This Week in Texas Politics: February 17, 2012

 

WEEKLY REPORT

February 17, 2012

State’s improving economy might change budget picture

The state’s rebounding economy should help Texas avoid another draconian budget session and could help state lawmakers to begin investing in education, transportation and a water plan, state officials told a group of manufacturers on Wednesday.

(View complete article here.)

 

Senator wants to add state property tax

Texas Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden recently suggested the Legislature should consider a statewide property tax to fund the public school system, a measure that would require the approval of Texas voters.

(View complete article here.)

 

Lawmaker pushes state income tax

In Texas, it’s rare to find a lawmaker who advocates a state income tax because, for most members of the Texas Legislature, it would be the equivalent of committing political suicide.

(View complete article here.)

 

Texas ignoring insurance pool requirements

Texas is almost alone among the nation’s largest states in failing to start work on a key piece of the Affordable Care Act, as legislators and state agencies follow Gov. Rick Perry‘s wish to delay action until after a Supreme Court ruling and the November election.

(View complete article here.)

 

Texas slow to move on health care reforms

Texas is almost alone among the nation’s largest states in failing to start work on a key piece of the Affordable Care Act, as legislators and state agencies follow Gov. Rick Perry‘s dictum to delay action until after a Supreme Court ruling and the November election.

(View complete article here.)

 

Doggett district could be sticking point in redistricting case

Attorney General Greg Abbott signaled in a court filing Monday that U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s district could be the sticking point that could prevent a compromise in Texas’ ongoing redistricting fight.

(View complete article here.)

 

Primary voters won’t head to polls till at least May 29

Texas’ primary elections won’t take place until at least May 29 because of the continuing battle over the state’s redistricting maps, a San Antonio federal court announced Wednesday.

(View complete article here.)

 

Texans Leave the Voting to a Small Minority

With redistricting fights pushing the primaries closer to summertime — and further from the possibility of giving the state’s Republican voters any say in who should be their presidential nominee — turnout could be even lower than normal.

(View complete article here.)

 

BLOG: Wendy Davis gets her state Senate district back

In the redistricting battles going on before a three-judge panel in San Antonio, a compromise has been reached between state lawyers and those on behalf of minority plaintiffs and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. According to reports from the scene, she basically won.

 (View complete article here.)

 

Texas Railroad Commissioner Jones Resigns

Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones resigned this afternoon, after weeks of defending her move to San Antonio to run for a state Senate seat there.  Jones, in a letter to Gov. Rick Perry, said she will give up her statewide position, putting to rest the question of whether she could remain in office without residing in the state capital.

 (View complete article here.)

 

Teachers Ask Perry to Govern Again and Re-fund Texas School System

Now that Rick Perry is off the campaign trail and our official and acting Governor again, some people are calling on him to do just that, act as a Governor again.

(View complete article here.)

 

Shapiro backs delay on STAAR grade provision

Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott on Monday got some political cover to delay for one year a controversial provision that requires new high school end-of-course exams to count toward 15 percent of students’ final grades.

(View complete article here.)

 

Despite Reform, Violence Rises Among Youths at Juvenile Lockups

On a rainy February day, teenage boys wearing elastic-waisted khaki pants and white T-shirts, many of them heavily tattooed, walked in single-file lines across the Giddings State School campus. A few of them lifted black windbreakers above their heads in a hopeless attempt to stay dry as they made their way from the cafeteria to their classrooms under the watchful eyes of corrections officers.

 (View complete article here.)

 

Let’s stop trying to fix state-run secure juvenile facilities

Recent revelations by the Texas Tribune and The New York Times of ongoing safety concerns in Texas’ juvenile justice system only confirm what the leading national research shows: Secure juvenile facilities are a taxpayers burden, work against rehabilitation and can make youths’ problems worse.

(View complete article here.)

 

Gas prices soar early this year

This has been one of Ann McSpadden’s best months ever, selling electric bikes and mopeds at Alien Scooters.  Usually her store on South Lamar Boulevard sees a drop-off after the holidays, but Feb. 1 was an “incredible day,” she said.

(View complete article here.)

 

Perry “Absolutely” May Run for President Again

Once more with feeling?  While in Washington, D.C., for his CPAC speech this past weekend, Gov. Rick Perry told Jonathan Karl of ABC News that he “absolutely” might run again for president in 2016 — despite an underwhelming maiden voyage onto the national stage in the 2012 cycle.

(View complete article here.)

 

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