The State of Texas: May 29, 2015
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What if all this rain has something to do with aliens? That’s just one of the guesses around the strange clouds (or rather, unique in a very scientific way) that formed around Robertson and Leon counties a couple of days ago. Other explanations: a government weather conspiracy, chemtrails, and/or a unique and amazing natural occurance.
40 Days and Nights – And the deluge of rain continues. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick toured hard-hit Wimberely Thursday, and while he was “short on details,” according to the Austin American-Statesman, Patrick “said that he and Gov. Greg Abbott were fully supportive of helping victims of the flood rebuild.” Senator Ted Cruz got in on the act too, calling for federal aid for the state. It’s a something of a sweet hypocracy for his critics, who point out that Cruz voted against sending aid after Hurricane Sandy hit New York. Regardless, people are already starting to rebuild, even though the rain just keeps on coming. The New York Times spent yet another day in Wimberely, highlighting the cleanup efforts and the Attorney General’s office has warned people to be wary of fraudsters as people look to hire contractors and laborers for rebuilding efforts.
Don’t Take Your Guns Signs to Town – Considering how gun-happy our state is, the following controversy is a bit surprising. A college student in Brenham has sued her school, Blinn College, “saying her constitutional rights were violated when she was shooed off the quad for displaying a pro-Second Amendment sign,” according to Fox News. “[Nicole] Sanders claims a college official accompanied by three armed campus police officers approached and said someone had complained that their display was offensive and that they wouldn’t be allowed to do it again unless they got ‘special permission.’ According to Sanders, the official added that it was unlikely such permission would be granted to advocate for gun rights.” Sanders case has been taken up by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a sorta-ACLU for the college Libertarianish set. For its part, the school said via a spokesman that it was evaluating its policies, saying “we are confident that we will be able to resolve any concerns that have been raised.”
Tick-Tock – The Lege season is winding down (two more days!) and our dear governor would very much prefer not to have a special session (can anyone blame him?). So how are things stacking up? A bill establishing a committee to investigate wrongful convictions is heading to his desk while the often-discussed texting-while-driving bill is not. That latter effort expired before the Senate could pass a House bill. Last time such a bill made it through was in 2011; Rick Perry vetoed it. As for the recent back-and-forth about open carry, “without the language limiting the power of police officers to ask those openly carrying guns to present their permits, the legislation allowing license-holders to openly carry handguns is expected to have the votes to pass both chambers,” writes the Texas Tribune. Perhaps most important is the issue of taxes in the new budget. For those with a love of such things, the Dallas Morning News has a surprisingly interesting (given the content) look at how “secret talks” and other such political intriques shaped the House-Senate tax deal.