Texas

Governors In Brief - September 21 2015 | 09-18-2015

TX-Mexico Border Deal TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an agreement with Mexico that, among several things, promotes bilateral collaboration on motor vehicle border land crossings and future border infrastructure projects (LANDLINE MAGAZINE). ...

Majority of Drone Encounters Happening in Five States | 09-10-2015

A little over half (51.6 percent) of the 952 encounters between drones and manned aircraft reported to the FAA since the beginning of 2014 originated from five states, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. More than 20 percent, or 196...

TX Utility Regulators Grapple With Massive Bankruptcy | 09-04-2015

For the last month Texas’ Public Utility Commission has been pondering the complex financial structure of Energy Future Holdings. Buried by $40 billion in debt, the company filed for Chapter 11 protection last year, one of the largest bankruptcy...

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...

Governors In Brief - July 20 2015 | 07-17-2015

Investigation Into Planned Parenthood At least four Republican governors have ordered state health officials to investigate the operations of Planned Parenthood clinics in their states after a video surreptitiously captured by an anti-abortion group...

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...

Social Policy - July 6 2015 | 07-02-2015

OH Approves SB 127 The OHIO Senate approves SB 127, which would bar doctors from performing an abortion after a woman has reached 20 weeks of her pregnancy. The measure moves to the House (COLUMBUS DISPATCH). Supreme Court Agrees TX Abortion Clinics...

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...

Education - June 22 2015 | 06-19-2015

NY Endorses SB 5965 University Sex Assault Bill The NEW YORK Assembly and Senate each endorse SB 5965, which would create a statewide definition of what constitutes consensual sexual activity at Empire State public and private colleges and universities...

Potpourri - June 22 2015 | 06-19-2015

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that TEXAS did not violate the First Amendment by refusing to allow the issuing of specialty license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag. The High Court ruled that such plates are the government’s speech and are...

Abbot Signs Border Security Bills | 06-12-2015

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot (R) signed a package of bills that will commit hundreds of millions of state dollars to bolster security along the Texas-Mexico border. The measures, HB 10, HB 11 and HB 12, collectively contain a wide array of elements, including...

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...

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

CA Proposes SB 789 Drought-inspired legislation proposed in CALIFORNIA would authorize local water authorities to seek voter approval to impose 300 percent taxes on the bills of excessive water users. The bill (SB 789) needs a two-thirds majority in...

Immigration - June 15 2015 | 06-12-2015

TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbot (R) signs SB 374, which requires state agencies, colleges and universities to use the federal electronic employment verification system known as E-Verify when screening job applicants. The bill codifies into law an executive order...

Crime & Law Enforcement - June 8 2015 | 06-05-2015

CO Signs HB 1043 COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signs HB 1043, legislation that makes a fourth DUI a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of as much as $500,000. The law takes effect Aug. 5 (CASPER STAR TRIBUNE, LEXISNEXIS...

Health & Science - June 8 2015 | 06-05-2015

CA Senate Approves SB 151 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 151, a bill that would raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. It moves to the Assembly (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET). The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 140, a bill that would regulate electronic...

Potpourri - June 8 2015 | 06-05-2015

TX Legislature Approves HB 910 The TEXAS Legislature gives final approval to HB 910, a bill that will allow certain Lone Star State residents to openly carry handguns. Under the measure, someone with a concealed carry gun permit could also openly carry...

State Lawmakers Growing Less Enthused About 'Local Control' | 05-29-2015

When voters in Denton, Texas shocked just about everyone last November by banning the controversial oil and gas extraction process hydraulic fracturing within city limits, it set up a clash between what the Texas Tribune called “two interests Texans...

Environment - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbot (R) signs SB 709, a bill that overhauls a state law governing contested-case hearings, a process that allows the public to challenge industrial applications for permits at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), such...

Health & Science - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

TX Approves HB 21 The TEXAS House gives final approval to HB 21, so-called “right-to-try” legislation that would allow terminally ill patients who have exhausted all other treatment options to access experimental medications not yet approved...

Crime & Punishment - May 18 2015 | 05-15-2015

TX Senate Approves SB 1697 The TEXAS Senate approves SB 1697, a bill that allows the state to keep the names of execution drug providers from the public. It moves to the House (TEXAS TRIBUNE). WA Signs HB 1068 WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signs...

