Texas

Politics in Brief - November 12 2018 | 11-09-2018

‘RAINBOW WAVE’ IN TX Fourteen, or 40 percent, of the 35 gay, bisexual and transgender candidates on the ballot in TEXAS won their races on Tuesday. State and national activists said this election cycle, which saw a record 400 LGBTQ individuals...

Politics in Brief - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

APPEALS COURT ORDERS OH TO LET PURGED VOTERS CAST BALLOTS: The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered OHIO to allow voters purged from the state’s registration rolls for not voting over a six-year period to participate in the Nov. 6 election...

Politics in Brief - October 1 2018 | 09-28-2018

TX VOTER ROLLS SWELL TO 15.6M Nearly 400,000 names have been added to TEXAS’ voter rolls since March. The total number of registered voters in the state is now 15.6 million, 1.6 million more than at the time of the last midterm election, in 2014...

State and Local Candidates Want to Use Campaign Funds for Child Care | 08-17-2018

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) ruled in May that candidates for congressional office can use their campaign funds to pay for child care. Since then, state and local candidates across the country, including an unprecedented number of women, have...

Politics in Brief - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

SCOTUS LARGELY UPHOLDS CONTESTED TX POLITICAL DISTRICTS In a 5-4 decision last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all but one of the handful of TEXAS legislative districts and both of the congressional districts that a three-judge panel said...

Politics in Brief - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

JUDGE ORDERS TX TO ALLOW ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION THROUGH DPS: A federal judge has ordered the state of TEXAS to allow residents to register to vote online when they renew their driver’s license through the Department of Public Safety’s...

TX State Agencies Share Personal Data Just Like Facebook | 04-20-2018

Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees about his company’s data sharing policies after revelations that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica improperly...

Land Grab Lesson for Border Wall Watchers | 12-15-2017

In the spring of 2007, long before presidential candidate Donald Trump began promising to build a wall along the border with Mexico, the federal government initiated one of the most aggressive seizures of private land in decades to build a fence to keep...

Majority of Ballot Measures Win Passage | 11-10-2017

Voters in seven states considered a total of 22 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 7. Texas voters weighed seven of those measures, the highest number of the seven states. All seven measures passed, which isn’t too unusual in the Lone Star State...

Another Slow Year for Ballot Measures | 11-03-2017

On Nov. 7 voters in 7 states will consider a total of 22 statewide ballot measures, bringing the count for the year - with measures on the ballot last month in two states - to 27. That continues a downward trend in the number of measures on the ballot...

Politics in Brief - November 6 2017 | 11-03-2017

TX HOUSE SPEAKER WILL NOT SEEK REELECTION: After five terms as speaker of the TEXAS House, Rep. Joe Straus announced last month that he would not be running for re-election next year. Straus has repeatedly been criticized this year by fellow Republicans...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

Politics In Brief - September 18 2017 | 09-15-2017

SUPREME COURT STAYS TX REMAP ORDER: The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Aug. 24 ruling by a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the Western District of TEXAS that several of that state’s legislative districts had been drawn...

Politics In Brief - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

JUSTICE ALITO STAYS TX CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT REDRAW U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito temporarily stayed a lower-court ruling requiring two TEXAS congressional districts to be redrawn because they discriminated against minority voters, “pending...

TX Turning Purple? | 08-11-2017

Since 2000, millions of new residents have poured into Texas, expanding the population of Austin’s Travis County by 350,000, swelling San Antonio’s Bexar County by 500,000 and making three suburbs of those two cities among the fastest-growing...

Politics In Brief - July 24 2017 | 07-21-2017

RAIMONDO SIGNS RI VOTER REGISTRATION BILL RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signed legislation last week making the Ocean State the 9 th to allow automatic voter registration. The legislation will automatically register anyone doing business with...

DOJ Seeks End To Legal Proceedings On TX Voter ID Law | 07-14-2017

This month the U.S. Justice Department petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to take no further action against the voter ID law passed in that state in 2011 - SB 14, which has faced numerous legal challenges - because the...

TX Election Reform Bill Pleases Both Republicans And Democrats | 06-09-2017

When it comes to the issue of election reform, the Texas Legislature, dominated by Republicans, leans far more in the direction of tightening voter identification and other requirements to prevent fraud than toward expanding voter access. But this month...

Politics In Brief - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Russian Election Cyberattacks Broader Than Indicated U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of VIRGINIA , the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Russian cyberattacks on U.S. election systems were broader and impacted more states than indicated...

Politics In Brief - June 5 2017 | 06-02-2017

TX Lawmakers Approve Changes to Voter ID Law The TEXAS Legislature approved a bill ( SB 5 ) loosening the requirements of the voter ID law passed by the state in 2011, which the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year discriminated against...

Politics In Brief - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

AL SENATE VOTES TO LET CHURCH CREATE OWN POLICE FORCE The ALABAMA Senate passed a bill ( SB 193 ) that would allow the Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located in the suburbs of Birmingham, to establish its own police force. The measure on behalf of...

