South Austin Popular Culture Center
"...It was, after all, Austin's rapid growth that scared us locals into passing ordinances to limit development over the aquifer. And we've all seen, over the past decade of Austin-bashing, what the Legislature thinks about that particular use of our home-rule powers...."
"...That would explain why, in these very difficult times, the governor and Legislature have needed to devote so much precious time and energy to helping the truly helpless: insurance companies, housing manufacturers, pharmaceutical giants, HMOs, hospital and nursing home chains, and other destitute corporate persons whom tort reform will save from the poorhouse. That would also explain why the governor declared the rising cost of homeowners insurance an official state emergency, while the inability of more than a million Texas children to acquire health insurance is not even an inconvenience..."
"...Not more than two days into the 86th Texas Legislature, the 150-member House of Representatives approved a new, stronger reporting process to secure justice for victims of sexual harassment at the Capitol. The unprecedented (at least in recent history) move comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which ousted abusive male figures from their perches in politics, journalism, and Hollywood..."
"...The court's opinion, authored by Justice Don Willett and handed down (with seemingly no irony) on Friday the 13th, found that the system hit the bare minimum required by the Texas Constitution, and so the court could not order the Legislature to improve it. However, while the court did not instruct lawmakers to act in the 2017 session, Willett called the current system flawed and "increasingly Daedalean," adding that students "deserve transformational, top-to-bottom reforms that amount to more than Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid..."
"...It would work wonders for the pledge drive.) Anywho, each week Special Session devotes its half-hour to a new issue, with Stekler and his creekbed-dry wit querying his quests. According to the SS episode guide, upcoming shows touch on the new legislature, John Sharp, Ann Richards, and social services, like CHIP..."
"...And while Bullock and his supporters will take issue with the mobster analogy, in this era he has become -- choose whatever metaphor you like -- the patrón, the godfather, the boss, of Texas politics. Anyone who wants to get something through the Texas Legislature must deal with Bob Bullock...."
"...When the Legislature called sine die in late May, Texas' reproductive health providers – still grappling with the effects of years of decimated family planning access – had only a few days to gauge the damage inflicted by the 85th regular session before Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session rife with the anti-abortion restrictions that didn't muster enough support to pass the first go-round..."
"...Since 1990, when he became the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Sansom has overseen a turbulent period. The Texas Legislature targeted Sansom's agency in 1995 in an effort to restrict the access his biologists have to private land for scientific study..."
"..."Bill Parsley was a friend of mine from the Texas Legislature back in those days," recalls Hall, "and he came by my office one day with a clipping about what they'd done in New Mexico. I looked at him, he looked at me, and we both said 'Why can't we do this?'"..."
"...Second, a plan will have to be developed for managing access and providing a police presence on the land. Third, the Texas Legislature will have to appropriate money to start and sustain the project..."
"...Fresh from reviewing the News staff's upbeat interviews with the incoming Central Texas legislative delegation – Democrats all – I began the year ready to believe that the 86th Legislature was indeed going to be different. Reactionaries would retreat, open misogyny would return to the shadows, racism would be kept at arm's length, and the Capitol might actually accomplish some progress on school funding, health care, transportation ......"
"...The Texas Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s ruling requiring the Alliance to pay $294,000 in attorney fees to the Lazy Nine Municipal Utility District (“MUD”), a special government district created by the Texas Legislature at the request of Austin developers Bill Gunn and Ed Horne (of Wilshire Homes) and their partner, Forest City Properties of Cleveland, Ohio. In 2004, the developers began seeking approvals for a massive development in the Hill Country west of Austin..."
"...Elsewhere in this issue ("Will Texas Do Better?"), we take another look at the prospects of the upcoming 83rd Legislature, largely through the perspective of the prefiled bills. We don't claim to be exhaustive: Several hundred bills are already filed, and several thousand will hit the committees in the next couple of months, most of them destined never to reach the floor..."
"...The 84th Legislature formally ended on June 1, but had sine die been called a month ago, there would have been few tears. It started in a calmer fashion..."
"..."Texas abortion provision is not an investment that people are interested in at this point in time," says Miller. "It's seen as a dicey, high-risk move – every time the Legislature meets, a new barrier is passed..."
"...The 85th Texas Legislature is imminent, but don't expect a simple fight between Democrats and Republicans. In a re-run of 2015, the bitterest disputes look set to be between House and Senate. [inset-1-right]..."
"...Outside a committee hearing room during the 82nd Texas Legislature, I ran into Austin political consultant (and staunch Democrat) Alfred Stanley. He was waiting to testify against a really bad state Senate redistricting map that would unnecessarily carve up Travis County four ways...."
"...It's a case of good news and bad news for a Texas film industry seeking to at least slightly level the playing field with Louisiana and New Mexico. The Legislature approved a one-time $20 million film incentive program for the next two years, but missing from the bill is an actual funding source for the incentive plan, which also includes at least on paper another $10 million in tourism dollars..."
"...Eventually the state of Kansas stepped in, removed him from his home and sent him to the Brown School in San Marcos, a residential treatment center for children with developmental disabilities. Testing from his time at the Brown School, and later for his appeals, shows that his intellectual functioning is significantly impaired, that his full scale IQ is 65-67 -- among the lowest 1% of the population -- and that his mental and emotional development is that of an 8- to 10-year-old child.Slow Wheels Turning In 2001, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that would have banned the execution of the mentally retarded..."
"...The dust – or should we say the gunpowder? – has hardly settled on the 85th Texas Legislature, and by the time you read this, Gov. Greg Abbott will likely have announced a Very Special Session, since we apparently haven't done enough to purify public bathrooms of the suspicion of lurking transgenderism..."
