Buzz Mill Coffee
"...Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, chair of the House State Affairs Committee, said this afternoon that he will limit the amount of testimony allowed during the posted Tuesday, July 2, afternoon hearing of House Bill 2, the omnibus abortion regulations bill that's on the top of the agenda of today's second-called special legislative session...."
"...• Dawnna Dukes: Appropriations; International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs Sheer seniority made it almost impossible to keep the recently indicted Pflugerville rep off Appropriations, but Dukes loses her two vice-chair positions (Culture, Recreation, & Tourism, and Emerging Issues in Law Enforcement). Of course, either current seat would prove moot unless Dukes actually starts turning up..."
"...The days of shoveling public subsidies into questionable developments were over, out the door with the housing agency's former director, Larry Paul Manley, who resigned last year with FBI and Department of Public Safety agents on his trail. With one, probably two, board members at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) under scrutiny by criminal investigators, all appearances of corruption were supposed to disappear into the past..."
"...Also running are Austin attorney Royce LeMoine and Eric Beverly. With experience in the Texas Office of Rural and Community Affairs, Beverly would likely be an effective advocate for rural Texans (not District 47's long suit), while LeMoine's labor advocacy would be welcome in the House...."
"...Joe Moody, D-El Paso, called a point of order on the annexation restrictions in Senate Bill 6. The measure (not to be confused with the bathroom bill, SB 6 in the regular session) now returns to the House State Affairs Committee, after Moody noted that allowing only property owners to vote on annexation proposal would be unconstitutional..."
"...The biggest argument concerned the powerful State Affairs Committee, which gains extra oversight over state agencies and institutions but also assumes authority over regulated industries. To reflect that new power, it will swell from nine members to 15, but the chair will not be able to serve on another substantive committee..."
"...Rep. Elliott Naishtat: Lost vice chair seat on Human Services; removed from Public Health; appointed to County Affairs..."
"...The opening weeks of the House of Representatives are usually pretty slow affairs, taken up with the normal slate of tip-of-the-hat resolutions. But there's some big business, like House Resolution 2, better known as the House Rules, filed this morning by Rep..."
"...Seems Speaker Joe Straus was being truthful when he said that there would be some power-sharing in the new balanced House. True, the Democrats didn't get the chairs on any of the big three committees (Appropriations, Calendars, and State Affairs) but they did get the vice-chairmanships on all three, and the new chairs are all drawn from the Dem-friendly Gang of 11 (well, more Dem-friendly than a lot of old Tom Craddick appointees..."
"...Quick hit points: – Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, replaces Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, as speaker pro tem – Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, gets to chair the newly beefed-up State Affairs..."
"...Never mind that House members are tired of threats from open-carry advocates, and UT System Chancellor Admiral Bill McRaven says he's opposed to campus carry, the Senate Committee on State Affairs will hear Senate Bill 11 (campus carry) and SB 17 (open carry) at 9am on Feb. 12....."
"...And the clock ticked down to midnight. In the midst of this, Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, got in the last heavy punch of the session against Craddick by getting a motion passed honoring former Parliamentarian Denise Davis and her deputy, Christopher Griesel, both of whom resigned Friday in protest over the speaker's management of House affairs..."
"...Most importantly, the newly-bolstered State Affairs becomes so important that neither its chair nor that of appropriations can sit on another substantive committee. Dunnam called it "a new super-committee, or rather the old super-committee come back..."
"...Whodda thunk?) He argued that Texas needs to keep all its "premiere economic development tools," but he did not name either the Major Events Trust Fund or the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program. However, he also has his target list: He wants the Department of Rural Affairs folded into the Department of Agriculture, and the Historical Commission and the Commission on the Arts completely suspended until the economy improves to his liking..."
"...The old Texas legislative sport of picking on the capital city. Such a production can vary: lawmakers giving city staff a tough time in committee hearings; aggressive legislative intervention in local affairs; resting the state school finance system on the backs of Austin's property owners..."
"...Low pay for primary care workers, high staff turnover rate, inadequate training, low employment standards and lack of oversight at state schools led to the current state of affairs. The sad fact is that these issues could have been addressed by administrative action during the interim instead of waiting for the Legislature to change statutes..."
