27-year reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. Legal issues, politics and more. Father of 2, husband of 1, fool for poker.
HB 8 passed the House 146-0. Today, it passes Senate, 31-0. Bill goes back to House to consider 2 relatively minor amendments added tonight. #txlege
Named the Lavinia Masters Act after a Dallas woman who was raped at 13 but waited more than 20 years for her rape kit to be tested, well beyond the 10-year statute of limitations that barred prosecution for the crime. #txlege
Senate takes up HB 8, setting tighter deadlines to analyze rape kits; improving rape-kit testing capacity in labs; relaxing the statute of limitations if prosecution is delayed by a chronic backlog in rape kit testing. #txlege Background: statesman.com/news/20190416/…
Patrick also criticized the 25 House Republicans who voted against SB 29, calling it unbelievable. #txlege
Did anyone out there see lobbyists cheering this bill's defeat? #txlege
I was there and saw no one cheer.
"That is one of the reasons next session that we will pass that bill," Patrick says. He also thanked Speaker Bonnen for working hard to pass the bill. #txlege.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announces House defeat of SB 29, banning local govts from hiring paid lobbyists. He chastizes lobbyists he said stood up and cheered its defeat, saying they would lose their privileges if they pulled that in the Senate gallery. #txlege
RT @DonnaHowardTX: FYI—@GeneforTexas was present and voted Nay. In this case his machine literally malfunctioned. Vote duly recorded. #txle…
Senate conferees; Huffman, chair; Creighton, Nelson, Alvarado, Flores #txlege
Senate does not concur on House changes to SB 1257, sought by AG Paxton to let his office take over prosecution of human trafficking cases. House required local DA approval to get AG involved, undermining its purpose, Sen. Huffman said. #txlege Background: statesman.com/news/20190404/…
Senate does not concur on House amendments to SB 18, the campus free speech bill. Some additions "appear to be vague and overbroad," says Huffman. Conference committee: Huffman chair; Nelson, Zaffirini, Creighton, Campbell #txlege
Confederate monuments bill fails to get House vote before deadline: #txlege statesman.com/news/20190520/…
Which explains why the Senate just now went into recess until 6:30. Same thing happened Friday when the House bogged down on an abortion-related bill. Why? At this point of the session, House is passing Senate bills ... Senate passing House bills. #txlege
Parliamentary inquiry just now from Sen. @joanhuffman How many House bills has the .Senate passed today? 25. And in the House? "I believe they have passed 1 bill so far," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says..
Vote breakdown on SB 1978: #txlege https://t.co/rccx8oLQrr
House gives initial approval to SB 1978 79-62. Final vote tomorrow. Will tweet vote breakdown next #txlege
The 5 members of the House LGBTQ Caucus deliver personal, sometimes tearful plea to vote down SB 1978, saying it will be used to perpetuate hate against them and others like them. #txlege
Point of order overruled. Rep. Krause lays out SB 1978. #txlege
Point of order says there was not a committee quorum when SB 1978 was voted out. #txlege
Bill has been a priority for conservative Christians, who have not been able to move any of about a dozen "religious refusal" bills, many of which would have allowed people or businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples over religious opposition to gay marriage. #txlege
It was a point of order by Dems that killed the House version of the bill almost 2 weeks ago. Since then, the Senate and House committees went into overdrive to move the Senate version to the floor. #txlege
SB 1978 is up in the House and subject to an immediate point of order by Dems. Bill would ban govt action against a person or business based on membership in, or donations to, a faith-based group. Also known as "Save Chick-fil-A" #txlege
Senate in recess until 10 am Monday. #txlege
The delayed amendment also would have added the most innocuous part of SB 9 -- prohibition on pre-filled boxes on voter registration applications where it asks verification of legal age and citizenship status. #txlege
On the same night his SB 9 dies in Calendars, Sen. Hughes did not bring back HB 2911, which he tried to amend w/ parts of other election bills, including SB 903's rules on citizenship investigations into registered voters. It was postponed for a closer look at amendment. #txlege
SB 1663, designed to make it harder to remove, relocate or change Confederate monuments and other historic memorials, will NOT get a House vote. It dies in Calendars Committee. #txlege Background: statesman.com/news/20190516/…
So ... not as late as expected. Senate is on its last bill of the night, Lt. Gov. Patrick announces #txlege
Oops. Word came from Common Cause...