"...Whether it's settling the budget, education, or abortion rights, they've become commonplace. But as the Texas Legislature slashes film incentives, there's a call for Gov..."
"...Day seven of the third special session of the 83rd Texas Legislature, and the House will meet today for another attempt to provide $1 billion a year extra for road construction and maintenance. The big question now: Can the House and Senate reach an agreement on how this affects the Rainy Day Fund?..."
"...As the Texas Legislature prepares to reconvene tomorrow, there's some good budget news from Comptroller Susan Combs with a healthier-than-expected budget revenue estimate...."
"...For Education Austin's Zarifis, those federal cuts are as worrying as whatever damage the Legislature may wreak, because those federal dollars are so targeted. "We're running on such a slim budget," he said..."
"...Conservative lawmakers and advocates wholeheartedly agree. Although a host of bills have been filed during recent sessions that would require sex education to be comprehensive and medically accurate, those measures have been repeatedly rejected by the Republican-dominated Legislature, often without even a committee hearing..."
"...It wasn't until the early Eighties that Texans began raising these same exotic deer and antelope as commercial sources of meat. Inspired by New Zealand's success, and looking for creative and minimally disruptive ways to utilize the land, ranchers persuaded the Legislature to amend existing game laws, clarifying that exotics are private property like livestock, unlike the native white-tailed and mule deer that are publicly owned..."
"...Or are they? Two years ago, a Legislature with more Republicans than it has now was unable to adopt a higher cap than is proposed now, one that will now apply to politically popular school districts as well as less favored cities and counties. Aside from wishes and promises, details have yet to emerge on how the state will make those schools whole; nobody's even pretending to make whole the cities, counties, college and health districts, and other authorities who would be on a glide path toward fiscal crisis if HB 2 works as promised..."
"...Austin state Rep. Gina Hinojosa said she would carry the bill in the upcoming 86th Texas Legislature...."
"...House majority leader and Travis’ other two Congressmen. The latter two, he said, “have offered to the Texas Legislature a map last week that divides Travis County not in three ways but in four ways.”..."
"...AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced that a special session of the Texas Legislature will begin on Wednesday, July 1, at 10 a.m...."
"...Struggling to slap a cheery face on this debacle, Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director Manny Garcia wrote, "The newly elected Republican state representative of San Antonio will never take a vote in the legislature. Early voting for the Democratic primary starts in just 20 days, and we fully expect HD 118 to be a Democratic seat during the 85th Texas Legislature in 2017."..."
"...In What Barbara Jordan Wore, to be displayed on December 5th, Moffett explores the life and legacy of the famed Texas politician. In his series of digital prints of the Texas Legislature in the late Sixties, Moffett offers a subtle nod to the fraught racial tides within Lone Star politics while simultaneously lauding Jordan for her public works..."
"...244 measures from the House. The 84th session of the Texas Legislature may not kick off until Jan..."
"...Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, and Kirk Watson, D-Austin, as well as Reps. Elliott Naishtat and Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, for being judged amongst the least conservative-pandering members of the Texas Legislature..."
"...TCEQ is charged with permitting and enforcement for the EPA, to regulate the pollutants not only in Texas air but also in water and land; it has a duty to enforce both state and federal laws, including the federal Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. But since the Texas Legislature created a new industry-friendly state air permitting system in 1994-95, the agency has abetted Texas pollution-source operators and owners in violating federal law by issuing permits for emissions that do not conform to the Clean Air Act..."
"...Somewhat under the radar, the Texas Legislature passed in 2017, with broad bipartisan support, House Bill 89 by Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, which prohibits all government entities from contracting with any entity that boycotts Israel, and corresponding language has now begun to appear in public-sector contracts..."
"...Before we can hope for a "progressive" Texas Legislature and Congressional delegation, we had better continue to work toward a state politics that at least allows for opposition voices at the table. Right now in Texas, that's a pipe dream – meaning basic state services like public education, health care, transportation, etc., will continue to be held hostage by symbolic but real political cruelties like bathroom bills and even tighter restrictions on abortion..."
"..."We are going to work to make sure that anything comes before us will be defeated by courts, if not by us in the Texas Legislature,” she said...."
"...There are three barriers for Abbott to pass before this convention can even happen. One, he has to get the Texas Legislature to approve his call in the next session..."
"...Because, apparently, being able to carry rifles and shotguns on the street, and a concealed handgun, isn't security enough for them. Many law enforcement officials have been critical of the new open carry law passed by the Texas Legislature last Spring, and the difficulty it presents for officers in working out who is and isn't carrying a gun legally..."
"...The 84th session of the Texas Legislature, which wraps up at the end of this month, has not lacked for anti-Muslim sentiment. Anti-Sharia law House Bill 562, filed by Rep..."
"...AC: I wanted to ask you I don't know if you know this, but this morning [Feb. 28] the [Texas Legislature's] Senate Nominations Committee took up the nomination of John Bradley to be on the [Forensic Science Commission] panel [which is currently reviewing the arson science used to convict Willingham] – because he was, in an interim situation, appointed, so the Senate has never confirmed him..."
"...Such bills have failed the past two sessions. (The Texas Legislature meets every other year.) Blocker says he has a bill ready to go, but needs a legislator to sign on as an author...."
"...The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1751 in 2007 as a way to pay for sexual assault recovery services and the now-defunct Texas health opportunity pool. Its clear First Amendment violations have been pointed out in the lower courts, and the state has tried to unsuccessfully defend it..."