Odds and ends from the Capitol

On March 9, the Senate speedily passed Senate Bill 643, the long-awaited state school reform bill creating an independent ombudsman and whistle-blower protections for the state's facilities for citizens with developmental challenges... The Senate Finance Committee is considering slashing the Texas Youth Commission budget by 40% to reflect its reduced size and changed role... Scott Swearengin, the city's assistant director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, testified before the House Committee on Public Education against House Bill 727, which would close public schools serving as emergency shelters. The city and Austin Independent School District both oppose the bill, citing AISD's success in keeping students and evacuees separate during Hurricane Ike as proof the current rules work... Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, has filed HB 6, requesting the state release $933 million from the rainy-day fund for Hurricane Ike reconstruction, as well as several disaster insurance reform bills... A new opinion by Attorney General Greg Abbott clears the way for Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, to explore running for governor without quitting his seat; Berman said if he runs, it will be on an anti-illegal immigration platform... Not everyone hates the Texas Department of Transportation: Rep. Diana Maldonado, D-Round Rock, applauded the agency for approving $10 million to renovate FM 1460 in Williamson County... Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, has filed HB 1910, which he calls a bill of rights for toll-road users, requiring extra signage so drivers don't get hammered for going down the wrong lane... San Antonio Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon and Houston Sen. Rodney Ellis have filed bills (HB 498 and SB 115) seeking to create an innocence commission... Friday (March 13) is the filing deadline for nonlocal and nonemergency bills and joint resolutions. For breaking news and analysis, visit austinchronicle.com/legeland or sign up to www.twitter.com/legeland.

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More 81st Legislature
Scorecard: Grading the CenTex Delegation
Scorecard: Grading the CenTex Delegation
How did our legislators do?

June 12, 2009

The Big Legebowski
The Big Legebowski
The gutter balls, the strikes, and everything in between

Lee Nichols, June 12, 2009

More by the News Staff
State Offers Exciting New Incentives Package to Retain Public School Teachers
State Offers Exciting New Incentives Package to Retain Public School Teachers
Tough times for teachers, but the Texas GOP is here to help

March 31, 2023

The Lege Opens, Here's What Happens Next
The Lege Opens, Here's What Happens Next
Not all of the bills are bad! Our analysis of the just-begun 88th Texas Legislature.

Jan. 13, 2023


81st Legislature, innocence commission, green jobs, state schools, Texas Youth Commission

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle