Capital Highlights — Several races headed to runoffs
A number of statewide races are headed for a May 24 runoff after the votes were tallied in the March 1 primary.Topping the ballot in the Republican races is the contest for attorney general, where inc[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Signed warrants produce no arrests of Texas Democrats for now, but perhaps a hardened resolve to stay away
It’s unclear how far Republican leadership plans to take the arrests, and there remains debate about the limits of law enforcement’s authority to detain lawmakers who are not accused of committing crimes.
Texas House Democrat Michelle Beckley announces run against Republican U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne
Beckley unveiled her plans in a video filmed inside a hotel room in the nation’s capital, where state House Democrats fled earlier this month to break quorum in protest of Republicans’ priority elections bill.
Analysis: Is the Texas Capitol a government building or a petri dish?
click to enlarge Bob Daemmrich / The Texas TribuneA crowd filled the Texas Senate gallery in 2013 when then-Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, began a filibuster of legislation tightening the state’s abortion regulations. State Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont, ended the first week of the Texas Legislature’s 2021 session with a positive COVID-19 test. The Texas House isn’t requiring members to be tested before they enter the House Chamber — the floor, they call it — for business. Testing, he noted, is available in a legislative office building near the Capitol or at the entrance where the public is tested. Most of the people who work in the Capitol don’t work in the chambers.sacurrent.com
Texas House member tests positive for coronavirus during first week of legislative session, forcing other state lawmakers into quarantine
A Texas House member tested positive for the coronavirus after being on the chamber floor for three straight days, giving lawmakers an early indication of the dangers of governing during the pandemic. State Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont, told The Texas Tribune he tested positive Thursday — three days after lawmakers gaveled in for this year’s legislative session. The first statewide elected official to publicly confirm a positive coronavirus test was Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann in May. Other state lawmakers, including Rep. Tony Tinderholt, Sen. Kel Seliger and former House Speaker Dennis Bonnen have tested positive. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller also tested positive in early December.
Pandemic leaves Texas with $1B deficit as virus still surges
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)AUSTIN, Texas – The coronavirus pandemic has created a nearly $1 billion deficit in the Texas state budget as the nation’s energy hub remains hampered by a slow recovery and a half-million fewer jobs than a year ago. The forecast Monday by state officials is brighter than bleak projections last summer that warned of a spending deficit four times the size. Texas has billions of dollars in reserves and the projected $1 billion shortfall is a fraction of the state budget, making it likely manageable for lawmakers over the five-month session. Many other states have also slashed their budgets due to the impact of the virus on the U.S. economy. It will also be the first time that Texas lawmakers have met since the August 2019 shooting at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso that killed 23 people.