Education - May 18 2015 | 05-15-2015

NH Vetoes SB 101 NEW HAMPSHIRE Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) vetoes SB 101, which would have barred state education officials from implementing the Common Core curriculum standards in any Granite State public school (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). TN Signs...

Social Policy - May 18 2015 | 05-15-2015

TX Senate Approves SB 2065 The TEXAS Senate approves SB 2065, which would clarify that Lone Star State pastors can legally refuse to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. It moves to the House (TEXAS TRIBUNE). WI Assembly Approves AB...

Business - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

NH Endorses HB 136 The NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate endorses HB 136, which would ban minors from using tanning beds. It goes to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), who is expected to sign it into law (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). KS Overrides Veto of SB 117 The KANSAS...

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...

Environment - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

CA Approves Emergency Water Usage Cuts Faced with historic drought conditions, the CALIFORNIA Water Resources Control Board unanimously approves an emergency order mandating a 25 percent cut in urban water use, the first such cut in state history ...

Governors In Brief - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

Ks and TX Friends of the Court In Florida Support Governors in KANSAS and TEXAS said they would file amicus briefs in support of FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) lawsuit against the Obama administration alleging the government is illegally coercing...

Social Policy - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

MO Overrides Veto of SB 24 The MISSOURI Legislature overrides a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) of SB 24, legislation that cuts the lifetime limit for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from five years to three years and nine months and...

Theme Music | 05-01-2015

Speaking of the Lone Star State, nobody can accuse them of not having a sense of humor down there. Electing Rick “Oops” Perry four times proved that. But I digress. To the matter at hand, the Associated Press reports that the Texas House recently...

Budgets in Brief - May 4 2015 | 05-01-2015

TX Tax Relief The TEXAS House has tentatively approved a $4.9 billion tax relief plan that includes a sales tax cut. The Senate’s plan favors property tax cuts instead (TEXAS TRIBUNE [AUSTIN]). RI Approves Casino Hotel RHODE ISLAND Gov...

Health & Science - May 4 2015 | 05-01-2015

TX Approves HB 21 The TEXAS House approves HB 21, so-called “right-to-try” legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to access experimental medications still awaiting federal approval. The measure moves to the Senate (TEXAS TRIBUNE...

Crime & Punishment - April 20 2015 | 04-17-2015

TX Approves SB 1135 The TEXAS Senate approves SB 1135, so-called “revenge porn” legislation that would make posting nude or sexually explicit photos or videos of someone online without their consent a Class A misdemeanor, with a punishment...

Budgets In Brief - April 20 2015 | 04-17-2015

NY Budget Cap on Yachts As part of its recently passed state budget, NEW YORK capped sales taxes on yachts at 8.25 percent, or $18,975, in most counties, for the stated purpose of leveling the playing field with Florida and other states “so New...

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...

Many States Restrict Municipal Broadband Development | 04-10-2015

The Federal Communications Commission issued a ruling in February preempting laws in North Carolina and Texas that restricted municipalities from developing their own broadband networks. As of January 2014, 20 states had such restrictions in place, according...

Health & Science - April 13 2015 | 04-10-2015

ID Approves SB 1146 The IDAHO House approves SB 1146, a bill that allows the use of cannabis oil to treat children suffering from seizure disorders. The measure is now with Gov. Butch Otter (R) for review (BOISE WEEKLY). SC Approves SB 426 The...

Education - April 6 2015 | 04-03-2015

NH House Approves Bill for Merging School Districts The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves a bill that would, among several things, require the state’s nearly 300 school districts to study merging with their nearby counterparts to become larger districts...

TX Considering Pulling Plug On Wind Power | 04-03-2015

A decade ago, Texas Sen. Troy Fraser (R), championed legislation to promote the production of wind power in the state. Now he’s pushing to end the Renewable Energy Credit program that requires power companies to buy credits from wind and solar energy...

Education - March 23 2015 | 03-20-2015

Georgia Approves HB 131 The GEORGIA House approves HB 131, a bill that would add threats made on computers or other electronics to the Peach State’s bullying law. It moves to the Senate (BND.COM, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET). Alabama Endorses SB...

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...

Local Debt Raising Concerns In TX | 03-13-2015

Despite plunging oil prices in recent months, the state of Texas will likely have an extra $9 billion to $12 billion to spend this year. Local governments in the state, on the other hand, are deep in debt. According to the Texas Bond Review Board...