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
Bob Perry, the Houston homebuilder and mega contributor to Republican causes and, in the 2004 presidential race, the Swift Boat Vets, passed away at him home this weekend at the age of 80.
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.
In an exclusive conversation with Texas Monthly, the controversial UT regent opens up about the board, the Legislature, and the future of UT-Austin president Bill Powers.
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
It isn't often that a major national newspaper shines a light on a state's educational system, but this is what the Washington Post's editorial board did on April 7.
Last Thursday Joe Straus announced the hiring of Lindsey Parham as a senior adviser, a move that suggests he may have long-term ambitions beyond this session and, perhaps, beyond the speakership.
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
Michael Quinn Sullivan threw the Republican caucus into a tizzy on Wednesday when he penned a piece on the PUC Sunset bill.
One day after the Legislature shows its support for UT president William Powers, the Board of Regents strikes back.
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
How would you vote on a survey that the BSA emailed to its members about its policy of banning openly gay members?
George P. Bush officially announced his campaign for statewide office Tuesday.
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
An appreciation of the sixty days' rule.
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
In a discussion about the future of Texas hosted by the LBJ Future Forum, four members of the Texas House of Representatives drilled down on policy issues surrounding public education.
In the House of Representatives traditional flag football game, sports and politics collided on the grass of Kyle Field. Fortunately, the only things that got bruised were a few egos.
What the unanimous passage of HB 10 suggests about the mood of the 83rd Legislature.
In the first conversation of a new interview series called "Out of Office," the former Speaker of the House and the former lieutenant governor discuss their years in the Lege, how the Capitol has changed, and what to expect this session.
The board of the Boy Scouts of America was supposed to decide today whether to change its policy of excluding gay members. I hoped they would do the right thing. Instead they kicked the can down the road. (UPDATED)
The future Speaker of the House had a secret weapon when he wanted to pass a bill in 1969: his Democratic roommates.
Midland's Tom Craddick shares a few memories from his forty-plus years in the Legislature.
As the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate prepares for his final debate against Ted Cruz, he discusses why he thinks he can win, the state of the Democratic party, and what the word "troll" really means.
Kay Bailey Hutchison, the state’s senior senator and the first woman from Texas to hold that office, opens up about the changes in her party, why she decided to retire, and the governor’s race that got away.
ROUTE: Fort Belknap to Red Bluff ReservoirDISTANCE: 505 milesNUMBER OF COUNTIES: 15WHAT TO READ: J. Evetts Haley’s Charles Goodnight: Cowman and PlainsmanIn the rolling country northwest of the Palo Pinto Mountains, nestled along FM 61, stand the barracks of Fort Belknap. It was from this outpost, in 1860, that a
The fourth volume of an epic LBJ biography stirs more controversy.
Hugo Berlanga D–Corpus ChristiTenure: Representative from 1977 to 1999Number of times on the Best list: 3I was the first Hispanic speaker pro tempore in the history of the House. I served under Gib Lewis, and he later told me that the reason he selected me is that he needed someone who
David Thomas on making Dr Pepper.