Politics In Brief - April 17 2017 | 04-14-2017

JUDGE RULES TX VOTER ID LAW INTENTIONALY DISCRIMINATORY U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of TEXAS Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the state’s Republican controlled Legislature deliberately discriminated against minority voters when...

Federal Court Rules TX Remap Racially Discriminatory | 03-17-2017

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit invalidated three congressional districts drawn by Texas’ GOP-led Legislature in 2011 on the grounds that the Republican lawmakers intentionally curbed the influence...

Trump Administration Drops Discrimination Claim In TX Voter ID Case | 03-03-2017

The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped its longstanding claim that the Texas Legislature intentionally discriminated against minority voters when it passed the strictest voter ID law in the nation in 2011, while maintaining that the law had a “discriminatory...

Politics In Brief - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

AR Revives Voter ID Law ARKANSAS’ Republican-controlled House approved a voter ID bill last week ( HB 1047 ) that is nearly identical to a voter ID law unanimously struck down by the state’s Supreme Court in 2014. Four of the justices in...

New GOP Majorities Push Dem-Unfriendly Agenda: | 01-13-2017

Republicans won control of a few more governors’ offices and state legislative chambers in November, giving them command of both branches of the government in states where Democrats had previously maintained footholds, including Iowa, Kentucky,...

Politics In Brief - September 12 2016 | 09-09-2016

Feds Say TX Misleading Voters about Voter ID Requirement The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a motion in federal court accusing TEXAS officials of misleading voters by telling them they can cast a ballot without a form of photo ID specified by...

Court Battle Over TX Voter ID Continues | 08-19-2016

As the Cap J reported in its last issue , a federal judge approved a plan this month that will allow Texans without government-issued IDs to vote in the November election if they sign a declaration of citizenship and present proof of residence, such as...

Politics In Brief - August 15 2016 | 08-12-2016

Judge Approves Watered Down TX Voter ID Law U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos approved a plan last week eliminating the mandatory requirement for TEXAS voters to present an ID before casting a ballot in the November election. The change, necessitated...

Tough Day For GOP-Backed Voter Restrictions | 08-05-2016

Local and federal courts struck down Republican-backed voter restrictions in three states in a single day last month. A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a North Carolina law restricting the number of acceptable forms...

Politics In Brief - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

CO Voters to Consider Minimum Wage Increase A proposal to raise COLORADO’s minimum wage appears to be headed for the state’s November ballot, with backers saying this month that they expected to deliver 200,000 petition signatures to the...

Supreme Court Refuses to Block TX Voter ID Law - For Now | 05-05-2016

Last month the U.S. Supreme Court refused for the second time to block Texas’ voter ID law - the strictest in the nation, allowing only certain forms of photo ID, including gun licenses but not student IDs - from remaining in effect. The justices...

Supreme Court Upholds One Person, One Vote | 04-08-2016

In one of the most consequential cases of its current term, Evenwel v. Abbott , the U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously last week to uphold the standard of one person, one vote in drawing election districts. Two Texas voters had argued that only eligible...

Politics In Brief - November 23 2015 | 11-20-2015

High Court to Hear TX Abortion Case The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a legal challenge to the abortion restrictions passed in TEXAS in 2013 as part of HB 2. Those provisions require abortion facilities to meet hospital-like ambulatory surgery...

Federal Court Rejects TX Voter ID Law | 08-07-2015

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Texas’ four-year-old voter ID law is not an unconstitutional “poll tax” as plaintiffs alleged but that it has a “discriminatory effect” that violates the federal...

Politics In Brief - July 13 2015 | 07-10-2015

States to Wrap Up Same Sex Marriage Cases The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered judges in LOUISIANA , MISSISSIPPI , and TEXAS to wrap up same-sex marriage cases in their states in line with last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The...

Politics Kills Clean Energy In TX | 06-19-2015

A Texas rebate program for electric vehicles is ending on June 26 – only about a year after it began. Not because state leaders think green rebates are a waste of money or threaten the free market. In fact, a House committee unanimously passed a...

Politics In Brief - June 15 2015 | 06-12-2015

TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said last week he did not plan to call a special session to consider legislation to bar county clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses despite calls for that action. A ruling is expected soon from the U.S. Supreme Court...

County Officials Kill Online Voting Bill In TX | 05-08-2015

A bill to bring online voter registration to Texas came before the state’s House Elections Committee this month. Dozens of people signed up in support of the measure, HB 76, and a number of experts testified about its viability, but a handful of...

Gun Rights Push In TX About More than 2nd Amendment | 04-17-2015

Thanks in part to the relative looseness of its gun laws, Texas is already known as a gun-friendly state. But Republican lawmakers who control both chambers of the Legislature are pushing for additional freedoms, including “campus carry” and...

Debate Over Local Control In TX | 03-13-2015

A bill spiritedly debated before the Texas Senate’s Business and Commerce Committee last week would prohibit cities from passing laws forcing landlords to accept federal housing vouchers. Opponents of the bill, SB 267, which was spurred by a local...