Two years after Texas’ voting rights showdown gripped the nation, lawmakers again push dozens of elections bills
State policymakers have mapped out familiar territory early in the legislative session, with Democrats seeking to expand voting access and Republicans pledging to make elections more secure.
Texas House selects Rep. Dade Phelan as speaker for another legislative session
Phelan defeated Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, for the House leadership position in a vote, 145-3. In cruising to victory, Phelan secured the support of Democrats as well as the most conservative members of his party.
Texas Republicans in tight races open to rape and incest exceptions to abortion ban
In some battleground state legislative races, Republicans have been making overtures to those who believe the ban as too extreme. They have said they are open to revising the ban to include the exceptions — and even voiced confidence that the Legislature will do so when it reconvenes in January.
Texas health agency says its plan to extend maternal Medicaid coverage is 'not approvable' by feds
HHSC said it was initially told the plan was “not approvable.” Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a statement Friday saying Texas’ plan to extend coverage to six months was not rejected but still under review.sacurrent.com
Texas House publishes report of Uvalde school shooting investigation in Spanish
The House committee investigating the Uvalde school shooting said it intended to publish the report in both languages but was unable to get it translated before a meeting last Sunday when the English version was released.
Sen. Roland Gutierrez said details in report, video footage are not enough
The full Texas House Investigative Report, as well as hallway and body cam footage from inside Robb Elementary have now been released. However the shooting victims' families are telling their state Senator Roland Gutierrez, that's not enough.
Texas Department of Public Safety investigating how 91 of its troopers and Rangers responded to Uvalde school shooting
The department’s officers made up nearly one-fourth of the 376 law enforcement members who responded to Texas’ deadliest school shooting. Announcement of the inquiry came one day after a report criticized police response to the massacre.
Sister of Uvalde massacre victim testifies before Texas House committee, implores passage of gun safety legislation
Jazmin Cazares, the sister of Uvalde shooting victim Jacklyn Cazares, testified in front of the Texas House of Representatives Thursday on behalf of her sister and cousin Annabell Rodriguez, another victim of the massacre.
8 Mission police officers recognized at Texas Capitol for their valor
Eight Mission police officers were recognized Friday at the State Capitol in Austin on the Texas House of Representatives chamber floor for their bravery in two high profile incidents, one of which resulted in the death of fellow officer Cpl. Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta Jr. who was also recognized posthumously.myrgv.com
Texas House speaker pitches spending more than $100 million for mental health, school safety programs
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had asked House leaders to support his push for arming school police officers with bulletproof shields after the Uvalde shooting. House Speaker Dade Phelan is also asking for more money for mental health and school safety programs.
Analysis: Gerrymandering has left Texas voters with few options
Texans who don’t vote in primaries and primary runoffs are missing a chance to choose who goes to Congress and the Texas Legislature. Thanks to the political maps drawn by lawmakers last year, only a handful of those contests will be competitive in November.
More than half of the Texas House wants to stop the execution of Melissa Lucio, convicted of killing her toddler
Despite substantive doubts surrounding the cause of her child’s death and a suspect “confession” obtained after hours of interrogation, Lucio is set to be executed next month for killing her 2-year-old daughter.
Texas far-right conservatives spent millions to oust House GOP leaders, to little avail
In the Texas House, the biggest intraparty attack on Republican leadership came from the Defend Texas Liberty PAC, led by former state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford. Backed by hard-right donors like Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks, West Texas oil tycoons, the group spent at least $5.2 million from January onward.
State GOP leaders win big in Texas legislative primaries
Almost all the preferred candidates of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan nabbed enough votes to head into the November general election. And nearly all sitting House and Senate members seeking to return to the Texas Capitol kept their seats.
