Tag Archives: The Lege

The Chron covers the HCAD elections

At long, long last. Most Houston-area property owners likely are unaware that the amount of taxes they owe is decided, in part, by a group of local appraisers overseen by a little-known board of directors. But for the first time … Continue reading

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Book ban law stays blocked

Good. Key portions of a law signed last year by Gov. Greg Abbott requiring booksellers to rate books for sexual content when selling to schools will not go into effect after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined … Continue reading

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Chron overview of the HD139 runoff

While I hope that the Chron runs overviews of all of the primary runoffs, I really hope they run at least one freaking story about the HCAD special election. Angie Thibodeaux is an affordable housing consultant who wants to make … Continue reading

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RNC scales down Hispanic outreach efforts

Fine by me. A Hispanic outreach center that the National Republican Committee opened on San Antonio’s Southeast Side in 2021 is among numerous minority outreach offices across the country that have been shuttered for the 2024 election cycle. Democrats say … Continue reading

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The STAAR test will be graded by AI this year

Surely something like this was inevitable. Students sitting for their STAAR exams this week will be part of a new method of evaluating Texas schools: Their written answers on the state’s standardized tests will be graded automatically by computers. The … Continue reading

Posted in School days | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Several Dem legislators want to investigate HISD

We’ll see if this goes anywhere. Several Houston-area Democratic legislators are calling for a formal hearing to address “potential violations of state law” in Houston ISD in the aftermath of the Texas Education Agency stripping elected leaders from the school … Continue reading

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“Reverse redlining”

Very interesting. A novel legal argument is at the heart of a federal lawsuit against the sprawling Colony Ridge housing development in Liberty County that could prove a test case for similar claims around the country, experts say. The lawsuit … Continue reading

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The Fifth Circuit has its merits hearing on SB4

This is the big one. A federal appeals court heard arguments Wednesday from Texas and the federal government about whether it should continue blocking a new Texas law that would let state police arrest migrants suspected of entering the U.S. … Continue reading

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Influencer disclosures

I approve of this. Texas’ top campaign finance watchdog gave initial approval last week to a proposal that would require social media users to disclose if they are being paid to share or create political advertisements. The Texas Ethics Commission’s … Continue reading

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Crystal Mason’s conviction for illegal voting overturned

Justice at last. A Texas appeals court on Thursday overturned the illegal voting conviction of Crystal Mason, who was given a five-year prison sentence for casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election while on supervised release for federal tax … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Appeals court upholds injunction that halted DFPS investigations of trans kids’ families

From the inbox: Today, the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, upheld injunctions in two related cases against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Commissioner Masters, barring them from implementing the agency’s rule expanding the definition … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit leaves SB4 block in place

Good. A federal appeals panel late Tuesday night declined to put Texas’s migrant deportation law back in effect, saying the state law seizes powers that are “likely reserved to the United States.” The 2-1 opinion from the 5th Circuit Court … Continue reading

Posted in La Migra, Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PFLAG wins injunction against Paxton’s intrusive data requests

From the inbox, as I have not seen any news stories about this yet: The Travis County District Court today granted a temporary injunction blocking the Texas Attorney General’s Office’s latest effort targeting transgender Texans — its demand that PFLAG … Continue reading

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Hope we have enough water this summer

Not looking great for some parts of the state right now. Two consecutive summers of brutal heat and drought have left some parts of Texas with notably low water supplies going into 2024. A wet year or a well-placed hurricane … Continue reading

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Mexico asks Fifth Circuit to keep blocking SB4

They definitely have an interest in this. The Mexican government is urging a federal court to block Texas’ migrant deportation law, arguing it will trample the country’s right to regulate its own borders, terrorize the 2.4 million Mexican nationals living … Continue reading

Posted in La Migra, Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mexico asks Fifth Circuit to keep blocking SB4

Paxton sues two more adult websites

I’m sure he’s got a list. Two more adult websites are facing lawsuits from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office over accusations they’re not following the state’s age verification law, the latest effort to legally go after internet porn providers. … Continue reading

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Texas Medical Board issues some guidance on abortion exceptions

Sort of. The Texas Medical Board proposed a broad definition for what constitutes an emergency medical exception under the state’s otherwise strict abortion ban at its meeting Friday, disappointing some abortion rights advocates who were seeking a specific list of … Continue reading

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Rep. Oliverson files for Speaker

