Gov. Greg Abbott signs discriminatory bill into law
DAILY News March 16, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...183) closed its doors in July 2014, largely due to the ambulatory surgical center provision – which would have cost the WWH more than $1 million in medically unnecessary renovations. In addition to abortion care, the clinic offered comprehensive women’s health services, including annual exams, pap smears, birth control, emergency contraception, and counseling for 60,000 women..."
Looking at the Lege After a Flaccid Special Session
Alpha males Abbott and Patrick can't get their red meat passed
News Story August 17, 2017, by the News Staff
"...If lawmakers did not pass those extensions, they would all have begun a one-year wrap-up process, at the end of which Texas would no longer license professionals in those sectors. Fortunately, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 20 and SB 60, extending their remit and funding through 2019..."
Nonprofits and the City's Quest for Affordable Housing
Helping usher Austin out of a quagmire of inequality
News Story July 13, 2017, by Joseph Caterine
"...The blueprint calls for the city to facilitate the production of 45,000 new units for households with incomes below 60% median family income (roughly $32,000 per one-person household) over the next 10 years. Nonprofits will contribute, Patterson noted, but the city will have to employ various tools of its own to accomplish the lion's share of the enormous task, such as changing the permitting process through CodeNEXT and revamping its density bonus programs..."
Lege Lines: Film Incentive Program Funding Uncertain, Anti-Choice Buffoonery, and More
Lege considers film incentive program funding and anti-choice antics take hold
News Story March 19, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...That would basically decimate the program, which is relatively small and parsimonious, compared to other states like Louisiana and Michigan (two states that have stolen away several films nominally set in Texas). However, House negotiations already have it at closer to $60 million..."
This Way to the Big Top!
From budget disaster to hysterical bloodletting, the legislative circus is back in town
News Story January 14, 2011, by Richard Whittaker, Wells Dunbar, Lee Nichols and Jordan Smith
"...It remains to be seen how lawmakers will continue to justify spending millions each year since 2005 on the Alternatives to Abortion program – which is designed to "encourage" women to complete their pregnancies but provides no medical services whatsoever. Last session, lawmakers raised the program's budget by a whopping 60% – to provide counseling to carry pregnancies to term and to provide referrals to other government-funded projects, like food stamps..."
The Big Legebowski
The session will be remembered largely as an opportunity lost to partisan displays
News Story June 12, 2009, by Lee Nichols and Jordan Smith
"...Despite several assaults from a faction of lawmakers seeking to defund Planned Parenthood, the budget for women's reproductive health care remained intact. But after backroom battles in the budget conference committee, the foes of reproductive health expenditures did win their bid to increase by 60% the budget for the state's Alternatives to Abortion program, which funds crisis pregnancy centers.
Criminal Justice: Not Much Accomplished..."
On the Lege: A $156 Million Disaster
The Accenture scheme blows up in the state's face
News Column March 23, 2007
"...In other words, it's an incentive program for women who agree not to abort. (Under the program the state would only accept babies from "legal" citizens, so no illegal immigrant mothers need apply, thank you very much.) Under the bill, the $500 would be paid out "within 60 days" after the woman terminates her parental rights..."
Small Victory, Bitter Defeats
A small win for the good guys, followed by a huge loss.
News Column May 2, 2003, by Michael King
"...Reportedly, opponents had the 11 votes necessary to keep SB 933 off the floor, but Shapleigh and West decided instead to amend it, primarily to limit the cost of the program and to cap the pilot schools at two and the enrollment at 2,000 students. (Supporters trumpeted the accountability and monitoring provisions in the bill, but the student-teacher ratio for this video pseudo-learning gives the cut-rate education game away: It's a disgraceful 60-1.)..."
Show Them the Need
The great GOP wave breaks on the realities of the actual cost of government
News Story June 10, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Constitution, then abusive and intrusive ultrasound procedures for women seeking abortions. In legislative terms, the "emergency" designation lets lawmakers waive the constitutional restrictions on passing bills in the first 60 days of the session..."
Reefer Madness: Treatment Works
Bill would divert low-level drug offenders from prison and save a bundle of money
News Story March 6, 2009, by Jordan Smith
"...These defendants instead would be put into community supervision and, importantly, drug treatment – at an average cost of just $3,241 per person. The drug treatment costs would be paid by the individual, if possible, meaning the state would have to provide drug-treatment funding for roughly 60% of offenders eligible for the diversion..."
