This morning I wrote about the prospects for a budget deal, the topic du jour that is uppermost in everyone’s mind. The post contained, among other comments, this line: “House Democrats complained that Senate budget chief Tommy Williams had ‘misled’ them.” That is what I was told by
As we tweeted last night as events were rapidly developing, the hopes for a budget deal that would send everyone home happy appeared to evaporate yesterday. House Democrats complained that Senate budget chief Tommy Williams had “misled” them. Dewhurst showed up in the House chamber and disappeared into the back
UPDATE: REP. DARBY HAS PULLED DOWN HIS BILL, AND IN DOING SO SUGGESTED THAT IT WOULD BE TAKEN UP IN A SPECIAL SESSION.Michael Quinn Sullivan is at it again. Writing on the Empower Texans website, he assails the House leadership for scheduling a bill raising fees for transportation.
Yesterday’s scene at the end of the floor session in the House was all too familiar. The proceedings limped to a close. Members milled about in the aisles. A major tax-cut bill, HB 500, was on the calendar but hardly anyone knew what was in it. Or cared. This scene
In February, Judge John Dietz ruled that the state's current school finance system was unconstitutional. However, the legislature's restoration of some of last session's deep cuts to schools during the 83rd legislative session could be a game changer for the lawsuit.
How could Chairman Todd Hunter allow HB 1076, by Steve Toth — the “nullification” bill — to get on the general state calendar? Calendars is not a charity booth for clueless tea party members. It’s serious business. This is the worst breach of the way Calendars is supposed
Senator Dan Patrick and Attorney General Greg Abbott have teamed up to try to prohibit Texas employers from providing domestic partnership benefits to their workers. Patrick got the ball rolling when he discovered that Pflugerville ISD offered domestic partnership benefits to employees. Abbott made his ruling through an
It was a wild night in the House yesterday as Democrats and Republicans battled over their respective priorities: water, for Republicans and education, for Democrats. The leadership could not get the votes for taking money out of the Rainy Day Fund for water—even though Perry came out for doing
Today is the pivotal moment of the session—a vote on HB 11, the funding bill for the water plan. The vote was preceded this afternoon by a meeting of the House Republican caucus, at which Rick Perry was in attendance. Afterward, he told reporters that the prudent
The opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center went smoothly, complete with blue skies and warm feelings. There were a few protestors with signs on the SMU campus, but they were stationed a long distance from the area occupied by the presidents–and out of their sight. The best description
Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that spending more state money on inspections would not have prevented the deadly explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant that was last investigated by Texas environmental regulators in 2006. Excuse me for asking, but … how would Perry know? You
Has anyone else noticed how innocuous the daily House calendars have been? General State is short and filled with bills of little consequence; debate proceeds at a snail’s pace, maybe six bills covered in a day. Major State is primarily for Sunset bills.I do not believe this is happening by
At a press conference on Monday, Governor Perry called for $1.6 billion in business tax cuts–including 5 percent off the margins tax–in an attempt to make good on his promise for “tax relief” this session. What does this prove? That Perry never seems to run out of bad ideas.In fact,
I seldom find myself in agreement with the tea party, but they are dead right in their skepticism of debt. This is why you can make the argument that Rick Perry is not a true conservative. He won’t raise taxes, but he doesn’t mind going deep into debt–and retiring debt
In October 2012, I wrote a cover story about the battle over UT. That battle, which matched regents appointed by Rick Perry against the leadership of UT-Austin, has not abated. I’m going to discuss portions of Brian Sweany’s recent interview with regent Wallace Hall as well
I have to admire the Tribune‘s Ross Ramsey. If you have to adopt a cause, you might as well make it a hopeless one. In Ramsey’s case, it’s ethics reform. I’m going to make a small suggestion that might spur the Ethics Commission to action. Two high-profile cases
The DUI arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg could have far-ranging consequences.
At last, Rick Perry has decided to back more spending on transportation. His plan, which was developed by a group of trade associations (Realtors, Texas Association of Business, Texas Oil and Gas Association, and Texas Motor Transport Association) and announced today at a meeting of the Texas Lyceum, calls for
Wayne Slater has a piece in the Morning News today that touts Rick Perry’s viability for a political comeback. His thesis is that Americans love a good comeback story, and he cites the examples of former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and former New York congressman Anthony Weiner.
The Hill reported on April 9 that the anti-incumbent super-PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability is back, and it will once again target long-serving lawmakers. Why should this concern us in Texas? It so happens that one of the targets of is Lamar Smith, of San Antonio.I trust that
The main bill up for discussion was Dan Patrick’s SB 23, which would establish the Texas Equal Opportunity Scholarship Program. It would allow certain organizations to award scholarships to pay educational expenses for eligible students in public elementary or secondary schools to attend private or parochial schools. To
UPDATE: This post has been corrected to accurately reflect the graduation requirements under HB 5.Yesterday I wrote about the Washington Post’s editorial on the changing graduation requirements that are working their way through the Legislature. I received a call yesterday from Tom Luce, who had read my post
The first day of debate over the House Appropriations bill is typically one of the most consequential events of a legislative session. Last Thursday’s debate was no exception. The highlight was a school vouchers amendment by Democrat Abel Herrero, of Corpus Christi: The language of Herrero’s amendment read, “Use
By Paul Burka
Attorney general Greg Abbott’s push to reopen the redistricting battle that was waged in 2011 and wound up in the federal courts threatens to blow up the session. The District Court of the District of Columbia has already ruled that Republican lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters while
AP Photo | Eric GayJoe Straus said at the beginning of the session that he was going to put the House to work on the state’s biggest problems, and he is making good on his vow. On Tuesday the House passed HB 5, a major public education bill that
The House will take up HB 5 on the floor today and will debate whether the measure is sufficiently rigorous to achieve college readiness.
We’ve been through this before, so permit me to ask the question: Can anyone make the case that Rick Perry has a realistic shot at the Republican nomination for president? Okay, the National Journal did (sort of), but I can’t. The race for the 2016 nomination will take
Perhaps it is unfair to heap high expectations on a political neophyte, but if you spend months discussing your political future and publicly weigh which office you intend to grace with your presence, you had better perform when you get the chance. That was the challenge facing George P. Bush
In the current issue of Texas Monthly, I wrote about the prospects of Battleground Texas in a column titled “Am I Blue?” Writing in the National Journal, Ronald Brownstein speculates that one politician has the power to turn Texas Blue. That politician is … Rick Perry.Brownstein
Today was the long-awaited meeting of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance. This was strictly an organizational meeting, and no members of the UT Board of Regents were present. But it was another front in the increasingly tense battle between the UT System Board of Regents and UT
George P. Bush announced he is running for land commissioner this week.
The Texas governor took the stage at CPAC and offered a defense of conservative values, maintaining that Republicans lost the presidency in '08 and '12 because they failed to nominate true conservative candidates.
The poll of likely voters was conducted jointly by Democratic pollster Keith Frederick and Republican pollster Jan van Lohuizen. A release about the results says, “A strong majority of Texas voters support using some of the $12 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund to restore the $5.4
In a story with the headline “Legislators Seek to Tweak College History Requirement,” Ralph K.M. Haurwitz writes in today’s Austin American-Statesman: Some history courses offered at the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and other public institutions of higher learning in the state would no longer count toward core