27-year reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. Legal issues, politics and more. Father of 2, husband of 1, fool for poker.
RT @ChadSDay: Here’s Barr’s letter via ⁦@etuckerAP⁩ https://t.co/f9HwZQbmu1
One handy bookmark gets you all of our @stateman Legislature coverage in one place. Such a deal: #txlege statesman.com/topics/texas%2…
Gov. Abbott names Kris Monson, assistant solicitor general in the AG's office, to be chief judge for the State Office of Administrative Hearings. He's board certified in civil appellate law and was defeated in the GOP primary for a place on Austin's 3rd Court of Appeals in '18.
Democrat disputes $1.2 billion estimate to cool Texas prisons statesman.com/news/20190321/…
JUST IN: Pastor group drops lawsuit that sought to overturn Austin's LGBT hiring protections. statesman.com/news/20190321/…
At the Capitol, the fight to outlaw red light cameras is starting to click, opponents say. #txlege statesman.com/news/20190320/…
Senate adjourns until 10:30 am Monday. Thursday session at 2 pm is for the reading/referral of bills. #txlege
Sen. .John Whitmire gets permission to hold hearing at his desk after adjournment to vote on SB 306 by @KirkPWatson because his committee forgot to vote it out. Or he forgot. Or his staff forgot to remind him. The explanation was a moving target... #txlege
Correction: Bill is SB 18. Bill passes 31-0, goes to the House. #txlege twitter.com/chucklindell/s…
"Student organizations have a constitutional right to invite speakers, even if it proves offensive to other students," author Sen. Joan Huffman says. #txlege
Senate takes up SB 6, requiring universities to protect free speech, not block speakers based on controversy generated or set high fees for security based on controversy. #txlege
Sen. Joan Huffman, running the Senate while Dan Patrick is away, loses the gavel while banging it. "I think I just lost my job," she says, laughing, then bangs gavel MUCH more softly from then on. #txlege
SB 8 passes 31-0 and is sent to the House. Three unanimous votes on SB 6, 7, 8 is "one of the greatest achievements that I've seen since I've been n the Senate," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says. #txlege
SB 8 would create a statewide flood plan, by watershed. Idea is not to dictate from state down, but solutions found by local areas. @electcharles said effort also is designed to ensure that one area's solution doesn't make the flooding worse in other areas. #txlege
Senate votes 31-0 to pass SB 7 and send it to the House. On to 3rd related bill, SB 8 by Sen. @electcharles #txlege
SB 7 includes $200 million to further the Coastal Barrier project with the Army Corps of Engineers, @SenLarryTaylor points out. #txlege
Just in: Gov. Greg Abbott will swear in Brett Busby to the Texas Supreme Court in a 4 pm ceremony at the TSC's Austin courtroom. Busby's nomination was recently confirmed by the Senate. #txlege
Continuing a theme, Senate takes up SB 7 by @SenCreighton to create the Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund for Harvey recovery, floodplain management statewide, coordination with US Army Corps of Engineers on flood projects. #txlege
Amendment was added to SB 6 by @SenatorLucio for a study on creating a single intake form to seek federal and state assistance. #txlege
Amendment passed today removed language identical to HB 6 on a task force of state agencies. Removes cost, and House bill is expected to move soon, Kolkhorst says. #txlege
Senate passes SB 6 by Sen. @loiskolkhorst to create a "how-to" manual to help communities respond to disasters based on lessons learned from Hurricanes Harvey, Ike and Rita. 31-0 vote sends it to the House. #txlege
Senate passes SB 65 by @SenJaneNelson to increase oversight on state contracts on 31-0 vote, sends it to the House. #txlege
Senate Transportation Committee approves, 8-0, Sen. @KirkPWatson bills to create: * Richard Overton Memorial Highway * Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar Memorial Parkway * "Keep Austin Weird" license plates #txlege
RT @VirtualCapitol: Bills seek to ferret out teacher misconduct in public, private Texas schools statesman.com/news/20190320/…
Watson also presents SB 1134 to designate part of Parmer Lane the Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar Memorial Parkway to honor resident killed in the fight against ISIS. #txlege
Sen. @KirkPWatson also lays out SB 1271, creating a "Keep Austin Weird" license plate with the city's unofficial motto for almost 2 decades. Prodded by @SenRoyceWest, Watson says he was mayor around then, "and I did my fair share" to make the motto a reality. #txlege
