In a surprise ending to the second-to-last day of the legislative session, the House failed to pass the so-called sunset safety net bill, HB1959, before the midnight deadline tonight for the chamber to approve bills.
The bill would allow agencies like the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Department of Insurance and others that were supposed to be sunset this year to continue even though lawmakers failed to pass legislation renewing the agencies.
State Rep. David Liebowitz, D-San Antonio, first tagged the bill and then asked questions about the bill right up until the midnight deadline.
But it's not like Texas can go without a state transportation agency. So without some sort of legislation to keep it going for the next two years, Gov. Rick Perry would likely have to call lawmakers back to get the job done in a special legislative session.
House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, said he would work tonight to find some way to revive the bill Monday, the final day of the 140-day legislative session.
"We've got one more day," Straus said.
Several members said a group of Democrats decided to go through with the bold maneuver as a way to force other issues to get a vote tomorrow, most notably pushing for an expansion of the Childrens Health Insurance Program (even though Perry has already vowed to veto that measure).
Since the deadline was midnight tonight, members can only take up any bills Monday if 2/3s of the House agree to do so. It's unclear whether the votes are there.
When asked if he was surprised by how the day ended, Straus said, "Nothing surprises me. What's a little chaos before we go home."
A vote came up for members to consider not adjourning and pushing back the deadline. The vote failed 86 to 56.
Lawmakers in the Texas House sent the U.S. Congress a message on Saturday to mind its own business.
But just so no one gets the wrong message, House Concurrent Resolution 50 now says that Texas is still proud to be part of the U.S. of A.
The resolution "is about succeeding in the union, not seceding from the union," said Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, the resolution's author. "It is not a slap. It is a reminder."
Creighton objects to Congress handing down unfunded mandates, exploding the federal deficit and the intruding into the state's authority.
The measure, which passed 99 to 36, reaffirms the state's sovereignty and its rights under the 10th Amendment.
Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, cautioned that Texans need to be careful when talking about "state's rights."
"Growing up in the South, there are certain words that bring up certain emotions," Coleman said, emotions connected to the denial of rights.
The one known threat of a special session has just been dramatically reduced.
House members today approved the conference committee report shoring up a fund supporting hail and windstorm insurance coverage for coastal property-owners.
Assuming the Senate similarly OK's the legislation, it'll go to Gov. Rick Perry, whose threat to call a summer special session if lawmakers didn't address the windstorm topic helped kick-start negotiations about 10 days ago.
Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, said a moment ago he expects Senate approval tonight. Referring to previous efforts to amend the windstorm law, Fraser said: "This represents six years of work, so we're excited."
State Sen. John Carona gets medieval on his party's leadership.
Tempers flared Saturday on the Legislature's last weekend with a key GOP senator declaring that the session's central theme is "lack of leadership" by top members of his own party.
"If you look at this session, you've got two underlying problems: One is simply the lack of leadership in the top offices and the second is the lack of any clear, compelling agenda," said Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Chairman John Carona, R-Dallas.
His angst was triggered by the evident demise of a proposal to allow urban areas to raise gasoline taxes and some fees in their areas to pay for local transportation projects.
But the bickering about the bill has been emblematic of a string of sparring episodes that have played out over the last few weeks as lawmakers have struggled with successes and losses on controversial public issues.
n charging a lack of leadership, Carona referred to Perry's expected tough primary battle to keep his job against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, speculation that Dewhurst may run for U.S. Senate and the fact that GOP Speaker Joe Straus is a novice House leader.
"You can determine that perhaps that's because the state's top two leaders are considering their future political ambitions. You might consider that part of it is due to the fact we have a new speaker who has his own troubles," Carona said. "The bottom line is you can't lead 181 members without strong personalities and a set and significant agenda."
He particularly said Perry has failed to lead on the transportation bill, saying the governor should have supported the local-option idea since money is running short to meet transportation needs.