"...However, that also means he is not weighed down with city baggage. Moreover, he started burnishing his local credentials this session by joining the low-profile but highly relevant House Ways & Means Committee, as well as International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs..."
"...The two books under review more or less reflect on the present state of political affairs. Ali's is an angry tract, and Frank's is a novel with a Douglas Sirkian sweep about two sisters in Hollywood in the McCarthy era...."
"...Stacy Wilson, director of government affairs for Central Health, Travis County's health care coordinating body, said that her group's partner agencies have tried not to express the threatened cuts in terms of jobs so far, "just because you've got morale issues in hospitals." Yet cuts seem inevitable, and they could hit health care triply hard. Not only does HB 1 gut funding for AIDS medication and mental health services, but it zeroes out state funding for some programs that benefit from federal matching funds..."
"...Warren Chisum, R-Pampa. "If the goal here is to just totally dismantle women's access to care," Sarah Wheat, vice president of community affairs for the Texas Capital Region Planned Parenthood, said before the debate, "then [Chisum's] done a great job."..."
"...Importantly, it also legalizes charitable poker events, which are currently illegal. The cash from license fees and taxes (18% of the house rake for commercial gambling, 5% from charity events) will end up in the coffers of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, to be split 50-50 between homeless shelters and programs and the housing trust fund. It's all born from a good dose of pragmatism: As bill sponsor Rep..."
"...There is also a shocking contrast in bipartisanship and collegiality to the seemingly begrudging inclusion of Dems on the Senate side. There are even committees with a completely Democratic leadership, including Criminal Jurisprudence (with Abel Herrero and Joe Moody respectively chairing and vice-chairing), Culture and Tourism (Ryan Guillen and local lawmaker Dawnna Dukes), and County Affairs (Garnet Coleman and Joe Farias)...."
"...The most obvious example is the title track, which Keely named after a National Geographic show that plucks an American family from their safe suburban home and plants them in unfamiliar territory, like the African bush. Lines like "with blood and death, we'll pay back the debt of this candy store of ours" point toward a broader critique (i.e., Iraq), but Keely says the principal target is solipsistic performers too preoccupied with their own lives, whether in alt-rock's self-pity parade or hip-hop's orgy of bling-bling, to notice the precarious state of world affairs...."
"...For now, though, the city's "conceptual discussions" center on a long-term lease, with UTMB contributing to help offset the infrastructure costs of the overall Mueller redevelopment project, Futrell said.A Med School Future? While Dr. Kenneth Shine, the UT System's executive vice chancellor for health affairs, has been working out the nitty-gritty details with the city, other backers many of them local physicians with UTMB ties are tending to logistical matters and setting fundraising goals..."
"...Filed: Feb. 23; heard in Urban Affairs: April 21..."
"...UPDATE:House BIll 2 passed out of the State Affairs Committee on an 8-3 vote with two absences. The quick vote came after Rep..."
"...UPDATE: After an estimated 700 citizens turned up to give often insightful and emotional testimony on highly restrictive abortion legislation last night, House State Affairs Committee Chair Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, abruptly terminated the debate with no vote...."
"...April 13 was a tough day for Rep. Frank "The Fetus" Corte, R-San Antonio, as he tried to sell his HB 16 to an increasingly skeptical House State Affairs Committee a venue not generally hostile toward legislation offered by abortion foes..."
"...House Bill 2 – the new version of the astonishingly restrictive anti-abortion measures briefly crippled by the citizen's filibuster – will be heard by the House State Affairs Committee today at 3:30pm. Chairman Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, has already said that he will terminate testimony at midnight...."
"...• The House State Affairs Committee moved along another anti-choice bill, SB 20 by Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, which bans abortion from insurance coverage, on May 16..."
"...• The House State Affairs Committee heard HB 1936, which aims to end government transactions with abortion facilities and their affiliates. Bill author Drew Springer, R-Muenster, specifically cited Austin Central Health's $1 per year lease fee for Planned Parenthood's space on E..."
"...The ultra-conservative Senate was quick to pass Lubbock Republican Sen. Charles Perry's punitive Senate Bill 4 in February, but at the hands of the House State Affairs Committee, the bill – which targets cities, counties, and universities that don't comply with all U.S..."