Sen. @KirkPWatson lays out SB 946 at Senate Transportation Committee. It would designate Airport Blvd, from Levander Loop to MLK Blvd., the Richard Overton Memorial Highway. Honors nation's oldest WW2 vet who died in December. #txlege
RT @JulieChang1: As a nod to teacher associations, the bills author, Rep. Dan Huberty, dropped the merit pay provision in the bill. Keeps t…
Texas Senate approves dogs-in-restaurants bill by a GOP senator that was based on, of all things, Austin rules: #txlege statesman.com/news/20190319/…
Sen. Seliger says his no vote was a stand for local control, against the state telling cities how to do their business. #txlege
The no vote on the dogs in restaurants bill was Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo. #txlege
That's it for action in the Texas Senate today. Senate adjourns until 11 am tomorrow. #txlege
Senate approves SB 752 by @joanhuffman, giving limited liability protection to volunteer health care professionals during a disaster (reckless conduct and misconduct excepted). Inspired by events of Hurricane Harvey. Passes 31-0. #txlege
RT @joanhuffman: Today on the Senate Floor I had the honor of meeting Captain Tammie Jo Shults, one of the 1st female fighter pilots and he…
Here's a little #txlege background on the bill known as the Fido-Friendly Outdoor Dining Act: statesman.com/news/20190215/…
Senate passes the bill, sends it to the House, on a 30-1 vote. Checking on who the no vote was. #txlege
Sen. Hancock, R, said he's not sure he ever said before that one of his bills was based on Austin ordinance. "A good idea is a good idea," he says. #txlege
Senate takes up SB 476 by Hancock, to allow restaurants across Texas to let patrons bring a dog to an outdoor area. Bill based on Austin's regulations in place for over a decade. #txlege
RT @SherylCole1: Today I stood with the Austin delegation as @CeliaIsrael honored the victims and the first responders from last year's Aus…
Texas Senate honors Tammie Jo Shults, the Southwest Airlines pilot who successfully landed a NY-to-Dallas flight after an engine exploded, killing one. SR 329: capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/His… #txlege
RT @kherman: TX House has its first "general state calendar" of the year today. Highlight and third on the list is HB 234: 'Relating to the…
Texas Senate passes SB 40 to give more time for emergency orders detailing court proceedings after a disaster. Goes to the House after unanimous votes. #txlege
When the committee hearing is pushing 5 hours … and the bill you're writing about is still pending. Life in the #txlege https://t.co/46lzbbNUSM
RT @SCOTUSblog: #SCOTUS adds constitutional question in challenge to gov't's decision to add citizenship question to 2020 census, asking pa…
3 Supreme Court justices call for beefing up the Michael Morton Act in ruling to dismiss a lawsuit by a prosecutor who said he was fired for refusing an illegal order to hide favorable evidence: #txlege statesman.com/news/20190315/…
Texas Supreme Court rejects lawsuit by former Nueces County prosecutor, who said he was fired for disobeying an illegal order to hide evidence, based on governmental immunity. Ruling: txcourts.gov/media/1443739/… Background: statesman.com/news/20180328/…
Isn't this what legacy admissions are for? twitter.com/TheDailyShow/s…
RT @BrettBusby: The @Texas_Senate Nominations Committee unanimously voted to recommend that the Senate confirm my appointment by Gov. @Greg…
RT @APCentralRegion: Judge rules that woman who flipped the bird at police officer who ticketed her for a traffic offense was exercising he…
RT @JimVertuno: An unfortunate byproduct of the class-action lawsuit in the admissions case is that Texas will likely now use that case to…
UT named in class-action suit against schools in college cheating scandal statesman.com/news/20190314/…
RT @JulieChang1: Huberty: there are things that still need to be worked on with HB 3. He wants a committee substitute by next Tuesday. #txl…
Chair of Senate Committee on Higher Education @SenCreighton on today's news: "I want to commend the University of Texas for their swift action in light of this nationwide admissions scandal, and their ongoing commitment to integrity and security in college admissions." #txlege
House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee has approved a bill intended to save the state's 'revenge porn' law. #txlege Background: statesman.com/news/20190224/…
RT @AutulloAAS: Texas tennis coach Michael Center has been arrested and will appear before a federal magistrate judge at 2 p.m. today.