The story talks about the bills that were killed by the chubfest, and the ensuing scramble to resurrect as many of the important ones as possible. I say the fact that so many bills were in a position to be killed by that kind of delay is itself an indictment of the leadership, specifically of Speaker Straus. Look at SB1569, the unemployment insurance bill that would have gone against the Governor's wishes on stimulus money. It passed out of the Senate committee on April 2, was put on the calendar on the 14th, passed on second reading on the 16th, and on third reading on the 20th, when it was sent to the House. It then passed out of the House committee on May 2, and disappeared until May 18, when the Calendars committee finally took it up. It was debated in the House on May 21, then postponed due to disagreements over an amendment, and was finally taken up again after all the chubbing concluded late on the 26th, where it failed to pass before midnight. It took the Senate 18 days to go from committee approval to final passage. It took the House 19 days to go from committee approval to the initial floor debate. If the House had moved at the same pace as the Senate, SB1569 would have been on its way to Governor Perry's desk before any of us had ever heard the word "chubbing".
Oh, and despite Burka's helpful suggestion that the House simply punt on this, I'll note that SB1569 passed on third reading with eight Yes votes from Republican Senators, out of 19 total. Assuming it would have gotten 70 Yes votes from House Dems (let's assume an absence or two, and a stray No vote or two), it would have needed 30 of 75 Republican Yeas to pass with a veto-proof majority. That's a smaller percentage of House GOP votes needed than Senate GOP votes received, so don't tell me it was impossible. Yes, there may have been more pressure on House Republicans to vote No, but we'll never know that now. This could have been taken up for a vote in time had the House been better organized and had it been a priority instead of voter ID.
There are other examples, of course. We know that committee assignments came out later than usual. You can cut some slack for that. The House didn't get to voting on any bills till later than usual as well, and along the way we've heard complaints about the pace of the action in the House and of the length of their daily schedule. All I'm saying is there was a reason there were so many bills imperiled at the end. It didn't have to be that way.
That means the Senate on Monday likely will be approving dozens of conference committee reports -- the final versions of bills -- where they were supposed to just do minor corrections to a few bills.
Senate Administration Committee Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, told senators a few minutes ago that 131 House bills loaded up with Senate amendments are still in conference -- meaning they are still in negotiation with House members.
"We've got a lot of work to do," Williams said.
The vote to waive the rule and extend tonight;s deadline was 31-0. A four-fifths vote of at least 25 senators was required.
At the stroke of midnight last night, Sen. Troy Fraser's SB 545, the "chosen" solar incentives bill for the legislative session, seemed to have drawn its last breath when Rep. Sylvester Turner killed its vehicle.
Fraser's solar bill would have provided incentives for solar installation, with a view to increasing solar energy generation in Texas. Since the bill didn't make it through the House chubfest last week, it was tacked on to HB 1243, which would require utilities to purchase extra electricity from on-site renewable generation.
Well: Would have required. Turner killed the bill last night, seemingly out of hurt feelings over other bills that didn't make it through the parliamentary process over the past day.
"All day long we have been sending bill after bill back on germaneness," Turner said, objecting to the fact that HB 1243 had absorbed three loosely related measures.
He also objected to the electricity rate increases that would have been passed onto consumers to fund the solar incentives. Still, at 20 cents per month for residential customers, the increases were quite small.
According to Environment Texas advocate Luke Metzger, establishing a solar incentives program is critical in Texas right now, since the solar manufacturing base isn't permanently settled anywhere. If Texans buy more solar systems, it could persuade manufacturer's to set up shop here. Without the incentives, Metzger says, "we'll miss the solar boat for decades to come, potentially."
But all hope is not lost. Last week's chubfest in the House has put legislators through an exercise in it ain't over 'til it's over. And it ain't over for solar incentives, which may find a viable vehicle in Fraser's own SB 546, the session's "chosen" energy efficiency bill, which is in conference committee today.
If SB 546 can accommodate solar incentives legislation, Metzger does not think there will be a problem with germaneness.
However, he points out, "the other danger still is timing. This all has to happen very quickly in order to avoid Turner or anyone else trying to chub it to death."
Other items to keep an eye on are SCR72, the joint resolution to clean up after the Railroad Commission, and HB498, the innocence commission study bill. A lot of good criminal jurisprudence reform bills were chubbing victims so salvaging that one would be nice.
In the end, thanks in large part to the stimulus package and its infusion of funds that prevented the need to dip into the Rainy Day Fund, the budget process was relatively uncontroversial. Yesterday, it was passed by the House, and is now on its way to Governor Perry's desk.
With just three days left in the 81st Texas Legislature, the only thing certain was the state's $182.3 billion budget, which, among other things, increases spending for the mentally disabled, correctional officer salaries, college financial aid and pre-kindergarten programs. Most of the money, which includes $12.1 billion in federal economic stimulus dollars, is dedicated to education and health care.
Of greater interest at this time is the handful of bills that are still struggling to stay alive.
The House kept the debate on windstorm insurance reform alive by agreeing to seek a compromise on the bill in a joint conference committee. Perry has told lawmakers he will call a special session if the windstorm insurance reform does not pass.
At issue is how to keep solvent the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, which provides insurance for homeowners who cannot find private coverage -- without pushing insurance rates up. Hurricanes Ike and Dolly busted the association with an unexpected $2 billion in payouts.
Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood said they hope to reach a settlement so as "not to have a special session."
Also Friday, Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, said he was still trying to revive the Children's Health Insurance Program. An effort earlier this week to piggyback CHIP on a bill for newborn disease screening did not comply with House rules that subjects be "germane."
Although a coalition representing 70 groups called on legislative leaders to "take all necessary means" to pass the bill, the prospect is dim.
Disputes also were holding up a bill to renew the life of the Texas Department of Transportation for another two years. Portions of the bill call for a local option gas tax, supported by business leaders and elected officials from North Texas and San Antonio.
In Harris County, officials are keeping an eye on a provision that could limit or ban new cameras being placed at intersections to catch red-light runners.
Finally, one bit of bad news.
At the stroke of midnight on Friday, House Bill 1243 turned into a pumpkin and a fairy godmother was nowhere to be found to save it or the electric cooperative measure attached to it.
Provisions to improve accountability in the electric cooperatives, including Pedernales Electric Cooperative, had been tacked on to the bill in the Senate. And Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, challenged whether that amendment and others belonged on the bill.
A lengthy confab at the dais followed by a postponement delayed a vote on whether to send the bill to a conference committee, called for by Turner, until shortly before midnight. That vote failed 48 to 90.
But by the time Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, stepped to the microphone to save the bill, it was too late.
Another half-hour of parliamentary hand-wringing ensued. But, in the end, the glass slipper didn't fit.
The Star Telegram has a nice profile of Rep. Lon Burnam of Fort Worth, who we all know was anti-Tom Craddick before it was cool. If he were a baseball or basketball player, you'd say he's one of those guys who does things that don't show up in the box score. Burnam doesn't pass a lot of bills, but he works to kill those that need killing, and he helps provide a much-needed and otherwise often lacking liberal perspective on many issues. And his story for this session has not been fully written yet, as he has promised to bring his resolution to impeach Sharon Keller to the floor for a vote on a personal privilege motion. He has said that will happen before sine die, so it's got to be coming soon.
The one bill that has been expressly mentioned as a reason for a special session if it doesn't get done is SB14, the windstorm insurance bill. It was a chubbing victim on Tuesday, but on Wednesday it was revived by the time-honored "attach it as an amendment to another bill" method.
By a 27-4 vote, senators voted to amend House Bill 4409 to include the provisions of Senate Bill 14, that was passed in April to address the looming crisis in the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
"This is our last hope to be able to work on this issue," said state Sen. Mike Jackson, R-LaPorte, the Senate sponsor of the House legislation.
Jackson said that while the House may not accept the Senate's provisions, the approval of the amended bill tonight will provide a way for House and Sehate negotiators to come up with a final version that can be approved before the Legislature adjourns on Monday.
State lawmakers today voted unanimously to kill a provision that could have complicated the Metropolitan Transit Authority's light-rail plans.
The House removed language from a local transportation bill for Austin that would have put limits on Metro's authority to acquire property through condemnation.
Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, quietly placed the provision in the bill, apparently at the request of rail critics who contend that a 2003 referendum didn't specify that a portion of the planned University Line would run on Richmond rather solely on Westpark.
The Chron has a feature story on efforts to ramp up solar power in Texas.
[S]olar advocates say the right legislation could do the wind industry's success one better.
One approach, incentives to install solar panels on homes and businesses, could be the catalyst for a homegrown industry of system installers and panel manufacturers, they say. Those manufacturers also could benefit from close proximity to an existing link in the solar supply chain -- the single largest manufacturer of high quality polysilicon used in semiconductor chips and solar panels, which is located in Pasadena on the Houston Ship Channel.
"Really you want to develop a sustainable industry that does not require incentives," said Steve Chadima, vice president of internal affairs for SunTech Power, a Chinese solar panel manufacturer that is eyeing Texas as a possible plant site. "You don't want to live on the dole forever. But you need to jump-start the industry for it to develop along all the sectors."
As legislative deadlines approached late Tuesday, advocates were closely watching a bill that would give out $500 million in rebates over the next five years to businesses and homeowners who install solar panels. Money for the rebates would be raised through monthly fees on electric bills--about 20 cents for residential customers, $2 for small businesses and $20 for industries.
The law would also require retail electric companies to buy a customer's surplus electricity at a fair market price or credit the customer's bill and provide incentives for commercial-scale solar installations.
The bill's fate was uncertain, and its supporters in the legislature and the solar industry fear that if it doesn't pass the Legislature this year, other states that offer incentives will get a leg up on Texas in developing new solar business.
This afternoon, the Senate has HB 1243 on their intent calendar. HB 1243 is a "net metering" bill which would ensure that owners of solar installations, small wind turbines, or biogas generators get paid a fair price for the excess power they produce. As HB 1243 is a solar-related bill, it can be deemed germane, or related, to solar SB 545, which "died" last night [...].
Which means that SB 545 can (maybe, possibly) be amended to HB 1243. Tentative huzzah!
It gets better. HB 1243 is co-authored by Senator Troy Fraser -- the same fellow who sponsored SB 545. As both of these bills are Fraser's babies, the chances of SB 545 living on as an amendment are looking pretty good.
The text of Senate Bill 921 was attached to House Bill 1243, a measure relating to net metering for electric service customers that was earlier passed the House.
Also attached was the text of Senate Bill 545, a bill earlier passed by the Senate that is designed to provide incentives for solar projects.
Would-be Metro killer outs himself
And so the chubbing comes to an end
The last day of chubbing
Anti-Metro amendment removed
Westpark zealots try to pull a fast one
Where things stand in the House
McLeroy confirmation lives again
Gearing up for the voter ID showdown
RIP, statewide smoking ban
Campaign finance bill passes the House
Kuempel out of coma
Cohen pulls strip club bill
High school registrars
Why words matter
Rep. Kuempel collapses at Capitol
Tuesday Lege roundup
Monday Lege roundup
Voter ID passes out of House committee
Happy Ardmore Day
Safe Passing Act moving forward
Statewide smoking ban still stuck
Smith caves in to the Browns
Poker bill coming to a vote
TRCC survives sunsetting
No sunset for SBOE
IG for DPS
Voter ID still pending
"Blogger bill" passes out of House committee
The poll tax
Altering Houston term limits
Omnibus gambling bill gets committee approval
Patrick forced to moderate his ultrasound bill
Big education bills pass
Bait and switch on Voter ID
And here we have the "compromise" voter ID legislation
Statewide smoking ban stalled
Poker bill in trouble?
"Groundless" campaign finance complaints
Separating the Permanent School Fund from the SBOE
The voter ID "compromise" bill
Clean Air update
The Speaker speaks, and a Voter ID update
Senators versus TCEQ
Two legislator stories
It only hurts when it happens to you
Senate passes Safe Passing bill
Busy day yesterday
Stand Up To Help Bloggers Get Needed Protections Under Texas Law
House hearing set on Keller impeachment resolution
Sometimes the clock is your friend
Another chance to slap the Governor
Go Solar Texas
Statewide smoking ban update
Revisiting the FLDS saga
Clipping the SBOE
Public financing for judicial races
No Tigua casinos
The Onion takes on Betty Brown
Ethics and campaign finance bills to get their turn
More Ramey Ko
Ramey Ko speaks
Rep. Brown's apology
Senate passes clean air bill
What's in a name, Betty Brown style
CLC gambling update
More on Day One of the House hearings on voter ID
Blaming the nuns
Voter ID begins in the House today
More on the alternate strip club tax
Alternate strip club fee bill passes House
Danno says his vote on redistricting commission was a mistake
Poker bill passes out of House committee
House passes veto override resolution
Let the shenanigans begin!