"...Wednesday saw another late night at the Capitol. The House’s State Affairs Committee heard public testimony on House Bill 2899, the supposed “compromise” to the bathroom bill..."
"...The fight against anti-LGBT bills is not over yet. Yesterday, Senate Bill 2065, the Texas version of Indiana's "religious freedom bill" (see Bill of the Week, May 8) was referred to the House State Affairs Committee..."
"...House Bill 2, the sweeping abortion regulations bill, passed out of the House State Affairs Committee shortly after midnight on an 8-3 vote after Rep. Byron Cook, committee chair, unceremoniously cut off questions of bill author Rep..."
"...It’s 12:25 in the morning in the House State Affairs committee room at the John H. Reagan building in the Capitol complex when all hell breaks loose...."
"...Until now that's been an uphill battle – the removal was rejected last session during the controversial debate over the ultrasound-before-abortion bill, and was similarly dismissed in previous sessions. If the questions coming from the House State Affairs Committee today are any indication, it may be that the time to excise the misinformation has come – at least that is what would happen if West University Place GOP Rep..."
"...For supporters of reproductive rights in Texas, today is going to be a very long day. After a divisive set of abortion regulations were passed in the Senate Tuesday, the House State Affairs Committee is hearing testimony on the bill this afternoon..."
"...8 and sent to the House, though it's yet to be assigned to a committee. The smart money is that it will be heard either by State Affairs, on which Rodriguez sits, or by Homeland Security..."
"...(These are the bills that would enable a casino on Waller Creek.) Lucio's bill earmarks the state's winnings for higher education, while Ellis proposes no such restrictions. Both bills are sitting in the Senate State Affairs Committee, where they will likely die..."
"...• On May 3, the House State Affairs Committee heard, but took no action on, an anti-choice bill that would ban abortion care coverage from all Texas insurance plans with no exception for rape, incest, or fetal anomalies. While HB 1113 by Rep..."
"...Of course, many of the fates of these 150 members have been no different than that of any other group of people of comparable age and time, but this group of men and women, because of their profession, was touched not just by fate but by Fate. Two, Sam Johnson of Plano and Gene Green of Houston, went to Congress and are still there, helping to direct the nation's affairs..."
"...Women's health and reproductive-rights advocates haven't had much legislative clout since Ann Richards' days, but this session Democratic committee chairs who might block the nastiest bills have been replaced by Republicans. To add insult to jeopardy, all nine members of the House State Affairs Committee, which considers much of this legislation, are men...."
"...While the bill is currently parked in the State Affairs Committee of the more liberal House, it would be somewhat surprising if it didn't eventually find its way to the governor's desk. The ostensible marriage of religion with civil liberties has produced some unlikely coalitions; the original House companion bill, identical to Sibley's, was introduced by typically left-leaning Houston Democrat Scott Hochberg..."
"...Its House counterpart, HB 434, by Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, reached an early April hearing at the chamber's State Affairs Committee..."
"...The House State Affairs Committee, led by Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, met to “study the policies used by research and medical entities to adhere to the highest ethical standards for acquiring human fetal tissue for medical and scientific purposes.” Specifically, the committee was, among other directives from House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, to determine whether additional disclosure and reporting requirements, “are necessary to ensure moral and ethical research practices.” Cook is expected to consider filing legislation next session aimed at tightening fetal tissue donation rules...."
"...Sarah Davis, a breast cancer survivor, can persuade her colleagues to support House Bill 2945. Last week, in the House State Affairs Committee, when Rep..."
"...Wayne Christian, R-Center, and David Simpson, R-Longview (House Bill 561 and HB 85, respectively) would ban local jurisdictions – read, Austin and Travis County – from using local tax money to pay for or, in Simpson's bill, to "support" abortion. A hearing on Christian's bill was held Monday in the House State Affairs Committee..."
"...Sweeping immigration reforms passing through the Texas House could severely affect the way the city does business. On April 16, the House State Affairs Committee discussed eight bills that covered such issues as banning local government from accepting consular documents as ID and auditing how much is spent by each agency on providing services to undocumented migrants..."
"...The House State Affairs Committee on April 25 approved a measure that would increase education regarding family-planning programs and sexually transmitted disease prevention. Under House Bill 1842, by Rep..."