texas

Consumer Data Privacy Bills Introduced in Half of States in 2019 | 11-22-2019

As of mid-October, 26 states had introduced legislation this year dealing with the privacy of consumer data, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net legislative data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seven of those states had enacted...

Texas, California Among Hardest Hit by Wildfires in 2018 | 11-15-2019

In 2018 Texas had the most wildfires of any state, 10,541 of them, and the sixth highest number of acres burned, at 569,811, according to data compiled by the Insurance Information Institute from the National Interagency Fire Center. California had the...

Remote Location Causing Low Turnout at Abbott’s TX Homeless Camp | 11-15-2019

A new temporary homeless camp fostered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is so far not doing much to alleviate the growing homelessness problem in Austin. A week after the camp was opened at a former maintenance yard for TxDOT vehicles in East Austin, advocates...

TX Voters Approve Constitutional Income Tax Ban | 11-08-2019

Last week Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure making it more difficult to impose an income tax in the state. The measure, Proposition 4, authored by Rep. Jeff Leach (R), asked voters if they supported adding a prohibition against a state...

Data Privacy Laws, Hackers Put New Emphasis on Cyber Insurance | 11-01-2019

The impending California Consumer Privacy Act and other state data privacy laws have done more than motivate companies to rethink how they manage consumer data; it also has many organizations thinking more than ever about how they manage their cyber insurance...

Politics in Brief - October 14 2019 | 10-11-2019

SCOTUS DECLINES TO CONSIDER WV SUPREME COURT IMPEACHMENT CASE The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of an October 2018 ruling by a specially appointed WEST VIRGINIA Supreme Court halting impeachment proceedings against four justices for...

Big Local Property Tax Hikes Coming in TX | 10-04-2019

Big property tax increases appear to be coming to some of Texas’ biggest cities and counties this fall. El Paso, Harris, Tarrant, Travis and Webb counties and the cities of Austin, Corpus Christi and El Paso are all among those pushing for increases...

Governors in Brief - October 4 2019 | 10-04-2019

WA GOV ORDERS VAPING BAN Citing a rising number of illnesses and deaths linked to e-tobacco use, WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said he will ask the state board of health to adopt emergency rules enacting a statewide ban on flavored vaping products...

Over Half of States Consider Consumer Data Privacy Bills in 2019 | 10-04-2019

At least 27 states have considered legislation this year dealing with the privacy of consumer data, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures . Consumer data privacy bills were enacted in six of those states, while measures are still...

Rainy-Day Fund Balances Vary Widely Across States | 09-20-2019

Wyoming has the largest estimated fiscal year 2019 rainy-day fund balance as a percentage of total state expenditures, at 109 percent, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers’ Spring 2019 Fiscal Survey of States . California...

Politics in Brief - September 23 2019 | 09-20-2019

PUSH FOR ‘JUNGLE PRIMARY’ IN FL FLORIDA billionaire Mike Fernandez, who left the Republican Party because of his opposition to President Trump, is spending millions of dollars to place a measure before voters in 2020 that would shift the...

Bridesmaid Again | 09-20-2019

In spite of screeching from some quarters, America is now and always has been built on diversity. And as the personal finance site WalletHub reports , based on a wide range of measurements no state is more diverse than California. This is likely not a...

States Launch Antitrust Investigation of Google | 09-13-2019

The attorneys general of every state but Alabama and California have officially launched an antitrust investigation of Google. Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court along with officials from 11 other states and the District of Columbia...

Budgets in Brief - September 16 2019 | 09-13-2019

NJ FACING BIG PUBLIC PENSION HIT NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) decision to phase in a reduction in the public pension system’s expected rate of return from 7.6 percent to 7 percent, which former Gov. Chris Christie (R) made just before...

Will Government Ransomware Outbreak Spur More Legislation? | 09-06-2019

This year more than 70 state and local governments have been targeted by hackers that have locked up their computer systems and demanded ransoms to release them. A majority of states have taken legislative action in recent years to protect data held by...

Government Cybersecurity Bills Introduced in Nearly 3/4 of States in 2019 | 09-06-2019

At least 37 states have introduced legislation this year dealing with the cybersecurity of government agencies, 24 of which have enacted such measures, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net...