Zaffrini's Senate District 21 remains in Hays County
Hays County will continue to be a part of Senate District 21, represented by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo following the completion of the redistricting process for the Congressional, Texas Senate, Texas House and State Board of Education maps.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Proposed Texas House map splits Hays County, draws Zweiner out of District 45
A proposed Texas House map would separate Hays County into two different districts and State Rep.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News District 45, House of Representatives, Erin Zwiener, San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
As a group of Texas Democratic lawmakers flee to DC to protest Republican efforts to overhaul voting rights, Rep. Morales stays behind – The Big Bend Sentinel
AUSTIN –A majority of Democrats from the Texas House of Representatives left the state on Monday in an attempt to block two voting restriction bills being pushed by Republicans through the special legislative session that began last Thursday. By not appearing at the legislative chambers in Austin, the dozens of Democrats left the House without a quorum, preventing the Legislature from voting on Governor Greg Abbott’s priority bills and effectively bringing the special session to a grinding halt.bigbendsentinel.com
Texas Democrats dig in after exodus; GOP threatens arrest
Abbott has already threatened Democrats with arrest once they come back home, which may not be until the current 30-day special session ends in August. State Rep. Eddie Morales, one of four Democrats who stayed behind, said it his understanding that troopers would not leave Texas. Despite the exodus by Democrats, Abbott has said Republicans will not be deterred. Texas Democrats, shut out of power in the state Capitol for decades, last fled the state in 2003 to thwart a redistricting plan. But they were unable to arrest the lawmakers without a warrant issued by Oklahoma authorities, and the lawmakers refused the troopers’ request.myrgv.com
Texas House Democrats preparing to flee the state in move that could block voting restrictions bill, bring Legislature to a halt
Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives plan to leave the state and fly to Washington, D.C., Monday afternoon, according to sources with knowledge of the plan, in a bid to again deny Republica[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Texas Democrats leave state to try to stop GOP voting bill
Democrats in the Texas Legislature on Monday bolted for Washington, D.C., and said they were ready to remain there for weeks in a second revolt against a GOP overhaul of election laws, forcing a dramatic new showdown over voting rights in America. Private planes carrying a large group of Democrats took off from an airport in Austin, skipping town just days before the Texas House of Representatives was expected to give early approval to sweeping new voting restrictions in a special legislative session.news.yahoo.com
Texas GOP’s voting restrictions bill could be rewritten behind closed doors after key House vote
As opposition to Texas Republicans’ proposed voting restrictions continues to intensify, state lawmakers’ deliberations over the GOP priority legislation could soon go behind closed doors. The...sacurrent.com
With committee approval, Texas Lege is one step closer to making carryout cocktails permanent
click to enlarge Instagram / calahanspizzaCalahan’s Pub in San Antonio is one the Texas restaurants offering a variety of cocktails to-go. A committee of the Texas House of Representatives has approved wider debate of a cocktails-to-go bill, a significant step toward permanently loosening the state's strict alcohol laws.The House Licensing and Administrative Procedures (LAP) Committee unanimously passed HB 1024 Wednesday, a step along the way to making permanent a temporary order that lets bars and restaurants sell mixed drinks for takeout.In a bid to help restaurants survive the pandemic, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last June temporarily cleared businesses to sell to-go cocktails, so long as they are in sealed, tamper-proof containers and accompanied by a food item. "We thank the House LAP committee for moving this measure forward and encourage the full House to take up and pass this bill as soon as possible.”The bill now is set to be considered by the full Texas House. It would still need approval by the Texas Senate and the governor before becoming law.sacurrent.com
Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen tests positive for coronavirus
The outgoing speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Dennis Bonnen , R-Angleton, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a post on his Facebook page Sunday. Bonnen said he tested positive this weekend and has mild symptoms. His wife, Kim Bonnen, tested positive last week and “continues to battle difficult but manageable symptoms,” he said. The first statewide elected official to publicly confirm a positive coronavirus test was Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann in May. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller tested positive earlier this month.sacurrent.com
The Mendoza Line: Lawmaker files resolution to make gerrymandering Texas’ official form of vote rigging
click to enlarge Texas House of RepresentativesA map of Texas' gerrymandered-to-hell 68th District. Mendoza LineThe bluebonnet is Texas’ state flower. The pecan its state tree.Now, Republican State Rep. Drew Springer has filed a resolution designating gerrymandering as Texas’ official form of vote rigging.Springer represents Texas House District 68, which is one of the most blatantly gerrymandered districts in the state. We need to crush all hope now that we have this redistricting opportunity, and shrewd redistricting is our best shot. My resolution making gerrymandering the official form of vote-rigging in Texas hammers that home.”sacurrent.com
Glitter Political: Democrat Ina Minjarez prepares for another session playing defense in the Texas House
click to enlarge Jade Esteban EstradaDemocrat Ina Minjarez believes that if she wasn’t an outspoken female voice in the Texas House of Representatives, she’d have made a great fitness instructor or personal trainer. Minjarez won the special election to replace him as House District 124’s new representative. “There are so many different members with different personalities and we may disagree on issues. “I think it’s important that these key committees reflect the way that the Texas population is looking.”Thanksgiving will look a little different in 2020 due to the pandemic. “I have just grown accustomed to always playing defense as a Democrat at the state legislature.sacurrent.com
As Democrats divebomb, the Texas Legislature remains as white and male as ever
That means the power remains with the GOP, whose side of the Legislature is both overwhelmingly male and white. Republican Party leaders tapped Jacey Jetton, an Asian American businessman, who won an open seat in highly diverse Fort Bend County. Jetton defeated another challenger there only after the Republican incumbent, Rick Miller, a white male, dropped out. Meanwhile, all six Republican women in the Texas House defended their seats on Tuesday, and most emerged unscathed. Meanwhile, Republicans may have already picked their new speaker, Beaumont Representative Dade Phelan, yet another white male.sacurrent.com
Analysis: A Texas election with a decade of politics at stake
click to enlarge Wikimedia Commons / Zereshk (talk | contribs)The Texas House of Representatives meets during a legislative session. Their new political maps remade the Texas delegation to Congress and with it, the makeup of the U.S. House. If, on the other hand, the Democrats win the House, Republicans will have to negotiate — especially on congressional maps. They’d exercise an effective veto over Republican maps — not enough to pass maps of their own, but enough to deny the other party that privilege. If that seems like a thin chance for Texas Democrats, it’s because it’s a thin chance.sacurrent.com