Texas Senate will take up the supplemental budget at Wednesday's session, 11 a.m. start, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announces. Senate adjourned until then. #txlege
Texas Senate hearing a memorial resolution in honor of Ralph Hall, former member of the US House and Texas Senate who died last week at age 95. #txlege
Senate Business & Commerce Committee approves bill that would let restaurants welcome dogs to outdoor areas, a policy modeled on Austin. #txlege Background on the Fido-Friendly Outdoor Dining Act: statesman.com/news/20190215/…
Next step in lawsuits over the state's investigation into the citizenship status of voters: Settlement talks statesman.com/news/20190311/…
From today's status conference in US court in San Antonio, we learned that the parties will hold talks March 26 to determine if there can be a settlement in the lawsuits to block the state's investigation into the citizenship status of registered voters. Story to come.
Trump taps Texas Supreme Court justice, Paxton adviser as US judges: statesman.com/news/20190308/…
Statements from the White House and Gov. Greg Abbott mistakenly refer to former Tx Supreme Court Justice Jack Hightower (who Jeff Brown served under as a law clerk) as Jack Tower... Brown was the fourth person to serve as a law clerk, then as a justice, on the court. twitter.com/chucklindell/s…
President Trump nominates Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown to become a US district judge in the Southern District. Also, Brantley Starr. deputy first assistant attorney general of Texas, tapped for US district judge in the Northern District.
Next Wednesday, the House State Affairs Committee hearing will include HB 49, ending daylight saving time in Texas. #txlege
Next Wednesday, the house State affairs committee will hold a hearing on HP 49, two and Texas participation
RT @blakeahawthorne: Texas appellate court websites are down this morning due to the failure of a database server.
RT @toddgillman: Ralph Hall, former congressman from Rockwall, Texas, dies at 95 -- a remembrance by @tombenning @dallasnews https://t.co/V…
5th US Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses challenge by Joe Pool, a 3-time GOP candidate for Tx Supreme Court, who sued Trump trying to cut off U.S. aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ruling: ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub… Background: statesman.com/NEWS/20171007/…
New appointee to the Texas Supreme Court, Brett Busby, makes it through his confirmation hearing at Senate Nominations Committee without incident. Questions were on role of judge; helping poor Texans with access to courts; role of separation of powers. #txlege
Filed today at #txlege SJR 59 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R, would have Texans vote on canceling Daylight Savings Time. "Giving Texans the opportunity to vote on the issue will settle the debate once and for all," he said. https://t.co/4oci3XI0Zs
RT @DadePhelan: @KirkPWatson and I are "above the fold" in this morning's @statesman. We filed legislation yesterday to restore an essentia…
RT @asherprice: I'm writing about property tax issues at the #txlege for @statesman . If you're a property owner in Travis, Williamson or H…
AG Ken Paxton joins 16-state brief asking #SCOTUS to overturn a ruling that blocked an Indiana law requiring a pre-abortion sonogram. Case has been pending at Supreme Court for weeks. Brief: texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/…
SB 7 would establish fund to finance flood-mitigation projects. SB 8 would create a statewide flood plan to better coordinate projects. #txlege
SB 6 focuses on improving debris removal after a natural disaster, improving training for emergency response directors and coordinators. #txlege
Lt. Gov. Patrick, senators unveil SB 6, 7 and 8 to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. Looking to take $3 billion from rainy day fund: * $1.2 B rider to repay money already spent by agencies, replace school district $ lost to falling property values. * $1.8 B for the bills #txlege https://t.co/VEAkNxlixs
RT @kherman: House State Affairs Committee OK's HB234, the lemonade bill. Background here: statesman.com/news/20190228/… #txlege