SB 9 election bill dies in House Calendars Committee, ACLU reports. #txlege
Senate approves fix to 'revenge porn' law, sending it to Gov. Abbott. 31-0 vote follows 136-0 vote in the House. #txlege statesman.com/news/20190519/…
Senate votes 31-0 to pass HB 98, an attempt to help the state's "revenge porn" law withstand a pending court challenge. Next goes to Gov. Abbott. Background: statesman.com/news/20190425/…
Senate votes 31-0 to pass HB 1590, creating the Sexual Assault Survivors' Task Force to improve investigation and prevention efforts. Bill by @DonnaHowardTX Senate sponsor @KirkPWatson #txlete
Lt Gov Patrick says that because the House worked late Friday to clear its calendar after a long debate on an abortion bill, Senate is back to work today Patrick halted work early Friday, citing concern that House delay was killing Senate bills Background: statesman.com/news/20190517/…
Senate gavels in for a Sunday session. Late night expected. 1 senator said they could go to 10 pm, another said midnight or later. And like @lmcgaughy said -- no #GoT spoilers. #txlege
After spending 8 hours on Friday's abortion-related bill, the Texas House will take up another hot-button issue Monday. SB 1978, barring govt action against a business for donations/membership in faith-based groups (the Save Chick-fil-A bill), is high on Monday's calendar #txlege
Here’s the vote breakdown on SB 22: #txlege https://t.co/dOoJpoOAjE
Final vote set for Saturday. #txlege
One amendment added tonight, by Rep. Stickland, reading: "This chapter may not be construed to restrict a municipality or county from prohibiting abortion." #txlege
SB 22 gets initial House approval, 81-65. Three Democrats spoke against. House sponsor declined to speak in favor to close. #txlege
Rep. Thierry calls a point of order on the bill. This is the fifth called tonight, by my count (4 by Dems; 1 by a Republican on a Dem amendment). If anyone knows different, speak up... #txlege
Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos amendment would exempt counties with high rates of teen pregnancies. Says she was a teen mother, was on Medicaid/food stamps, but only for a short time, and credits -- sometimes tearfully -- help from Planned Parenthood. Amendment voted down. #txlete
House back in order. Rep. Minjarez withdraws her amendment that would have exempted services for sexual assault. Didn't seem like Republicans were keen to vote on that one. We're back on other amendments now. #txlege
There has been no action on the House floor for over 90 minutes, but a lot of action behind the scenes on the amendments to SB 22 and possible agreements/concessions. #txlege
RT @RenzoDowney: Sen. @JudithZaffirini says that, as of yesterday, the Senate has passed 295 House bills while the House has passed 164 Sen…
Debate over abortion-related bill bogs down the House, spills over to the Senate as work grinds to a halt at the Capitol. #txlege statesman.com/news/20190517/…
I'm told there are 17 amendments left on SB 22, banning local government transactions with Planned Parenthood, abortion providers/affiliates. #txlege
Now up to 46 amendments on SB 22. #txlege
Unchanged by the Senate, HB 1631 next goes to Gov. Abbott, who has said he is opposed to red light cameras.
Senate gives final approval to the bill banning red light cameras across Texas. SB 1631 passes 23-8. #xlege
34 pending amendments on SB 22. Once Senate is done with red light cameras, they will stand at ease until the House moves to another bill. Patrick says he does not blame Speaker Bonnen, whose doing everything he can to move Senate bills. #txlege
Patrick says it's a new policy he just decided to enact. "If that's a game plan, we'll just stand at ease until they get going." Says he was told the House plans to spend hours on this Planned Parenthood bill. #txlege
While the House is on its 2nd long point of order on SB22, which would block cities/counties from dealing with Planned Parenthood, Dan Patrick says the House is chubbing and the Senate will not take up another House Bill while Senate bills are dying over there. #txlege
Gov. Abbott orders Texas flag to half-staff tomorrow in Galveston County and the Capitol on the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Santa Fe High School. He also asks Texans to take part in a moment of silence at 11 am Saturday to remember those affected. #txlege
Senate expected to vote today on the bill to ban red-light cameras statewide. HB 1631 has already passed the House. #txlege
House just gave initial approval to SB 476, letting restaurants statewide open patios, outside areas to dogs, like Austin has allowed since 2006. #txlege Background: statesman.com/news/20190215/…
Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, and other supporters of Planned Parenthood gather outside House today to oppose SB 22, banning city and other local govt contracts or business with PP, that will be voted on today. #txlege https://t.co/p0h20z7gF0
I don't think that word means what they think it means... twitter.com/gardnerselby/s…
JUST IN: The Texas House will meet SATURDAY morning to do 3rd reading votes on bills that get initial approval today, and handle other eligible items. Senate expected to work Sunday afternoon. #txlege
House State Affairs just voted out SB 1978, the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, on 7-4 vote. Must get floor vote by Tuesday night. #txlege
House committee adopts stricter Confederate monuments bill than was passed in the Senate: #txlege statesman.com/news/20190516/…
RT @RenzoDowney: Rep. Celia Israel says that for Dems, “time is on our side” on #SB9 election integrity omnibus w/ the Saturday cmt and Tue…
RT @MarkWigginsTX: In Senate Ed, Chair @SenLarryTaylor subs STAAR changes from the Senate version of #HB3 — consolidating reading & writing…
Senate adjourns until noon Friday. Later start is to get committee work done in the morning. #txlege
All Republicans in favor of HB 16, joined by Dems Lucio and Zaffirini. #txlege
Senate gives final passage to HB 16 on 21-10 vote. Only Sen. Johnson, D, spoke against it, but he spoke so quickly and softly I couldn't make out the words. #txlege
