Texas Legislature

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Politics & Policy|
January 20, 2013

Dollars and Sense

When the Legislature meets in January, lawmakers know they won’t be able to cut their way to a balanced budget. Instead, they should do what a certain Republican governor did more than twenty years ago: raise taxes.

Politics & Policy|
January 20, 2013

A Q&A With Nate Blakeslee

The Democrats will most certainly fight the Republicans over immigration reform legislation this session, but the Republican’s biggest opponents are powerful interests within their own party. Nate Blakeslee talks about grassroot efforts, tea party champions, and why immigration has become one of the most important issues facing our state.

Politics & Policy|
January 20, 2013

The Bloody Billion

Oh, how our legislators are moaning and groaning as they try to cut the state budget. But we’ve slashed, chopped, trimmed, pared, and whittles our way through it—and save $1 billion. It wasn’t that hard. Really.

Politics & Policy|
January 20, 2013

North Toward Dome

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.

Politics & Policy|
December 10, 2012

Simpson, Eh?

Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) files to run for Speaker of the House, displacing Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) as the conservative challlenger to Joe Straus (R-San Antonio). 

The Culture|
December 1, 2012

5 Things You’ll Be Talking About in December

1. When Tea Parties Attack! Article III, Section 9, of the constitution of the state of Texas tells us that when a new session of the House of Representatives is seated, its first order of business is to elect a Speaker. What the constitution doesn’t tell us is that the Speaker’s election

Politics & Policy|
June 30, 2012

Right to Strife

In Republican-dominated Texas, the May 29 primary might as well have been the general election. And what it revealed is a party perfectly capable of doing battle with itself, no Democrats required.

Politics & Policy|
June 30, 2011

The Usual Suspects

There’s an old joke that goes like this: A girl is out milking the family cow one morning when a stranger rolls up and asks if her parents are at home. The girl yells out, “Mama, there’s a man here to see you!” Her mother peers out the door and,

Politics & Policy|
February 1, 2011

Session Up

This issue went to press four days before the start of the most important legislative session of our lifetime, when lawmakers face, in addition to the testy, high-stakes business of redistricting and the supercharged debate over immigration and voter ID, an epic fiscal crisis: a budget shortfall of up to

Politics & Policy|
May 11, 2009

The smokeless tobacco fuss

The issue involved here — how smokeless tobacco products (chewing tobacco, pouches, plugs, snuff) should be taxed — is something of little importance. But the larger political context does matter. As I understand it, the question is whether this product should be taxed according to its weight or according to

Politics & Policy|
April 1, 2009

Rush to oblivion

This item from media critic Michael Wolff ran in politicalwire.com today: “The dirty little secret of conservative talk radio is that the average age of listeners is 67 and rising… What’s more, it’s the Internet that is the fast-growing and arguably more powerful political medium — and it

Politics & Policy|
January 27, 2009

(Ultra) sounding off about State of the State

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

Politics & Policy|
December 3, 2008

The First Battle

Friday, December 5, is going to be an important day—the first meeting of the working group on the House rules. This will be the first opportunity for members to learn what Tom Craddick and Terry Keel have cooked up for the next session. Will they attempt to limit parliamentary inquiries,

Politics & Policy|
April 30, 1999

Not So Rosy

Why Bush’s tax cuts are in trouble.President-anoint George W. Bush has adopted a Rose Garden strategy as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination that justifies ducking GOP rivals and the media by saying he has to concentrate on doing his job as governor. But this game plan works only

Politics & Policy|
April 1, 1993

Beer Brawl

There’s trouble brewing at the Capitol this spring, and it has lobbyists and legislators foaming at the mouth. The issue? Your right to drink a glass of fresh, tasty beer.

Politics & Policy|
January 1, 1974

We the People…

When we write a constitution for the first time in almost 100 years, everyone wants a piece of the pie. In spite of it all, the new draft turned out to be an improvement. Now it's the legislature's turn.

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