Something like this was inevitable. State Rep. Tom Oliverson on Thursday announced a surprise challenge to Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, condemning his fellow Republican’s “dysfunctional” leadership as he fights for political survival in a May runoff. Oliverson, an anesthesiologist … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit has its SB4 hearing

More whiplashing. The chief judge on an appeals panel weighing whether to block Texas’ new migrant deportation law appeared skeptical that it does not run afoul of longstanding precedent leaving immigration enforcement solely to the federal government. Questioning the state’s … Continue reading

Posted in La Migra, Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And just like that, SCOTUS flipflops on SB4

UPDATE: It’s blocked again! A federal appeals court late Tuesday night stopped a state law allowing Texas police to arrest people suspected of illegally crossing the Texas-Mexico border — hours after the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed it to go … Continue reading

Posted in La Migra, Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SCOTUS pauses SB4 again

This time indefinitely. The Supreme Court on Monday extended a temporary block on a new Texas immigration law that is being challenged by the Biden administration. In an order issued by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court again imposed a … Continue reading

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Sure, Pornhub could verify identities and ages if they wanted to

But that’s not the point. House Bill 1181, which was passed in June and went into effect in September, says that any entity publishing pornographic material must require a visitor to provide digital identification or use a commercial age verification … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters, Technology, science, and math | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Another Republican done dirty by Abbott speaks

Welcome to the table, Rep. Clardy. When state representative Travis Clardy, of Nacogdoches, first heard rumblings of a potential Republican primary challenger early last summer, he was surprised. The woman who was considering challenging him, Joanne Shofner, was someone who … Continue reading

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Now the state sues the Colony Ridge developers

Following in the footsteps of the feds. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Houston-area developers of Colony Ridge on Thursday, accusing them of deceptive sales, marketing and lending practices that allowed their sprawling housing development to flourish. Residents of … Continue reading

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Pornhub blocks access from Texas

I’m sure you’ve already noticed, but just in case… One of the most-visited pornography websites, Pornhub, disabled its site in Texas on Thursday over objections to a state law that requires age verification to prevent access to minors. People who … Continue reading

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Texas Medical Board may issue guidance on abortion exceptions

I trust you will forgive my skepticism about this. The Texas Medical Board will consider language to clarify what qualifies as a medical exception to the state’s abortion laws at an upcoming March 22 board meeting. The meeting agenda was … Continue reading

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SB4 remains on hold

Fine by me. No rush. The Supreme Court on Tuesday further delayed a new Texas law empowering state authorities to arrest and deport migrants that would transform immigration enforcement long left to the federal government. Justice Samuel Alito extended an … Continue reading

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A closer look at Colony Ridge

There have been problems for awhile. Not the kind of problems that got the wingnuts all frothed up, but problems nonetheless. When the fast-growing Colony Ridge development outside Houston became a fixation of right-wing media last year, Texas’ Republican leaders … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters, The great state of Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

There’s only one way forward after this primary

The worst people you know had a very good week last week. It’s likely to get better for them after the runoffs. These headlines capture the essence of it: ‘Disastrous’: A shaken Texas House prepares for rightward shift after record … Continue reading

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Ousted Rep. Rogers has some thoughts about why he lost

He’s on the right track. It’s just a question of whether he takes it to the correct destination. The corruption that exists at the highest level of Texas state government would have made Governor “Pa” Ferguson blush. Governor Greg Abbott … Continue reading

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Evaluating the polls

This year we got a set of polls for various Democratic primary races from the UH Hobby Center. Because of the nature of some of the races and the fact that we don’t usually get this kind of polling data, … Continue reading

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Initial thoughts on the 2024 primary

Some opening considerations as we peruse the final unofficial voting data. Before you read my words, go check out Stace, Campos, Reform Austin, and the Texas Signal. Here we go: – Final turnout in Harris County was 176,396 for Dems … Continue reading

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Three Ken Paxton updates

I missed these in the recent news rush, but spotted them all more or less at once via the Google News app on my phone. Doomscrolling for the win, I guess. Whistleblowers: Texas Supreme Court must reject Ken Paxton’s ‘scheme’ … Continue reading

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Primary 2024 results: Democratic headlines

It’s going to be a late night and I have a couple of long days ahead of me, so I’m going to do some quick summaries based on what I now know, and will come back later to fill the … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2024 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments