House and Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled their priorities for the upcoming special legislative session, including some measures that fall in line with the agenda Gov. Greg Abbott laid out in his call and some that depart entirely from it.
In a joint press conference, Democratic leaders in both chambers vowed to champion the issues “that matter to all Texans,” and to fight for legislation that will protect “our kids, our economy, our health and our communities.” Priorities for the Democrats include school finance reform and reducing maternal mortality — both of which are on Abbott’s list in some capacity. Several other issues, including criminal justice reform and equal pay, are not — and are unlikely to make it to the floor for a vote.
To continue reading this story go to the Texas Tribune.
Next time you spend hours in line at a Department of Public Safety office trying to get your license renewed, you’ll have something in common with the legislators and staffers coming back to Austin for a special session later this month.
Those lines and this session are both wasteful, senseless situations created by a betrayal of the principles that once drove government in this state.
To continue this story go to the El Paso Times.
Infighting, red-meat politics and parliamentary revenge characterized this year’s Texas Legislature. Amid the fray, legislators failed to reauthorize basic state agencies such as the Texas Medical Board, which is why Texans now face the gloomy fate of another 30-day session beginning next week.
With all the dysfunction, you might conclude the Lege is simply incompetent, but it turns out they’re still aces at one thing: provoking lawsuits.
In 140 days, the Lege passed at least five bills that the state will likely be (or already is) defending in court at the taxpayers’ expense. Courts have already ruled repeatedly against Texas in recent years over voter ID, redistricting and abortion access.
To continue reading this story go to the Texas Observer.
SAN ANTONIO — A Dallas state representative said in federal court that there was a lack of a legislative process during the 2013 special session that redrew some of Texas’ electoral maps under court order.
“As a legislator, when we are trying to solve a problem … generally what we’ll do is bring in people who have a stake in the situation,” said Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas. “I don’t recall anything like that happening in 2013 with respect to redistricting.
To continue reading this story go to the Dallas Morning News.
After federal judges in April 2017 ruled that Texas Republicans had intentionally diluted minority voting strength when they redrew U.S. and Texas House districts, a Democratic legislator said it wasn’t the first time — or even the fifth.
Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas, who chairs the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, posted a tweet saying: “How many federal rulings have NOW found intentional discrimination by #Txlege since 2011? 6.”
Six rulings? We wondered.
To continue reading this story go to PolitiFact Texas.
DALLAS – State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, said Governor Greg Abbott’s call for a special session next month is a failure of leadership and shows he needs to be more involved in the legislative process.
“The reality is this special session announcement is really representative of a failure of leadership on the governor’s part. He wasn’t engaged at all during the regular session. That was the time to talk about issues and push the legislature if he wants to get things done. He’s just simply trying to seize the spotlight here and trying to get some of the attention back on him,” said Turner during an appearance on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics Sunday morning.
To continue reading this story go to WFFA8.