Governors in Brief - September 9 2019 | 09-06-2019

WA LEG SUES INSLEE The WASHINGTON Legislature filed suit against Gov. Jay Inslee (D), arguing the governor had violated the Evergreen State Constitution when he issued several partial vetoes of the 2019-21 transportation budget. Inslee acknowledged...

Trouser Wildfire | 08-30-2019

Some people believe we’re officially in a post-truth world. That’s the only rationale I can come up with for California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent claim that “the vast majority” of the homeless folks in San Francisco migrated...

Sleepless Nights Ahead | 08-30-2019

Speaking of things that defy logic...Rick Perry. Nobody will ever accuse the former Texas governor and current U.S. Secretary of Energy of being, uh, a rocket scientist. As AFP reports , Perry recently fell for an Internet hoax dealing with the sharing...

Voting Machines Could Lack 2020 Paper Trail | 08-15-2019

More than 15 million Americans in eight states will likely vote in 2020 on voting machines without any paper backup, despite calls from elections efforts for auditable paper trails in light of known efforts by foreign governments to tinker with U.S. elections...

Governors in Brief - August 19 2019 | 08-15-2019

COOPER SIGNS NC GUN ORDER NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued an executive directive ordering that state Bureau of Investigation and other state agencies to take more action against gun violence. The order directs the BOI to conduct more threat...

States Still Attending to Medical Balance Billing | 08-09-2019

When SNCJ reported in August 2017 on medical balance billing - the direct charging of patients by healthcare providers for services that aren’t fully covered at the providers’ rate by the patients’ insurance - nearly half of the states...

Balance Billing Measures Introduced in 32 States in 2019 | 08-09-2019

Legislation dealing with medical balance billing - the charging of patients by healthcare providers for services not fully covered at the providers’ rate by the patients’ insurance - has been introduced in 32 states this year, according to...

DeWine Unveils OH Gun Reform Proposal | 08-09-2019

In the wake of the nation’s latest (as of this writing) mass shooting, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) proposed a package of reforms to his state’s gun regulations. The hard part will be not having them instantly shot down by his fellow Republicans...

States Adding Biometrics to Data Privacy Battle | 08-02-2019

At the start of this year, many observers believed states might be lining up to duplicate California’s tough new data privacy law, set to go into effect next year. That rush didn’t quite materialize, but that doesn’t mean lawmakers completely...

Biometric Data Privacy Bills Considered in Over Half of States | 08-02-2019

At least 26 states have introduced bills this session dealing with the collection and use of biometric information, such as fingerprints, speech patterns or gait, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Texas Cities Take Fiscal Hit in 2019 State Legislative Session | 08-02-2019

This year’s legislative session in Texas could turn out to be a costly one for the state’s major cities. One of the bills state lawmakers passed, SB 2 , will require cities, counties and other taxing units to obtain voter approval before levying...

Local Governments Shine Light on Public Surveillance | 07-12-2019

In May the Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco approved an ordinance banning the use of facial recognition technology by all city departments. It’s the only major U.S. city to have taken such action against the emerging...

Government Surveillance | 07-12-2019

Local governments in at least four states have passed ordinances in 2018 or 2019 restricting the use of surveillance technology by government entities, according to the American Civil Liberties Union’s Community Control Over Police Surveillance...

Independent Contractor Legislation Active in States | 06-28-2019

At least 189 bills dealing with independent contractors have been introduced in state legislatures this session, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Fifty of those measures have been passed by one or both chambers of...

Governors in Brief - July 1 2019 | 06-28-2019

ABBOT VETOES TX CHILD PROSTITUTION BILL Saying the bill could have “unintended consequences,” TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vetoed HB 1771 , which would have barred minors forced into the sex trade by human traffickers from being charged as...

Most States Considering Drug Price Control Measures | 06-14-2019

At least 40 states have introduced legislation in 2019 aimed at reducing the cost of prescription drugs, according to LexisNexis State Net ’s legislative tracking system. Fifteen of those states have enacted such measures.

Governors in Brief - June 17 2019 | 06-14-2019

BAKER URGES PATIENCE WITH MA WIND POWER In an address to the wind power industry, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said the Bay State has a responsibility to get it right and to position the offshore wind industry for long-term success. Baker said...

