Outlined against a bright blue February sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore their names are Death, Destruction, Pestilence, and Famine. But those are aliases. Their real names are: Scott Turner (R-Richardson), Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), and Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches).
Does the will exist in the Capitol to restore the deep cuts to women's health from last session? Maybe, if the opinion of a Senate finance committee working group is shared by the rest of the Legislature.
In the end, the drama in the House resulted from a complete lack of drama. Lawmakers had been gearing up for its initial fight of the session over HB 10, a $4.8 billion supplemental appropriation that would, among other things, cover a looming Medicaid shortfall in the current budget cycle. As one lawmaker commented as he moved briskly down the aisle after the House had been called to order, “Is today the first day of real work?”
Austin is known, somewhat ostentatiously, as the Live Music Capital of the World, but as any longtime resident knows, the best show in town is not a musical performance at all. In fact, it is mostly tuneless, it has little in the way of rhythm, and no one has ever tried to dance to it (except, perhaps, for the occasional lobbyist). I am speaking, of course, about the pageant that descends on the state capital every odd-numbered year, when the 181 members of the Texas state legislature arrive.
JAKE SILVERSTEIN: You recently released the revenue estimate for 2014–2015, and it shows the state to be pretty flush: $101 billion available. Are good times here again?
On a sunny day in late January, Rick Perry stood in a packed House chamber and delivered what may turn out to be his last State of the State address. The scene unfolded in a familiar way. Senators wriggled to find a comfortable position on the folding chairs that occupied the wide middle aisle of the House floor. Behind them sat the robed members of the Supreme Court. In the gallery, hardly a vacant seat was in sight.
In 1987 Michael Morton was convicted of killing his wife, Christine.
Simpson's in. Hughes is out. And Joe Straus probably isn't going to lose the Speaker's race.
That's the first wave of reaction to this morning's Texas legislature news, which found Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) filing to run for Speaker of the House, immediately displacing Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) as the conservative challlenger to two-time incumbent Joe Straus (R-San Antonio).
The scene on the floor of the House was bedlam: representatives clustered around the Speaker’s desk whispering advice; others gathered at the back microphone bellowing for recognition; and smaller groups huddled at scattered spots across the giant chamber where members passed rumors or strained to hear them. It was the closing hour of the 1971 regular session of the Texas Legislature, and the legislative process had broken down under the weight of the Sharpstown Scandal.