Texas

How’s That Again? | 11-10-2017

Stretching the facts to fit your narrative is nothing new to politics. One could even argue it is as normal as the sun rising in the east. But few can stretch further or with a straighter face than former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. These days Perry is the...

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...

Many States ‘Substantially Unprepared’ For Next Recession | 10-20-2017

With over eight years having passed since the end of the Great Recession, the third longest period of economic expansion in U.S. history, the next downturn could come at any time. But many states aren’t well prepared for it, according to a report...

Higher Cost Of Disasters Could Portend Cost Shift To States | 10-20-2017

This past week, as firefighters continued to battle deadly wildfires in Northern California, officials there said this could become one of the Golden State’s worst ever fire seasons, coming on the heels of a historically wet winter and the hottest...

Hurricane Harvey Big Short-Term Blow to TX Budget: | 10-13-2017

Texas state Comptroller Glenn Hegar (R) said last week that the cost of responding to Hurricane Harvey, including dispatching first responders, repairing roads and aiding affected schools, could reach $2 billion in the current two-year budget cycle. ...

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...

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

ABBOTT ORDERS FREE REPLACEMENT GUN CARDS: TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbott (R) directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to waive the cost of replacing licenses to carry handguns for residents who lost their cards as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Residents...

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...

Audit Reveals TX Ag Agency Charged Higher Fees Than Necessary | 09-08-2017

In January of last year Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller (R) significantly raised fees - by hundreds of dollars in many cases and more than doubling them in some - for a range of services the Department of Agriculture provides, maintaining that...

Regulation Of Self-Driving Cars Picking Up Speed In States | 09-08-2017

Early last year SNCJ reported that while the development of autonomous, or self-driving, car technologies by Google, Uber, Tesla Motors and others was “progressing rapidly,” state efforts to regulate the testing and operation of such vehicles...

Immigration - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

Illinois Signs SB 31 ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs SB 31 , a bill that prohibits police from searching, arresting or detaining someone solely because of immigration status, or because of so-called federal immigration detainers. The law does...

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...

Social Policy - August 21 2017 | 08-18-2017

Texas Fails To Endorse SB 6 In a special session, the TEXAS House fails to endorse SB 6 , which would have required residents to use the bathroom that matches their genetic makeup at birth. It is the second time this year the Lone Star State House...

TX Digging Multi-Billion Dollar Budget Hole | 08-18-2017

During the regular session, Texas lawmakers balanced the state’s 2018-19 budget in part through one time measures and funding shifts - including setting aside $2 billion less than required for Medicaid and deferring funding for transportation -...

Budgets In Brief - August 21 2017 | 08-18-2017

CA LAWMAKERS CONSIDERING BILLIONS IN SPENDIND PROPOSALS CALIFORNIANS could vote on billions of dollars in new spending for low-income housing, water projects and parks improvements next year if Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and state lawmakers approve several...

Texas’ Infrastructure Best In Nation In 2017 | 08-18-2017

Texas has the best infrastructure in the country, according to CNBC’s 2017 “America’s Top States for Business” rankings . With only 1.7 percent of its bridges deemed “structurally deficient” but a 25.6 minute average...

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...

Social Policy - August 14 2017 | 08-11-2017

Texas Approves HB 214 The TEXAS House approves HB 214 , which requires women to pay an additional insurance premium if they want their health plan to cover abortions performed outside of medical emergencies. The bill, which does not contain exceptions...

Self-Driving Cars Could Be Costly for Cities | 08-11-2017

Not long from now, fleets of self-driving cars could be transporting passengers all over America’s cities. The resulting reduction in the need for privately owned vehicles poses a significant problem for those cities’ governments. “Municipalities...

Budgets In Brief - August 14 2017 | 08-11-2017

LOTTERY REVENUES DOWN IN NM Lottery proceeds for the 2017 fiscal year in NEW MEXICO were down $8.5 million, or about 18 percent, from last fiscal year. The decline is believed to be due in part to a reduction in prize payouts resulting from legislative...

States Attend To Issue Of Medical ‘Balance Billing’ | 08-11-2017

The practice among out-of-network healthcare providers of billing patients when the patients’ insurance carriers don’t cover the full cost of the providers’ services - known as “balance billing” - isn’t the healthcare...

Budgets In Brief - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

NEW JERSEY EMPLOYEES TO GET BACK PAY State workers in NEW JERSEY will get back pay for time off they had to take during the state’s government shutdown last month. Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed legislation this week authorizing retroactive pay...

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...

States Over-Riding Local Riding Rules | 07-14-2017

The gig business is becoming really big business. And as the number of people using ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft has mushroomed in the last couple of years - with no sign of leveling off - local governments around the country have sought to regulate...

Social Policy - July 10 2017 | 07-07-2017

Social Policy In Texas The TEXAS Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have no right to spousal benefits in the Lone Star State. The court unanimously determined that while a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling clearly legalized same-sex marriage, that...

States Address Cybersecurity, Election Reform And Other Issues | 07-07-2017

Despite the unusual amount of uncertainty heading into this year’s state legislative sessions, a few of the issues we predicted last December might receive particular attention from lawmakers, such as cybersecurity and transportation funding, have...

Education - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Florida Signs SB 436 FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) signs SB 436 , a measure to ensure that students are able to express their religious views in class assignments, on their clothing or jewelry or by praying during the school day (ORLANDO SENTINEL). ...

Budgets In Brief - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

IL Gov Calls Special Budget Session ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has called a special session to try to end the state’s unprecedented budget impasse that has already drug on for two years and will enter its third on July 1. The special session...

Potpourri - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Rhode Island Approves SB 555 The RHODE ISLAND Senate approves SB 555 , which would require parents to take an online driving course ahead of their children obtaining a driver’s license. It moves to the House, which passed a similar bill last...

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...

And Then Again, Again | 06-02-2017

Hey, Texas is on a roll! Yep, not to be outdone by some teachers harassing schoolkids, Gov. Greg Abbott took the opportunity last week to show his own backside to the world by making a joke about shooting reporters. As reported by The Hill , Abbott was...

Business - June 5 2017 | 06-02-2017

California Approves AB 168 The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves AB 168 , so-called “gender equity” legislation that would bar Golden State employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. It moves to the Senate (SACRAMENTO BEE...

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...

Business - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

Nevada Approves SB 106 The NEVADA Senate approves SB 106 , which would raise the Silver State minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022. The measure, which would hike the wage standard by .75 cents every year for the next five years, moves to the Assembly...

Crime & Punishment - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

California Approves SB 439 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 439 , which would ensure that counties treat juvenile offenders 11 or younger in the child services system instead of the juvenile courts. It moves to the Assembly (ASSOCIATED PRESS). ...

Education - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

Texas Approves SB 7 The TEXAS Senate gives final approval to SB 7 , which would require Lone Star State principals and superintendents to report inappropriate teacher-student relationships or face jail time and fines up to $10,000. It moves to Gov...

Education - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Texas Approves Senate Bill 7 The TEXAS House approves Senate Bill 7 , which would require principals and superintendents to report teachers having inappropriate relationships with students or face a state jail felony or a fine of up to $10,000. It...

Immigration - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Texas Approves SB 1018 The TEXAS Senate approves SB 1018 , legislation that would make it easier for the state to license privately run detention centers as “family residential centers” in order to hold immigrant families in detention centers...

Social Policy - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Texas Approves HB 3859 The TEXAS House approves HB 3859 , which would allow foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender households over religious objections. It moves to the Senate (AUSTIN...

Business - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Vermont Approves HB 196 The VERMONT House approves HB 196 , which would require business owners to provide workers with six weeks of family leave at 80 percent of their salary, paid for by a statewide payroll tax on all workers. The measure moves to...

Education - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Louisiana Approves HB 79 The LOUISIANA House unanimously approves HB 79 , which would ban the paddling of disabled students at Pelican State public schools. The bill moves to the Senate (ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE]). Arizona Signs SB 1042 ARIZONA...

Immigration - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Texas Approves SB 4 The TEXAS Senate gives final approval to SB 4 , which would make it a crime for law enforcement to refuse cooperation with federal immigration officials. Local jurisdictions could also face fines of up to $25,000 per day for violating...

Business - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Texas Approves HB 100 The TEXAS House approves HB 100 , which would establish a statewide framework for regulating ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The measure, which would also override local regulations already in place, would establish...

Crime & Punishment - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Crime In Colorado The United States Supreme Court rules that people freed from prison when their convictions are reversed deserve a refund of what they paid in fees, court costs and restitution. The ruling also orders COLORADO to refund several thousand...

Education - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Oklahoma Approves HB 1693 The OKLAHOMA Senate approves HB 1693 , which would overhaul the Sooner State’s public school accountability system to give equal weight to student performance in English language arts and mathematics as well as student...

Health & Science - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Health In Texas And Arizona The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules that states may not import drugs used for lethal injection. The agency said the drugs states like TEXAS and ARIZONA were seeking to bring in were unapproved and misbranded (TEXAS...