Texas Senate has adjourned for the day. Knocked out a lot of resolutions honoring people, places and groups today. Senate back in session at 3 pm Monday. #txlege
Bipartisan bills seek to negate Open Meetings Act ruling, the developing #txlege story at: statesman.com/news/20190306/…
As chair of the influential State Affairs Committee, Phelan adds juice to the bill despite its relatively late filing. Also, Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R, is a joint author, which doesn't hurt its prospects either. #txlege
Phelan: "Texans want their elected officials to be transparent and allow honest participation in the process. If we do not act this session to address this ruling, we deny them the open government they deserve.” #txlege
Watson: "We simply couldn't let this ruling go unanswered. Without some kind of walking quorum prohibition, there's nothing to stop government actors from meeting in smaller groups to avoid the spirit and intent of the Open Meetings Act." #txlege
SB 1640 and HB 3402 seek to replace vagueness in the law with more precise language that will "address the constitutional concerns" from the court and help government officials better understand prohibited behavior, Watson and Phelan say. #txlege
Identical bills by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, came after consulting with transparency experts and in a hurry to beat Friday's deadline for bill filing. #txlege
One week after the state's highest criminal court struck down a key part of the Texas Open Meetings Act, a House Republican and a Senate Democrat filed bills today to restore the ban on "walking quorums." #txlege Background: statesman.com/news/20190227/…
Also by Hall: SB 1612 would require school districts to get State Board of Education approval for human sexuality instruction. #txlege
Filed today at #txlege SB 1616 by Sen. Bob Hall, R, would make English "the official language of Texas." Bill would ban foreign-language translations of state documents if the translation requires state money to be spent.
RT @KirkPWatson: Recent court ruling struck a key part of the Open Meetings Act. I'm working to craft a solution that addresses the constit…
Senate Education Committee will come back for its hearing on bills related to school safety and school marshals at 1:30. Senate adjourns until 11 am Wednesday. #txlege
Senate gives final approval to SB 10 on 31-0 vote. Sends it to the House. #txlege
Sen. Jane Nelson, R, said inspiration was the Santa Fe school shooting. "We've got to address what is going on on our schools from several different directions," Nelson says. Mental health care is "real important part of making schools safe." #txlege
Texas Senate takes up SB 10, to create a Texas Mental Health Care Consortium, with the goal of getting children treatment before they become danger to themselves, others. Every senator is a joint author. #txlege
Committee hearing in recess, with invited witnesses still on stand, and will reconvene after Senate session ends, #txlege
Led by Sen. Royce West, a standing ovation from senators and crowd in the hearing room for Rusty Norman, president of the Santa Fe school board, other elected officials and school leaders for their response to last year's shooting that left 10 dead. #txlege
"The best thing we can do for school safety is prevention," Taylor says. #txlege
Chairman Taylor says his SB 11 is a starting point, and he expects changes as part of a "robust conversation" about 2 parts of school safety -- harden buildings and ongoing costs for mental health professionals, increased law enforcement presence. #txlege
Hughes said he heard from several school districts who wanted to participate in the school marshal program but feared civil liability. #txlege
SB 811 by Sen. Hughes, R, would make districts and charter schools immune from liability for damages resulting from "any reasonable action" by school district police, a school marshal, guardian, a resource officer or a retired police officer hired to provide security. #txlege
SB 244 by Creighton would eliminate caps on number of marshals per school, leaving it to each district, private school, charter school to determine how many they want. #txlege
 
 
 
 
 
Developed by Daniel Jones for CreamSocial