attorney’s office unless DA Rosemary Lehmberg […]

Senate approves redistricting bills

As pro forma as they wanna be. The Texas Senate voted to ratify court-drawn political maps that were used for legislative and congressional races in 2012. The bills now head to the House. In party-line votes, Senators voted 16-11 to approve the interim maps for congressional and state House districts. The map of the state’s […]

Overview on criminal justice legislation from the regular session

I tried to pay attention to as many issues as I could during the legislative session, but no one can keep track of it all. Criminal justice bills were one area that I lagged on. Fortunately, there are people like Scott Henson keeping a close eye on such matters. Here’s his look back at the […]

Perry will veto Integrity Unit funds unless Lehmberg resigns

This could be checkmate for Rosemary Lehmberg. Gov. Rick Perry will veto financing for the public integrity unit — the state’s ethics enforcement division — unless embattled Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigns, an official close to the governor said Tuesday. The Austin American-Statesman reported Monday night that Perry would use a line-item veto […]

Why stop at one veto of an ethics bill?

Why not veto them all? Allen Blakemore has launched an effort to recruit about 30 fellow Republican political consultants and their clients to push the governor to veto the omnibus ethics bill. Blakemore, who lobbies for the Conservative Republicans of Texas and Houston conservative crusader Steven Hotze, said his concern is a requirement to disclose […]

Pushing for the Governor to sign HB5

While a lot of big ticket items were addressed by the Legislature during the regular session, not all of those bills have been signed into law yet. Among them are the big education reform bills, and proponents of fewer standardized tests are urging Rick Perry to sign them. Six organizations representing a statewide coalition of […]

Still no call to expand the call

Rick Perry may yet expand the call of the special session, but so far he’s sticking to his script about dealing with redistricting first. Gov. Rick Perry is leaving the door open for more items on the agenda of the newly called special legislative session, but he said Friday he wants lawmakers to bring him […]

Perry vetoes “dark money” bill

Not a surprise. Gov. Rick Perry has vetoed a divisive measure that would have forced some tax-exempt, politically active nonprofits to disclose their donors. That effectively kills the measure for this session; lawmakers stripped a similar amendment from an Ethics Commission reform bill on Friday. In his veto statement — the first of the session […]

Lege passes a Lilly Ledbetter bill

This is some fine work, but it’s a little early to be giddy about it. A bill that seeks to prevent pay discrimination against women narrowly passed the Texas Senate on Wednesday. “Employers who are doing the right thing and treating women fairly don’t view this bill as a threat,” said state Sen. Wendy Davis, […]

Dark money

It’s a small step, if it’s allowed to be taken, but the bill to require donor disclosure on so-called “dark money” is a step in the right direction. Senate Bill 346 takes direct aim at the cloak of anonymity that currently shields so-called “dark money” groups – those tax-exempt organizations whose donors drop big bucks […]

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 […]

Council approves safe passing ordinance

From the press release: Mayor Annise Parker and Houston City Council Members today unanimously approved an ordinance to protect Houston’s cyclists and other vulnerable road users by requiring cars and other motor vehicles to keep a separation of more than three feet while passing, and trucks or commercial vehicles to keep a separation of more […]

Houston considers a “Safe Passing” ordinance

Glad to hear it. Though it boasts a growing biking culture, Houston is the only major city in Texas without a safe-passing law requiring motorists to share the road with cyclists and others. City leaders now want to change that. City attorneys proposed an ordinance to the City Council’s public safety committee Wednesday that officials […]

Houston may ban texting while driving

This will likely come before City Council later this year. Houston will consider an ordinance banning texting while driving if the Legislature again fails to enact a statewide ban, Mayor Annise Parker said Tuesday. Parker, flanked by 30 people ranging from high school students to the fire chief, announced the official start of the city’s […]