QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I don’t believe in separation of church and state.”
—State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. to KVEO-TV on Monday. Lucio, who represents Brownsville, made waves as the only Democrat to come out in support of the proposed bathroom bill. When asked about his vote, Lucio told KVEO-TV that submitting votes for him is “an act of faith” and “of moral obligation.”
Special Ed Fix
It’s been about eight months since the Houston Chronicle exposed the state’s arbitrary special education enrollment cap and other problems in how Texas handles students with special needs, and today the state legislature is set to hold hearings for a handful of bills aimed at reforming Texas’s special education programs, according to the Chronicle. The House Public Education Committee will discuss a bill that would provide additional funding for students with autism and dyslexia, one that would allow the state to study how standardized tests impact students with disabilities, and another bill that would keep Texas from implementing a special education enrollment cap, among other bills. According to the Chronicle, state lawmakers have filed a grand total of 51 bills this year dealing with special education, compared to just thirty last session. Special education reform is clearly a priority not just for the Lege, but also for Governor Greg Abbott, who tweeted over the weekend that “Texas will fix flaws in special education beginning this week. We’ll get this done this session.” But there are some significant road blocks. As the Chronicle notes, the Lege’s budget is in rough shape, which could make it difficult to for lawmakers to move forward on pieces of legislation that come with a big price tag.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Not Nice ICE
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents rounded up and arrested a whopping 153 people in South and Central Texas during a twelve-day span at the tail end of March, according to the Austin American-Statesman. This is the third large-scale raid the agency has conducted in Texas after President Donald Trump signed several executive orders empowering ICE to crack down on undocumented immigrants earlier this year. The first raid came in February, when ICE collected 51 people in Austin, and the second was in March, when ICE arrested 26 people while they were completing court-appointed community service in Fort Worth. ICE claimed all of the people arrested in this latest roundup had prior criminal convictions (that wasn’t true the last time ICE hit Austin). According to the Statesman, the late March raids took place in Austin, San Antonio, Waco, Laredo, and Harlingen, rounding up 140 people from Mexico, seven from Honduras, three from Guatemala, two from Canada and one from El Salvador.
A Texas law enforcement officer was shot and killed in Baytown on Monday morning, according to the Houston Chronicle. Investigators of the shooting told the Chronicle that Clint Greenwood, a longtime veteran of local law enforcement who was recently hired as a chief deputy constable in Harris County, was ambushed in a “hit job.” The suspected gunman is still on the loose. Greenwood spent a good chunk of his thirty-year career rooting out police misconduct and conducting internal affairs investigations, and apparently Greenwood had expressed concern just a week ago that he felt threatened by the subject of an old corruption investigation. “I believe [this person] poses a real threat to my and my family’s safety,” Greenwood said in an email sent Thursday to the Harris County Attorney’s office, according to the Chronicle. No arrests have been made yet, and there’s a $65,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to an arrest. Greenwood leaves behind a wife, two kids, and two step-children.
Anybody Want Romo?
Quarterback Tony Romo is definitely on his way out of Dallas, but it sure is taking a while for the veteran to find a new partner. The field of potential suitors seemingly thins with each passing day, as teams sign other signal callers to fill holes that seemed to be a good fit for Romo. The Cowboys are doing everything they can to make him available. According to the Dallas Morning News, team owner Jerry Jones has told other NFL teams that they can freely contact Romo and schedule workouts, physical assessments, or meetings with Romo’s agent. But, there are a few catches: teams have to notify the Cowboys before contacting Romo, and the negotiations would have to be limited to altering Romo’s existing contract. So the Cowboys are still basically the masters of Romo’s fate, probably angling for a trade rather than risk cutting Romo loose for no gain. But at this point other teams may be perfectly willing to wait it out, hoping to get Romo as a free agent rather than forking anything over for him in a trade.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
After the premiere of Showtime documentary Disgraced, which covers a 2003 murder on the Baylor basketball team, former Baylor coach Dave Bliss resigns Deadspin
A Democratic mayoral candidate in San Antonio thinks it’s “fake news” when reporters look into his background San Antonio Express-News
A prominent Texas DNA lab that identifies remains of unidentified dead people is losing a ton of federal funding Reveal
Corpus Christi is getting a fancy new bridge, and here’s what it’ll look like Corpus Christi Caller-Times
With the Trans-Pecos Pipeline now pretty much in place, what’s a protester to do? Houston Chronicle