Rodney Ellis

John Carona’s “Ugly Baby”

Apr 22, 2013 By Laura Wright

After more than a dozen amendments toughening regulations on short-term lenders were added to Sen. John Carona's payday lending bill, he referred to his legislation as an "ugly baby" before it passed out of the Senate. But can it make it out of the House?

Trials and Errors

Jan 21, 2013 By Michael Hall and Jake Silverstein

Over the past two decades Texas has exonerated more than eighty wrongfully convicted prisoners. How does this happen? Can anything be done to stop it? We assembled a group of experts (a police chief, a state senator, a judge, a prosecutor, a district attorney, and an exoneree) to find out.

Who holds the cards?

May 30, 2011 By Paul Burka

The answer is: Rodney Ellis. On the last day of the session, Ellis has become the key player, because he is effectively the minority leader of the Democrats–not just the Senate Democrats, but also the House Democrats. The nineteen Senate Republicans will need at least six Democratic votes to suspend…

On the Lege video-Rodney Ellis

May 7, 2011 By Paul Burka

This week we spoke to Senator Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, about the Senate leadership’s decision to bypass the traditional two-thirds rule to take up the budget.

Another confirmation in question

Apr 27, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

Bryan W. Shaw's confirmation as a member of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has run into trouble in the Texas Senate. At a press conference this morning, Sens. Eliot Shapleigh, Wendy Davis and Rodney Ellis called for a "top to bottom" review of the agency -- in the manner of the DeLoitte Touche analysis of management at the TexasDepartment of Transportation. Citing examples of ex parte communications, the revolving door between the commission and industry, failure to enforce federal laws and a pattern of decisions in which the commission overrules its own scientists, the three lawmakers claimed unethical -- and sometimes illegal -- activities at the TCEQ were undermining the agency's core mission. Shaw has undergone extensive questioning by the Senate Nominations Committee, but Shapleigh said Shaw has yet to convince lawmakers that he is committed to ending practices like ex parte communications between commission members and industry representatives.  Unless Shaw takes some dramatic steps for a wholesale agency management review, "you'll see many of us move to block his nomination," Shapleigh said.