The Heflin plan for voter ID
The TRCC should be sunsetted
The Statesman on the state of beer in Texas
Redistricting commission advances
Voter ID coming to the House
We want more regulation!
More on the AG and the LRB
Senate OKs needle exchange
Senate wraps up voter ID
Coup? What coup?
No open carry
Dems seek repeal of new DPS rules
No voter ID today
Is there a revolt brewing against Straus?
Why it really is about suppressing the vote
"Strengths and weaknesses" rears its head again
Who will be affected by voter ID?
If he can't testify, he shouldn't redistrict
Voter ID: That's it for now
Voter ID: On to day two
Voter ID: All through the night
Today's the day for Voter ID in the Senate
What you can do today to fight against the Voter ID bill
Safe Passing Act in the Senate
Time again to support your local microbrewer
Is the TAKS test at the end of the line?
Dewhurst makes the case against voter ID
Is redistricting reform about to become a reality?
Bill filed to modify strip club fee
Interview with State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte
Voter ID debate set for the Senate
The sad state of sex education in Texas
Expanded gambling: It isn't just for race tracks any more
Bills about cellphones and driving
The primaries matter, too
Son of Speaker complaining
Ellis and Crownover on the smoking ban
Voter ID already moving in the Senate
All DNA, all the time
More on the safe passing bill
Another step forward for a statewide smoking ban
Burnam files resolution to impeach Justice Keller
Microbrewers to try again
Committee assignment reactions
House committee assignments are out
Strip club fee back in court
Give bikes a little space
The Lege versus the BCS
Big (gun)man on campus
House adopts rules
Talk to them about helmet laws
Armstrong versus secondhand smoke
The Speaker speaks
More on voter ID and the House
For uniform early voting hours
The calm after the storm
Voter ID is the single most important issue facing Texas today
The silliness shifts to the Senate
Straus swears in and the Lege stands down
The Chron on the Straus effect
A little schadenfreude before the session begins
The Speakership and redistricting
What might we expect with Straus?
The "scourge" of straight-ticket voting
Thus endeth the Tom Craddick era
The Straus list
Is this really the end for Craddick?
Straus says he has the votes
We have a contender. Now what?
Rep.-elect Walle to hold town hall meetings
Straus for Speaker?
End of the year Speaker race update
Will the Lege go green?
More on the Dems' anti-Craddick list
The sixty-four member question
Another day, another Speaker candidate
City and county lobbying
Statewide smoking ban proposed
75 declared anti-Craddick votes?
Tragedy for family of State Rep. Robert Alonzo
This week's Speaker scenario
Will the last member to file for Speaker please turn out the lights?
From the "Everything old is new again" files
Ethics complaint filed against Craddick
Yet another Speaker candidate
Calling all overlords!
The Riddler versus the undocumented
The Kino factor
Craddick still has his fans
Happy pre-filing day!
The Speaker's race is officially underway
Are you ready for the Speaker's race?
A legislative threefer
Watch out for that bus, Tony
The Republican case against Tom Craddick
TAKS changes coming
State Senate staffer salaries
The TRCC sunset hearings
The trouble with the TRCC
Trash the TRCC
Speaker's statute tossed
Corte and Patrick start the session early
Steroids in the schools
More "ghost worker" stuff
Burnam to Craddick: What about Keel?
A roundup of voter ID editorials
The Speaker wars have begun
Strip clubs ask again for a halt to the new fee
Where the voter ID battle goes from here
The Lege and immigration
Strip clubs speak about the fee
Strip clubs must still pay fees
Rep. Cohen responds to court ruling on HB1751
The Bible class conundrum
Craddick's fishing trip
Strip club fee lawsuit update
One small piece of good news on voter ID
Puente to step down
Janek to leave Senate in June
State Sen. Kyle Janek to resign
Notes from the voter ID hearing on Friday
One Man In Clear Lake Is Overseeing The Texas Ethics Commission
Abbott rules for Craddick
Strip clubs sue over surcharge
Thanks for clarifying that, Tom
Craddick D update
McCall speaks, and other items
Friday rumormongering: More R-to-D switches coming?
Joe Heflin named "Legislator of the Year"
TLCV rates Houston legislators
State Rep. Kirk England switches to Democratic Party
State Rep. Fred Hill will not seek re-election
The cost of your wedding is about to increase
Craddick and Keel
Report card time
Now it's up to Abbott
Mighty expensive groceries you've got there, Mister Speaker
But who might take advantage?
Laney disputes Craddick's absolute power
One more thing about the community college veto
Thanks for the timely warning
Craddick to former parliamentarian: Shut up!
More briefs filed for Speaker ruling from Abbott
He'd call a special session for that?
Kyle Janek's Future Plans
Keel to stay on as parliamentarian
One more time: No special session!
Whitemire involved in lawsuit
Assessing the vetoes
Abbott's opinion sought on Craddick's power
Here are the vetoes
The 2007 Best and Worst Legislators
Perry signs cancer research bill
Tech recycling comes to Houston
Texas Film Commission bill signed
HB1919 still needs your help
An overview of parks funding
The session from the Houston/Harris perspective
Why SB482 died
Guess the list
Sylvester wants a special, Dewhurst wants a do-over
No! Don't come back!
More on Turner for Speaker
Sly for Speaker?
Governor Perry's first veto
At long last, sine die
What passes for normal
Quorum busted after budget vote
Reports of HB13's death were exaggerated
Comments on Memorial Day
What next in the House?
Afternoon update on the mess in the House
And the fun begins again
So what happened last night?
Grits on the death of HB13
Is this finally it?
Senfronia for Speaker!
Is HB13 going down?
RIP, statewide smoking ban
Still waiting to vacate
Goodbye SB419, hello HB1919
Is SB1317 dead?
Strip club fee passes the Senate
Dewhurst gives up the pursuit of HB218
Rose and Lucio
Anti-abortion bills die
"Not if, but when"
Four! Four for Speaker!
Darned Good Questions Department
Byron Cook tells Craddick to resign
And then there were three
The effect of SB785
Sen. Gallegos back in Austin
Vacating, all I ever wanted
As the session winds down
SB419 on the calendar
Gallegos' absence and the last days of the session
Anti-abortion bills postponed till today
Where's the review?
Last chance to support SB419
Hopefully the last thing I'll have to say about Dewhurst and HB218
Another delay from Bonnen
"Bill Ceverha bill" passes the House
Journey for "Jessica's Law" nears its end
Is this the end of the line for HB218?
Another aspect of the Speaker's race
Joe Pojman speaks
Senate at recess: Now what?
Bonnen versus Bonnen
Marriage tax hike goes to Governor
Craddick: Bring it on
Dewhurst: Sleazier and sleazier
By any means necessary for Dewhurst
Keffer files for Speaker
Voter ID chaos in the Senate
The state of the Speaker's race
Lobbying for Craddick
Speaker's Race II: The Wrath of Tom
Burka on SB1317
HB159 goes down
Rep. Farrar's personal privilege speech on HB1098
More talk of a special session
More on the anti-Craddick revolt
Farrar on HB13's passage
"Gutted" statewide smoking ban bill passes the House
HB13 passes the House
Anti-clean air bill gets moved to friendlier turf
More HB13 debunking
HB13: Swinford and Culberson
Anti-clean air bill referred to Urban Affairs
Statewide smoking ban hits a snag
HB218: Disenfranchisement stories
HB218: No action in the Senate yet
Mayor White editorializes for clean air
The swiftboating of Rick Noriega
HB1224 and Applied Behavior Analysis
More from Rep. Farrar on HB13
More on the Senate's anti-clean air bill
HB626 passes out of the House
Senate votes against clean air
HB626 stalls, HB218 advances
HB626: Not any better
Compromise on HB626?