Business - June 17 2019 | 06-14-2019

RI Senate Approves SB 509 The RHODE ISLAND Senate approves SB 509 , which would bar employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. It is now in the House (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL). NV Governor Signs AB 466 NEVADA Gov. Steve Sisolak...

Social Policy - June 17 2019 | 06-14-2019

IL Governor Signs SB 25 ILLINOIS Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signs SB 25 , which codifies that women in the Prairie State have the “fundamental right” to have an abortion, and that a “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent...

The Local Front - June 17 2019 | 06-14-2019

CA Palo Alto City Council Approves Ordinance The Palo Alto, CALIFORNIA City Council approves an ordinance that bans retail outlets from supplying customers with plastic straws, utensils, produce bags and other single-use items. The Council said it...

We’re So Surprised, Said Nobody Ever | 06-14-2019

Get ready for a shocker – no state is more fun than California! According to a new Wallet Hub survey , based on 26 different metrics the Golden State tops the other 49 when it comes to having fun, be it indoors or out. Some of those include weather...

Standing Up for Stands | 06-14-2019

Let the lemonade flow! As the Texas Tribune reports , Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill last week that bars local governments from imposing harsh regulations on the kind of lemonade stands once imagined to be ubiquitous in this country. The law grew...

Many States Looking at Occupational Licensing Reciprocity | 06-07-2019

At least 28 states have considered legislation this session addressing reciprocity with other states in occupational licensing, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Such measures have been enacted in half of those states...

DOE Nuclear Waste Disposal Plan Has Pitfalls for States | 06-07-2019

The U.S. Department of Energy is looking into whether 10,000 gallons of wastewater at a Cold War nuclear weapon production site in South Carolina can be reclassified from high-level waste to low-level waste and moved to low-level waste disposal sites...

Abbott Signs TX Trafficking, Assault Bills | 06-07-2019

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed measures last week that address human trafficking, the state’s enormous backlog of rape kits, and providing increased resources for survivors of sexual assault. Abbott lauded the trafficking bills –...

Education - June 10 2019 | 06-07-2019

WV Senate Approves SB 1039 The WEST VIRGINIA Senate approves SB 1039 , which would, among other things, legalize charter schools, raise public school worker pay, increase public school funding, ban county superintendents from closing schools in anticipation...

Health & Science - June 10 2019 | 06-07-2019

TX Legislature Gives Approval to HB 2041 The TEXAS Legislature gives final approval to HB 2041 , which would require freestanding emergency rooms to clearly disclose the in-network health plans they accept and the fees patients may be charged. It moves...

Over Half of States Have Passed Private-Sector Data Security Laws | 05-31-2019

As of the start of this year, at least 25 states had passed laws requiring businesses that handle personal data to implement security procedures to protect that information from unauthorized access, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures...

Asylum-Seekers Stretch City, State Budgets | 05-31-2019

Since 2017 over 55,000 people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have come to the United States seeking asylum. That flood of new immigrants is stretching the resources of city and state governments - particularly those in California, Florida, Maryland...

Budgets in Brief - June 3 2019 | 05-31-2019

SOME CT TOWNS BLOCKING AFFORDABLE HOUSING Dozens of wealthy towns in CONNECTICUT have blocked the construction of low-income housing within their borders for the past two decades. The percentage of low-income housing has actually declined somewhat...

The Local Front - June 3 2019 | 05-31-2019

TX Legislature Gives Final Approval to SB 22 The TEXAS Legislature gives final approval to SB 22 , which contains an amendment that would bar local governments from doing any business with Planned Parenthood. It moves to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for consideration...

Health & Science - May 20 2019 | 05-17-2019

ME Senate Approves HB 798 The MAINE Senate approves HB 798 , which would abolish all but purely medical exemptions from the state’s school vaccination law. It moves to Gov. Janet Mills (D), who is expected to sign it (PORTLAND PRESS HERALD)....

There Will Be Blood! | 05-17-2019

Stand back, because the Bruce Lee wannabes are on the way! Yes, as NPR reports , Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill that overturns a prohibition on nunchucks, the traditional martial arts weapon that loosely translates to “chain sticks.”...

States Taking Action to Ensure Complete 2020 Census Count | 05-17-2019

Although the decennial census is a federal responsibility, with states having so much to gain from an accurate tally, 30 have established committees - either through legislation or executive order - to ensure their populations are fully counted, according...