HB3152, by Christian. Relating to prohibiting the performance of an abortion on a woman who is not known to be pregnant; providing penalties. Filed two days ago, Christian’s bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor for a doctor to use drugs or medical instruments commonly used to perform abortions
So everyone has done their research…and found research that supports their position. For the Voter ID advocates, Hans von Spakovsky cited an academic study by economist and professor Jeffrey Milyo of the University of Missouri about Indiana’s experience since passing Voter ID. His conclusion: Not only no evidence of repression
It starts collegially enough. First witness for the Voter ID advocates is Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, who cites a grand jury report in New York City that found a 14-year conspiracy of voter impersonation in both legislative and congressional races as proof that voter fraud exists. He
Sen. Royce West, trying to gauge the impact of Voter ID on minorities, asks Fraser if he has spoken to any ethnic minorities about his bill. “I don’t want to get cute with you but you are an ethnic minority and I have talked to you about it,” said Fraser.
Freshman Senator Wendy Davis was questioning Fraser when he asked her to speak up: “I have trouble hearing women’s voices,” he said. Really? Rodney Ellis certainly couldn’t let that one go. He interrupts and asks Duncan: “I thought I heard my wife’s voice…Is she calling me?” Davis tries to get
It did not escape Judith Zaffirini’s notice that the Voter ID bill from last session carried a $671,000 annual fiscal note, but this year’s version has a a neutral impact. What prompted the difference? she asks Fraser. “Good research,” he contends. Evidently, upon closer scrutiny, the Voter ID bill can
Sen. Troy Fraser says his bill requiring voters to present identification was a response to the 2005 Carter-Baker Commission which recommended a uniform voter photo ID. He says that commission found evidence of voter fraud, including voter impersonation. Despite Democratic fears that the bill would repress voter interest, Fraser said
The Senate votes on Gallego’s motion to overrule Duncan on the issue of proper public posting of the Voter ID hearing: 19 to 12, to sustain Duncan. Surprise, surprise! Dewhurst casts his first vote, Duncan abstains.
The Texas Senate began its session at 10 a.m., but we’re still waiting to begin the hearing on Voter ID, thanks to a lot of questions by Democrats. The latest is Sen. Royce West’s point of order claiming the public notice with the correct time wasn’t posted on time. Now
Judith Zaffirini tells the press table that Mario Gallego’s tag may prevent CONSIDERATION of the Voter ID bill, not just passage from committee. According to Z, the tag notes a defect in the official posting, since the Senate yesterday postponed the hearing from 9 a.m.to 10 a.m. today. Also, Duncan
Bob Duncan, responding to Leticia Van De Putte, says the Attorney General is not a proper witness in the Texas Senate Committee of the Whole on Voter ID because it “is an issue in which we know there will be a review by the court system and the DOJ.” Van
Senate Democrats have “tagged” the Voter ID bill, which means it cannot be voted upon by the Committee of the Whole for 48 hours, according to Senate rules. Delay may be the best tactic Democrats have to stop the bill.
Sailors navigating rough seas are advised to “steer small,” which means they should keep a firm hand on the wheel and not allow winds and waves to throw them off course. Sen. Robert Duncan, who will chair tomorrow’s Committee of the Whole on Voter ID, will need to “steer small”
Eliot Shapleigh used this week’s notice for the Subcommittee on Base Realignment and Closure to express his opinion about tomorrow’s Committee of the Whole.
So there I was, minding my own business in the Senate Chamber, about to nod off during a fairly routine meeting of Senate Health and Human Services when Sen. Jane Nelson uttered a phrase that made me snap to attention: “Truckload of severed heads…that were found on a Texas highway
The lucky folks who attended the Texas History Museum Foundation’s annual Texas Independence Day dinner last night witnessed virtuoso performances by Fort Worth piano legend Van Cliburn and former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, both honored as “History-Making Texans” at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Cliburn managed to weave
Sen. Jeff Wentworth’s redistricting commission bill, which has passed the Texas Senate twice, has a fighting chance this session since Tom Craddick’s no longer speaker. Wentworth, who presented his bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee, tells me he has confirmed pledges from six of nine Senate committee members to
Fort Worth businessman and former Ambassador Tom Schieffer announced his exploratory committee for the Democratic nomination for Texas governor at a Capitol press conference this morning, and here's the "take away message" he'd like us to seize on: He's a successful businessman and former elected Democratic elected official, who voted
With the raging debate over Texas' Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, it's interesting to take a second look at the Texas Workforce Commission's decision-- at Gov. Rick Perry's urging -- to award a $90 million tax cut to employers. First, from Perry's March 2008 press release: Gov. Rick Perry today
At yesterday's hearing of the Texas Senate Nominations Committee, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken didn't mince words about the dire situation facing the state's unemployment rate -- and the fund the state relies upon to pay unemployment benefits. The Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund will be flat broke sometime next
Rep. Mark Strama and Sen. Kirk Watson chose to recognize Pro-Life Lobby Day by introducing a “Prevention Works Act” aimed at reducing abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies. Wait…so how would this work, exactly? The press release for the Watson and Strama bill claims that “Prevention Works is a real pro-life
Just got a notice from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s office that tomorrow, on Pro-Life Lobby Day, Dewhurst “will speak in support of legislation which would require all women considering abortion be offered an ultrasound image of their unborn child and the opportunity to hear its heartbeat prior to receiving an
…Courtesy of the Statesman, which is reporting the State Commission on Judicial Conduct has ruled Sharon Keller’s conduct brought discredit to the state.
The New York Times this morning endorsed Lon Burnam’s impeachment resolution against Sharon Keller, the Criminal Court of Appeals judge who refused to keep the court’s office open for a half hour when an lawyer for a death row defendant pleaded for extra time to complete an appeal.