Senate gives initial approval to HB 16. Even after final approval, tho, it will still have to return to the House to concur with the amendment. #txlege
Senate adds amendment to the only substantive change made by the House to the Senate version, which requires abortion doctor to immediately transfer and admit child to a hospital. Amendment strikes "and admit" cuz abortion doctor won't have admitting authority. #txlege
Senate takes up HB 16, requiring medical treatment in the extremely rare circumstance of a live birth during an abortion. #txlege
Like yesterday's vote, largely party line with 2 crossing over: * Sen. Kel Seliger, R, against. * Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr, D, for. #txlege
Final Senate approval on 19-12 vote. Goes next to the House. #txlege
Senate takes up SB 1978, the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill, for a final vote. #txlege Background on Senate's initial approval yesterday: statesman.com/news/20190515/…
HB 1631, banning red-light cameras, was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee today. No changes. Already passed the House. #txlege
Senate State Affairs passes HB 3809 on 7-0 vote this morning, raising statute of limitations for lawsuits related to childhood sexual abuse. #txlege Background: statesman.com/news/20190513/…
SB 22, banning city/county contracts with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, is on the House calendar for FRIDAY. Important because the House, in the past, has added other pending abortion restrictions to the first bill to make it to the floor. #txlege
Final approval is set for Thursday, sending SB 1978 to the House, which will have until Tuesday to approve it. #txlege
Vote was 19-12, with most Republicans in support, Democrats opposed. Crossing the aisle: * Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, voted against. * Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, in favor. #txlege
Senate gives initial approval to SB 1978, which was dead in the water 3 days ago but was revived and converted today to mirror the "Save Chick-fil-A bill that was killed last week in the House. #txlege
Amendment added to ensure that trauma funding not changed if red-light camera ban is passed. That bill, already passed by House, should come to the floor soon, we're told. #txlege
Bill keeps intact money for trauma hospitals statewide (the sticking point in prior efforts to end the program) by raising state traffic fines, adding $2 fee for each auto insurance policy, adding DWI fines. #txlege
Senate passes HB 2048, ending the much-despised Driver Responsibility Program, which assesses extra fees for driving offenses, taking drivers licenses away from those who cannot pay. 31-0. #txlege
Raising legal age for tobacco, vaping products from 18 to 21 survives final attacks in House: #txlege statesman.com/news/20190515/…
RT @lmcgaughy: Texas Senate now taking up #HB18, which sets up additional mental health responses in schools after Santa Fe shooting. "Thi…
Bill next goes to the Senate to consider relatively minor changes made in the House. #txlege
Texas House votes 110-36 to give final passage to SB 21, raising the legal age to buy, use or possess tobacco and electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21. Bill survives 3 points of order raised by Republicans Tinderholt and Cain. #txlege
RT @Grits4Breakfast: Really important vote today in the Texas House related to open records and police shootings. twitter.com/moodyforelpaso…
House also voted down an amendment by Rep. Tinderholt that would have tied the age of tobacco to the voting age (18). Tinderholt said it was a matter of freedom and liberty; 102 House members disagreed. #txlege
House voted down amendment proposed by Rep. Holland that would have exempted cigars from the bill. Holland said they were often used for special occasions, used by only 2% of younger smokers. #txlege
On a voice vote, Texas House gives preliminary approval to SB 21, raising the legal age to buy, use or own tobacco products or e-cigarettes from 18 to 21. Final vote set for Wed. Relatively minor amendments added will need Senate OK before it goes to Gov. Abbott. #txlege
RT @quorumreport: with protections for nondiscrimination ordinances added, house state affairs votes to advance three employment bills by s…
RT @madlinbmek: Paxton already rejected a request for info from the panel in April, arguing that they “lack oversight jurisdiction” over Te…
Texas AG Ken Paxton again tells U.S. House Oversight Committee that the state will not comply with renewed request for documents related to the Sec of State's now-halted investigation of voter citizenship. Letter: texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/… #txlege
After repeated assaults by team a doctor, 3 U.S. gymnasts ask Texas senators to change bill to help abuse survivors: #txlege statesman.com/news/20190513/…
With "public hearing" over, the bill was left pending in committee, for now. I got there late, so I do not know if a committee substitute was offered on SB 1978 by @SenBryanHughes, the author. #txlege
SB 1978 was first bill up before State Affairs after recess. Only 2 senators were present. No surprise, given that notice of the bill being added to the agenda came minutes earlier, but nobody was there to testify on it. #txlege
Senate agreed to waive the rule requiring bills to be posted in advance so the public can comment during a committee hearing #txlege
Senate is adjourned until 11 am Tuesday. Short day on the floor is to give committees time to move bills. #txlege
BREAKING: Senate just agreed to add SB 1978 to today's hearing before the State Affairs Committee, to begin soon in the Betty King Room. This is the companion to what became the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill that House Democrats, LGBTQ Caucus killed last week. #txlege
Senate passes, sends to Gov. Abbott, HB 638, letting parents request a high school diploma for a student who dies before graduation. #txlege
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