Abbott signs 3 bills with few likely to reach his desk in final week

Published Wednesday, August 16, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Three bills reached Gov. Greg Abbott's desk last week with the 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature set to expire today.

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House passes bills to give retired teachers relief from rising costs

Published Wednesday, August 9, 2017
By Ed Sterling

The Texas House on Aug. 1 approved House Bill 20, legislation appropriating $212.7 million from the "rainy day" reserve fund to help defray rising healthcare costs for retired school employees.

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House, Senate have not yet engaged in back-and-forth on key bills

Published Wednesday, August 2, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Not a single bill had been agreed to by the state House and Senate as of July 28, exactly 10 days into the 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature.

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Senate races through agenda to get to other-than-Sunset bills

Published Wednesday, July 26, 2017
By Ed Sterling

The 85th Texas Legislature convened at the Capitol on July 18 for its first called session, the main purpose being for lawmakers to extend the life of certain state agencies scheduled for termination, and then to proceed to other matters.

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Abbott gives lawmakers initial marching orders for special session

Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 10 issued a formal proclamation for the special session that begins July 18, directing the Texas Legislature to extend expiration dates for the Texas Medical Board and other state boards that regulate psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers.

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Lawmakers plan to file teacher pay legislation in special session

Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017
By Ed Sterling

A special session of the Texas Legislature, called by Gov. Greg Abbott, is set to begin on July 18. The agenda is big.

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Governor applauds lawmakers’ intentions for special session

Published Wednesday, July 5, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott, in the last 10 days of June, posted news releases pointing out specific lawmakers and their plans to file bills that fulfill his expectations for the 30-day special session, which he called to begin July 18.

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First Gulf storm of season elbows Texas

Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017
By Ed Sterling

State emergency responders geared up for the first time this hurricane season in response to Tropical Storm Cindy, which came ashore just east of the Texas-Louisiana border on June 22.

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Governor signs 2018-2019, two-year state budget into law

Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 12 signed Senate Bill 1, legislation that appropriates some $217 billion to pay for the state's next two-year fiscal period.

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State budget awaits final approval from governor

Published Wednesday, June 7, 2017
By Ed Sterling

As of June 4, Governor Greg Abbott had not signed Senate Bill 1 - the 2018-2019 state budget finally approved by both houses of the 85th Texas Legislature on May 27.

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Legislature completes regular session with main task accomplished

Published Wednesday, May 31, 2017
By Ed Sterling

The 140-day 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature ended on May 29 with hugs, tears and fanfare, plus demonstrations against "anti-immigrant" legislation and a scuffle involving members on the House floor.

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State budget bill moves forward as conference committee agrees

Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Texas Senate and House budget conferees met frequently last week and on May 20 managed to reach compromise on a $218 billion state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019.

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Legislature grinds toward May 29 close with much still to accomplish

Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017
By Ed Sterling

With a mere two weeks remaining until the end of the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature, lawmakers have not yet finalized a state budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

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House joins Senate in passing constitutional convention measure

Published Wednesday, May 10, 2017
By Ed Sterling

The Texas House of Representatives on May 4 approved Senate Joint Resolution 2, a measure calling for a convention of the states, as contemplated and enabled by Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

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GOP majority pushes ‘sanctuary city’ bill to passage in Texas House

Published Wednesday, May 3, 2017
By Ed Sterling

During his State of the State address on Jan. 31, Gov. Greg Abbott declared legislation banning so-called "sanctuary cities" to be one of his top priorities and an emergency item, saying: "Elected officials don't get to pick and choose which laws they obey."

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House passes legislation to reform school finance law

Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017
By Ed Sterling

The Texas House of Representatives on April 19 approved school finance legislation that would reduce the amount of local tax dollars that property-rich school districts are required to share with other school districts under the so-called "Robin Hood" process.

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Federal judge says again, Texas voter ID law is discriminatory

Published Wednesday, April 19, 2017
By Ed Sterling

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi on April 10 ruled the state of Texas has failed to prove that the voter identification law was not written with discriminatory intent and purpose.

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Governor welcomes Justice Department’s sanctuary cities announcement

Published Wednesday, April 5, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on March 27 praised an announcement by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Department of Justice will withhold and take back federal funds from cities that do not comply with federal immigration laws and enforcement directives.

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Senate panel OKs budget for upcoming 2-year period

Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017
By Ed Sterling

A state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019 cleared the first in a series of hurdles when the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved committee substitute Senate Bill 1 on March 22.

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State budget progresses toward vote by full Senate

Published Wednesday, March 22, 2017
By Ed Sterling

The Senate Finance Committee, at work on the 2018-2019 state budget since January, on March 16 approved workgroup recommendations in preparation for a final vote.

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