Texas Senate

Politics & Policy |
June 25, 2009

Can Watson win?

Kirk Watson’s trial balloon is in the air, as he weighs whether to run for governor in 2010. Here are the questions he should be considering. Q. Can any Democrat win the governorship in 2010, or will the D’s repeat the mistake they made in 2002, when they put fielded

Burka Blog |
May 12, 2009

The Lowly Senate

As I go about interviewing members of the Capitol community for the Best and Worst Legislators story, I have been surprised by the low regard for the Senate. I know no one is going to feel sorry for lobbyists, but … a recurring theme among this cursed crowd is that

Politics & Policy |
April 21, 2009

Sharp: If at first you don’t secede…

John Sharp has a spot on YouTube criticizing his former, or perhaps current, and possibly even future friend Rick Perry for his remarks about secession. Here is the text of "The Greatest Country on Earth," in which Sharp does not mention Perry by name: During World War II

Politics & Policy |
April 20, 2009

Senate gives final passage to unemployment bill

Seeking final passage of his bill drawing down federal money for the unemployment compensation fund, Sen. Kevin Eltife argued that taking federal money — despite the strings attached —  is a good deal for Texas employers and will actually save them money. By October, the unemployment insurance fund will be nearly

Politics & Policy |
March 18, 2009

Needle exchange passes Senate

Republican Senator Bob Deuell passed his needle exchange bill from the Senate today, despite opposition from his own party and Texas Eagle Forum president Cathie Adams. Voting no were Republicans Craig Estes, Troy Fraser, Joan Hoffman, Steve Ogden, Dan Patrick, Florence Shapiro and Tommy Williams. “I know this is a

Politics & Policy |
January 23, 2009

Let the (shell) games begin

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

Politics & Policy |
January 14, 2009

One Senate rule clearly in effect

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

Politics & Policy |
January 14, 2009

The Senate’s conundrum

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

Politics & Policy |
March 1, 1997

Out of Control

Democratic lieutenant governor Bob Bullock’s immense power over the Texas Senate has vanished almost overnight. The Republican majority, which everyone said wouldn’t make any difference in how the Senate functions, made a difference after all. When Florence Shapiro of Plano successfully challenged Buster Brown of Lake Jackson, a Bullock ally,