Texas

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...

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...

Sanctuary Cities Split Country | 04-28-2017

To anyone who has watched the national political culture split into two poles over the last decade or so, it should be little surprise that the country is moving in opposite directions on so-called sanctuary cities, those which bar local officials from...

Crime & Punishment - April 17 2017 | 04-14-2017

Texas Approves HB 281 The TEXAS House approves HB 281 , which would create a statewide database for DNA evidence from sexual assault. It moves to the Senate (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN). Iowa Approves SB 444 The IOWA Senate gives final approval...

Social Policy - April 17 2017 | 04-14-2017

Texas Approves SB 522 The TEXAS Senate approves SB 522 , which would allow county clerks to recuse themselves from signing marriage licenses for same-sex couples because of religious objections. It moves now to the House (TEXAS TRIBUNE).

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...

Crime & Punishment - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Alabama Approves HB 36 The ALABAMA House approves HB 36 , which would extend the Heart of Dixie’s so-called “stand your ground” law, which allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves, to include churches. It moves to the...

Health & Science - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Kansas Vetoes HB 2044 The KANSAS House fails to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) veto of HB 2044 , which would have expanded Medicaid in the Sunflower State to include people with incomes at 133 percent of the poverty line (KANSAS CITY STAR...

The Devil Ain’t Making Them Do It | 03-31-2017

Rare is the day some lawmaker somewhere doesn’t invoke their religion as cause for opposing or supporting a bill. But as my religious friends will tell you, if you have God then you also have to have Satan, and Old Ned is definitely looking to make...

Opioid Overdose Rates Up and Rising in States | 03-31-2017

Between 2014 and 2015 death rates due to opioid overdose rose by over 25 percent - more than twice the national average (11 percent) - in five states and the District of Columbia. The five states with the highest opioid death rates in 2015 were West Virginia...

Education - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

Mississippi Legislature Approves SB 2273 The MISSISSIPPI Legislature gives final approval to SB 2273 , which would reinforce that cursive writing be taught to Magnolia State public school students. It is now with Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who is expected...

Governors in Brief - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

MORE GOVS NOW PONDERING MEDICAID EXPANSION : With the failure of the Congressional proposal to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, a growing number of governors are expressing openness to expanding their states’ Medicaid programs...

Budgets in Brief - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

ID PASSES GROCERY TAX REPEAL: The IDAHO Legislature has passed legislation repealing the state’s tax on groceries, effective July 1, 2018. If signed by Gov. C.L. Butch Otter (R), IDAHO would join 37 other states without a grocery tax. (ASSOCIATED...

All In the Name of Good Health | 03-17-2017

Texas state Rep. Jessica Farrar isn’t fond of her male colleagues proposing bills they claim will protect women’s health but which she says are in fact barely-veiled attempts to block women from obtaining a legal abortion. So, as the Houston...

Social Policy - March 20 2017 | 03-17-2017

New Jersey Approves AB 3091 The NEW JERSEY Senate approves AB 3091 , which would set the legal age for marriage at 18. The measure, which is intended to prevent forced arranged marriages, moves to Gov. Chris Christie (R) for consideration (NJ.COM)...

Potpourri - March 20 2017 | 03-17-2017

Texas Approves HB 62 The TEXAS House approves HB 62 , which would ban Lone Star State motorists from texting while behind the wheel. It needs one more affirmative vote in the House before it can move to the Senate (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN). ...

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...

Dams With ‘High Hazard Potential’ Scattered Across U.S. | 03-17-2017

As of 2015, 1,235 of North Carolina’s dams were classified as “high hazard potential” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest number in the nation. Texas had 1,212 dams with that same hazard potential, meaning that a...

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...

Budgets In Brief - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

GA Approves Supplemental Budget GEORGIA’s General Assembly has approved a midyear, supplemental spending plan that includes about $27 million to give 20 percent raises to state law enforcement officers and $50 million for a new cybersecurity...

Gov. Bad Luck Charm | 02-03-2017

If you are a Dallas Cowboys fan it might behoove you to lobby team owner Jerry Jones to stop letting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) anywhere near them. For the unaware, in spite of his Garden State roots Christie is a rabid Cowboys fan. That has never...

Social Policy - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

Arkansas Approves HB 1035 The ARKANSAS House approves HB 1035 , which would bar the use of food stamps to buy junk food. Under the measure, food stamp recipients would be allowed to purchase only foods contained on a list of approved items developed...

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...

TX Gov. Blocks Funding to ‘Sanctuary City’ | 02-03-2017

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) blocked $1.5 million in state funding for courts, crime victim services and other programs in Austin, the state’s most liberal city, after the city’s sheriff, Sally Hernandez, a Democrat, announced that jails there...

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,...

Texas Cities Troubled by Pension Liabilities | 12-09-2016

Chicago has the largest unfunded pension liability of any city in the nation - more than seven times its annual operating revenues - according to a new report from Moody’s. But four of the other cities on the financial analysis firm’s list...

Just So Much Wrong With This | 11-04-2016

Texas state House candidate Kyle Biedermann isn’t wasting any time living down to the shady stereotype many folks have of elected officials. As the Texas Tribune reports , Biedermann recently took great pains to invite a host of Lone Star State...

Crime & Punishment - October 24 2016 | 10-21-2016

Crime In Florida The FLORIDA Supreme Court rules that death penalty verdicts must be unanimous. The ruling strikes down a Sunshine State law that allowed for capital punishment verdicts when just 10 of 12 jurors agree. It is yet to be determined how...

As Good As It Gets | 10-21-2016

And then there is this: the campaign video from Texas County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty. In an election season most people will desperately be trying to forget, this is one you will want to remember and maybe even share with your friends...who actually...

Social Policy - October 24 2016 | 10-21-2016

Social Policy In Texas A federal judge in TEXAS reaffirms that a temporary injunction barring federal officials from enforcing a school directive on transgender bathrooms applied to every state in the nation. The Obama administration was seeking to...

States Sue To Block Federal Overtime Rule | 09-30-2016

Twenty-one predominantly Republican-governed states have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Obama administration rule extending mandatory overtime pay to millions of American workers. The rule, which was finalized in May and takes effect in December...

He Came, He Danced, He Went Home | 09-30-2016

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s dancing days are over. Yes, as the Houston Press reports, Perry last week became the second dancer this season to be voted off the ABC reality dancing show “Dancing With The Stars.” Alas, his demise came...