On the Lege
Byrd Bill Stalls ... Again
News Column May 13, 1999
"...Fourth streets, is part of a whopping redevelopment plan for downtown's west end. Once all the pieces are in place, the new $60 million museum would sit just north of a three-block office project, a new City Hall, and an upscale residential building..."
Lege Lines: The Score
How the 83rd did on water infrastructure, the budget, education, the environment, and transportation
News Story June 14, 2013, by Brandon Watson
"...Donna Howard, D-Austin, was part of the negotiations over the split. She backed using tiered funding to deal with equity disparities but, she said, "at the same time, the vast majority of our Central Texas schools don't benefit from the formula." For example, even though 60% of AISD students are eating free or reduced lunches, the district only receives $103 extra in 2014 and $105 in 2015 because it is considered "property rich." That would have been much less if urban lawmakers hadn't convinced their fellow legislators to split the money using the weighted average daily allowance, rather than just the standard funding formulas..."
Odds and ends (mostly odds) from the 79th
News Column April 15, 2005
"... Asbestos lawsuits have bankrupted some 60 companies, Sen. Kyle Janek, R-Houston, told a Senate committee Monday in introducing a bill that would limit the number of claims filed in Texas..."
Halfway to Nowhere
As the Lege turns the corner, there's still plenty of time for trouble
News Column April 1, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...And that's just the half of it. On Tuesday, lawmakers returned from Easter vacation and plunged headlong into the remaining 60 days of the session plenty of time to wreak more havoc..."
Texas House passes Hate Crimes bill; mesasure goes to Senate.
News Story April 27, 2001, by Amy Smith
"...Hate Crimes Bill, just as she did in the 1999 session. This session's 87-60 vote included two Republican crossovers -- Buddy West of Odessa and Gary Walker of Plains -- who opposed the bill two years ago..."
Special Session Especially Likely?
With the session at the 60-day mark, bills are running out of time
News Story March 20, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...On March 13, the Legislature hit its first big date on the calendar. The 60-day mark is the deadline for filing nonlocal and nonemergency bills and joint resolutions: By close of business, the House had filed 5,721 bills, while senators had filed 2,942, putting them up about 20% over the total number filed in 2007..."
Odds and ends from the Capitol
News Story March 27, 2009, by the News Staff
"...Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin... After a daylong debate on March 24, the Senate voted 22-8 to place a 60% cap on university admissions under the top 10% rule..."
Austin - bands, bikes, billboards, ballots, Bradley, and beyond - under scrutiny.
Columns April 27, 2001
"...The $60 Million Question..."
The 85th’s State Something
Taking stock at the Lege's midway point
News Story March 16, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...The calendar has already passed one of its most significant deadlines: On March 10, lawmakers faced the 60th day, and the cut-off point for filing non-local legislation. Of course, most serious measures have already been filed (if a bill isn't getting traction by now, it'll be unlikely to make it off the floor before sine die, May 29), so lawmakers decided to have a little fun..."
House of Representatives is finally hearing bills on the floor
News Story March 22, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...The Voting Begins Well, it took just 71 days, but the House of Representatives is finally hearing bills on the floor. The Texas Constitution restricts the lower chamber from floor discussion in the first 60 days of the session – finally, on March 19, the House addressed its first actual calendar..."
Senate Budget Lesser of Two Evils
Reps from both chambers commence to thrash out final numbers
News Story May 13, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Take Article II, the complete Health and Human Services budget. In 2009, the Legislature approved a $60 billion budget for all the health and welfare agencies..."
W.'s Paper Chase
Bush attempts to have his state papers declared federal property.
News Story September 28, 2001, by Lucius Lomax
"...The trucks were on a 110-mile trip to the southeast, to College Station and Texas A&M University -- specifically, to the George Bush Presidential Library on the A&M campus. Carrying 60 shrink-wrapped pallets of documents, the convoy was removing Gov..."