The state’s Republican leadership appears to be warming up to the $17 billion in federal stimulus money, Gov. Rick Perry’s voluble aversion notwithstanding. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who breakfasted today with Perry and House Speaker Joe Straus, gave some insight about the leadership’s thinking to reporters in
Sen. John Carona’s SJR 8, which allows the gas tax to be indexed to the rate of inflation, is traveling in the fast lane (is there such a thing as too many traffic metaphors?) since Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst referred it to Carona’s own Transportation Committee, instead of the not-so-friendly
A renowned medical facilities consultant has recommended to the UT Board of Regents that UTMB’s inpatient hospital in Galveston—which was hit hard by Hurricane Ike— be mostly relocated to League City where it would be both easier to rebuild and more financially viable. Under this proposal, one of three options
The Capitol gossip machine has worked overtime since Thursday’s explosive Senate Finance hearing, but Chairman Steve Ogden vehemently denies any coordination with the Governor’s office to ambush former UT Regent Robert Rowling. Everyone who hasn’t had a paper sack over their heads knows by now that Dallas billionaire Rowling quit
Dallas billionaire Robert Rowling, chairman of the UTIMCO board, today abruptly resigned while under heavy fire from members of the Senate Finance Committee about $2.3 million in bonuses paid to fund managers for the University of Texas System and Texas A&M System’s endowment, which has declined 27 percent this year.
President Obama just lent a hand to the advocates in Austin who have been arguing for 12-month eligibility for families signing up for Medicaid, as opposed to having to re-up every six months. Obama today signed the SCHIP Reauthorization Act, which rewards states that reach more children with Medicaid. Currently,
David Dewhurst’s committee assignments late Friday spotlighted the challenge this session presents for Florence Shapiro, whose interest in running for the U.S. Senate places her in perilous territory vis-a-vis the Texas Senate’s presiding officer, who likewise is considering a relocation to Washington. While Dewhurst’s committee assignments shifted authority from Shapiro
Proving he knows that reporters are notoriously lazy late on Friday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst finally released committee assignments at 4:45 p.m. today, probably hoping that no one would notice he gave Judith Zaffirini responsibility for higher education, lopping it off from Florence Shapiro’s education committee. Good luck with that,
Deep into the State of the State address, Gov. Rick Perry endorsed a proposal by Sen. Dan Patrick and Rep. Frank Corte to, in Perry’s words, “require those wanting to terminate a pregnancy to review their ultrasound before proceeding.” Perry told the assembled lawmakers today that “as we consider the
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News this week, Gov. Rick Perry advocated an end to all diversions of gas tax money from the Highway Fund, which is used primarily to finance road construction. But two key senators believe the current budget estimates make that highly unlikely
I contacted former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby get his reaction to last week’s Texas Senate debate and he shared the following memo, which he sent to Sen. Rodney Ellis. He readily acknowledges that he circumvented the two-thirds rule in the Killer Bees episode and calls it “the greatest mistake of my
While recent newspaper reports in Texas indicate Sen. Hutchison will run for governor, our friends at Politico.com have a different take.
That would be the “Pottery Barn” rule as invoked by Secretary of State Colin Powell to warn against the then-proposed invasion of Iraq. “You break it, you own it,” he reasoned. This morning, Dewhurst told reporters that he mentioned the Powell axiom to senators who wanted to change the two-thirds
Kirk Watson just demonstrated why it’s a bad idea to tangle with a trial lawyer. Tommy Williams has spent the last two hours arguing that he wants the Voter ID vetted in a Committee of the Whole so that all senators — not just those on, say, Senate State Affairs
Sen. Tommy Williams assures the Senate that he believes the two-thirds rule “is a good thing. I have been a House member who lost his entire package in Calendars Committee. It would be a travesty if we went to that method.” Then he recounted the “ugly scene” that occurred last
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte: “I am often asked why doesn’t the Senate fight like the House. I usually reply we don’t often fight or argue because we genuinely like each other. We believe in… diplomacy and compromise. This is what is best for Texas and its citizens.” “We don’t
What rules govern when the Senate is debating what rules govern? That’s Sen. Eliot Shapleigh’s question to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. This debate has slowed down Sen. Tommy William’s resolution, which would change Senate rules to suspend the two-thirds rule for the Voter ID bill. Dewhurst’s answer was a little
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst just walked by the Senate press table and informed us: “I’m taking Colin Powell’s advice. If you break it, you own it.” We just thought you should know.
At least that’s what Sen. Royce West predicted when grim-faced senators emerged from their 1 hour caucus behind the closed door of the Betty King room. He was followed by John Whitmire, who was shaking his head angrily. Paul and I think we saw steam coming out of his ears.
In his post-session Q and A with reporters, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst predicted that proposals for changing the Texas Senate’s two-thirds rule will evaporate if senators find middle ground on the Voter ID bill. “With agreement on that issue, it (a rules change) becomes moot,” he said. In fact, each
Ed. Note: We’d like to welcome back Patricia Kilday Hart, who will be covering and blogging the Legislature with Paul. This is her first post. Ah, opening day of the 81st Session, where the mood in the Capitol is one of grand expectations for Peace on Earth, now that Tom
. . . that the 1994 governor’s race would have such far-reaching consequences. If George W. Bush hadn’t won . . .
Meet the superheroes of George W. Bush’s campaign for the presidency: a quartet of brainy advisers who are helping him to refine and sell his ideas on the economy, foreign policy, and the like.
George W. Bush wants to be governor of Texas. He says he’s not following in his father’s footsteps, but his name, his career, and his ideas about politics seem an awful lot like Dad’s.