Round Two of voter ID today in the House
Voter ID again on Monday
HPV showdown looming
Editorial roundup on HB218
Berman's campaign finance bill advances
Here comes Mario
When good things happen to bad bills
"Jessica's Law" passes out of Senate
Letter from border police chiefs regarding HB13
Senate blocks Perry's HPV order
One voter ID measure passes, one gets delayed
Farrar on HB13
More on wiretapping in Texas
Voter ID debate going on
It's not just a partisan dispute
Common Cause on Voter ID
Senate says "No smoking till 19"
Senate passes TYC reform bill
Deal or no deal on Jessica's Law?
TDEx bill approved in committee
Not the campaign finance reform bill I was expecting
And so it goes
Voter ID video
Campaign finance reform bills up today
Five and ten
Voter ID bills coming soon
If at first you don't succeed, amend another bill
Possibly the last thing I'll say about Danno's outburst
More on Danno's outburst
Marriage meddling bill gets gutted
Welcome back, Sen. Gallegos
First they came for gay marriage
Petition for hearings on campaign finance bills
CHIP bill passes House
One step forward, one step back
Woodlands annexation legislation passes out of committee
Voter ID bills pass out of committee
Reminder: Town hall meeting with Rep. Ellen Cohen
More wind over wind farms
Voter ID bill in committee today
The "Bill Ceverha Bill" passes out of the Senate
Global warming in the Lege
Open document formats for Texas
To override or not to override
Town hall meeting on education with Rep. Cohen
Two words I didn't expect to hear this time around: Special session
Red light camera ban bill to be heard today
What happened to HB478?
TTC moratorium is veto-proof
The "Healthy Marriage Initiative"
An answer to Dewhurst on voter ID
More on the voter ID bill
Voter ID bills appear to be dead for this session
Statewide smoking ban update
The "logic" behind Jessica's Law
"Hand counted paper ballot" bill filed
More on Abbott's HPV opinion
Give TCEQ the right tools for the job
Abbott says Perry's HPV order "does not carry the weight of law"
Sixty down, eighty to go
More voices against "Jessica's Law"
Perry pushes cancer research fund
Senate readies gambling expansion bills
Woolley files bill to protect stem cell research
A little do-gooding
Reactions to "Jessica's Law" passage
Perry declares TYC an emergency
The "Bill Ceverha Bill"
The amended Jessica's Law
Jessica's Law and sales price disclosure
Microbrewery Free Trade Bill filed
Casey on Davis and CHIP
"Jessica's Law" tabled till Monday
More red light camera legislation
Making pharmacists fib
CHIP Day - March 1
Leave a "Get Well" message for Debra Danburg
Bill to extend early voting filed
Dedicating the sporting goods tax
Get well soon, Debra Danburg
Chisum apologizes, but still doesn't get it
Warren Chisum: Man of nonsense
Slow down the coal plant fast track
Another bill to stop red light cameras filed
Compromise looming on 60-day rule
Ellis to present statewide smoking ban measure today
Danno makes his choice
Resolution to vote on bills early fails
Just say "No" to Tom Craddick
Committee assignments are out
No committees yet
Abbott says no death penalty for illegal abortions
Drink 'em if you got 'em
The Lege wants to cure cancer
Gallegos receives liver transplant
Eleven minus one
Get yer committee assignments here
Craddick's leadership shuffle
Perry defends HB1403
Score one for Juan Garcia - almost
Bloggers in the House
Gallegos needs liver transplant
On the bright side
Time to start making lemonade
Dunnam statement on Speaker's race
Dan Patrick: One of a kind
And they're off and stalling
Today we'll have a Speaker
YouTubing the Speaker's race
Why do (dead) birds suddenly appear/Every time you are near?
Why the Speaker's race matters
What kind of vote for Speaker will there be?
Burnam files complaint against Craddick
Pitts and McCall, McCall and Pitts