Headlines and Happenings from Austin and Beyond
News Story May 12, 2006
"...The point is not simply to offer affordable housing initially but to keep that housing affordable as property values rise at the 700-acre project, said Commissioner Donna Carter. One in four units at Mueller will be affordable for families with incomes at both 60% and 80% of median income..."
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story March 25, 2005, by Lee Nichols and Cheryl Smith
"...Bush, on the Terri Schiavo case. For more on Bush, complex cases, and erring on the side of life, see "Beyond City Limits."Headlines On Monday, City Manager Toby Futrell postponed for 60 days a proposal for the city to provide a $750,000 forgivable loan to the owners of the Eastside night club Midtown Live, and will instead propose several weeks of public discussion before returning to City Council..."
News Story March 11, 2005, by Lee Nichols and Cheryl Smith
"...Quote of the Week"Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog."
Travis Co. District Attorney Ronnie Earle, on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday.Headlines The House bills on public school finance and property taxes went to the House floor, with passage expected this week..."
Reform on Hold
Want Telecom Reform? Hang Up and Dial Again
News Column December 20, 1996, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...These FCC rules were intended to supersede state regulations that were
uniformly kinder to the incumbents and especially to the Bells -- requiring
them to offer smaller discounts to a much smaller set of potential competitors.
In one state, the Baby Bell is only required to provide a 5% discount, and
state rules make it nearly impossible for potential competitors to qualify even
for that token break -- most new entrants have to build new physical plant
serving at least 60% of their calling area. Guess which state that would be.
Now guess how many lobbyists Southwestern Bell sends this-a-way every two
years, in order to keep that deal in place..."
Taking Children Private
The road to privatizing Child Protective Services is getting slick and dangerous
News Column April 8, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...Proponents of the House plan assert that privatizing case management would allow the state to focus on the backbone of CPS investigations the most troubled division in the agency, due in large part to Texas' miserly spending habits, evidenced by studies showing that the state spends 60% less than the national average on child protection, and 40% less than the average spent by Southern states. On top of this, the state expects to encounter additional costs through privatization, both with the additional layer of administration and the increased staff required to oversee the private contractors...."
Play Misty for Me
Did you know Bill Cosby is an accomplished jazz drummer?
Music Story September 18, 2014, by Raoul Hernandez
"...BC: No, no, no. Look, for $60 a week, 1963, I played the Gaslight coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, from 8pm to 4am..."
The Whole Truce
Gary Bradley ponders the significance of his proposed settlement agreement with the city of Austin.
News Story February 25, 2000, by Robert Bryce
"...GB: In round numbers, I would say that we would be decreasing the number of planned residential units by 40% to 50% and the amount of commercial development by 60% to 70%...."
Reefer Roundup 2/11/11
Your roundup of drug war news
DAILY News February 11, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...Friends of Reefer Madness over at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition alerted us to this news from The Economist magazine: "A huge majority of Americans…support the legalization and taxation of marijuana." That's right, in a new poll from the magazine, nearly 70% in the 18-29 cohort, nearly 60% of the 30-64 cohort and more than 40% of the 65+ers – the age group that, historically, has been less likely to say they are in favor of such things – all now favor legalization...."
Watson Takes What He Can Get
Austin senator cuts budget breather from five days to two
DAILY News January 21, 2011, by Lee Nichols
"...Voter ID – shorthand for requiring photo ID in addition to a voter registration certificate at the polling place – was declared “emergency” legislation by Gov. Rick Perry, which means bills can be debated and approved in the first 60 days of the session, something normally not allowed..."
Top 10% Debate in Bottom Percentile
SB175 session in the Senate an unfortunate model for how legislation gets passed
DAILY News March 26, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...While the big debate on the Top 10% university admissions rule took place on Tuesday, the final vote out of the Senate took place Wednesday. The plan to cap admissions to 60% of any incoming class actually shored up its majority over night, rising from 23-8 to 24-7 (Sen..."
How Texas Is Texas Wine?
What “Truth in Labeling” means for Texas winemakers and vineyards
Food Story April 27, 2017, by Veronica Meewes
"..."There are currently hundreds of uncontracted acres – 600 or more, as far as I know – of Texas grapes," agrees Benjamin Calais, owner of Calais Winery in Hye. He facilitated grape purchase and drop-off for three wineries besides his own last year and says he would be glad to do so again...."