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Senate

Two Thirds? Or Not Two Thirds?

Jun 27, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

With another special session set to begin on July 1, the issue arises of how the Senate will handle the two-thirds rule. Will there be a blocker bill? Will the tradition be honored? The history is that in 2003, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst made the decision that the two-thirds rule…

North Toward Dome

Jan 20, 2013 By Paul Burka

The best way to visit the Capitol, the state’s grandest public building, is to take the 45-minute guided tour. But there is much more to see if you know what to look for, and I’m going to tell you precisely that.

R.G.’s Take: Did the Davis filibuster do more harm than good?

Jun 2, 2011 By R.G. Ratcliffe

[Editors note: an earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards were among the groups that met with Senator Royce West last weekend to discuss the school finance plan. Neither TASA nor TASB were present at a meeting with West. However, sources close to West confirm that the TASB did convey to him that it was ambivalent about the possible benefit of a special session. The post has been corrected.] The test pilots of the 1950s had a saying for when one of their own messed up and lost an aircraft. The pilot, they said, had “screwed the pooch.” Senator Wendy Davis, her Democratic colleagues, and their consultants have—in the lingo of the test pilots—screwed the pooch. Davis’ session-ending filibuster on the public school funding formulas was hailed earlier this week as a noble stand for education and a kick in the shins of the possible presidential aspirations of Governor Rick Perry. But after talking with many sources this week who have intimate knowledge of the events leading up to the filibuster, I have a different view of it. Now it looks far more like a pyrrhic victory that increases the possibility that bills will pass that will harm teachers and the Texas Democratic Party for the decade to come.

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…

White noise

Nov 9, 2009 By Paul Burka

I keep getting e-mails from friends in the politics game that Bill White is going to switch to run for governor. Got one this morning, in fact. Burnt Orange gives life to the rumors today as well. My Houston-based colleague Mimi Swartz made some calls at my request,…

Would Perry pick Patrick?

Aug 17, 2009 By Paul Burka

I confess that I didn’t pay a lot of attention to Dan Patrick’s reelection announcement last week, but one thing struck me as very peculiar. Here are the first three paragraphs of the release: “During the past few weeks there has been speculation I might run for, or be appointed…