Live From The Lege

Anti-Abortion Bill Could Be Headed for Defeat in Senate

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

Update at 7:52 PM: For some reason, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst brought everyone back for a second vote on suspending the rules to take up SB 5. The motion failed 19-10. It is expected that SB 5 will be taken up tomorrow when the rule requiring a bill to lay out for 24 hours will […]

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After Six-Year Fight, Perry Signs Voter ID into Law

After six years of fierce partisan battling, the legislative war over voter ID in Texas is officially over. Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter ID bill into law this morning. The legislation requires voters to present one of five acceptable forms of photo ID—a drivers license, military ID, passport, concealed handgun license or a special voter […]

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Women’s Health Program Has New Life

THE 2011 MOLLY PRIZE WINNERS WINNER Jeff Sharlet is the author of C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy (Little, Brown), The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Harper), a national bestseller, and coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing The Buddha: A Heretic’s Bible. He’s a contributing editor of KillingTheBuddha.com […]

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Bill Addresses Backlog of Untested Rape Kits

Almost immediately after a woman is raped, she must endure the invasive and often humiliating process through which evidence is collected. In most cases, an investigator swabs the inside of her vagina to collect DNA for a rape kit that will help identify her assailant. Imagine, then, if that evidence was never even examined, and […]

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Alex Jones Leads Mob to the Doors of the Senate

The Senate’s decision to block HB 1937—the TSA “anti-groping bill” by Rep. David Simpson—brought a small mob of protestors to the Capitol today intent on doing a little molesting of their own. Clamoring at the doors of the House and Senate, more than 40 protestors wielded signs that read, “Out of my pants TSA” and […]

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Budget Effectively Guts Family Planning

Updated May 26, 9:55 a.m. The budget conference committee approved its report this morning on a 9-1 vote, which includes the nearly $62 million in family planning cuts passed by the House in March. With looming budget cuts to the state’s family-planning programs, advocates are preparing for a “tsunami” of consequences. The final version of […]

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House Medicaid Debate Turns into Abortion Fight

In this legislative session, you never know when a heated fight over abortion might break out. This evening it was during a four-hour House floor debate on a Medicaid cost-cutting bill. Tea Party freshman Rep. Jim Landtroop, R-Plainview, did the honors this time and won yet another victory for the anti-abortion movement this session. Landtroop […]

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You Have the Right to Noodle

While the majority of the Senate members were caucusing over the budget this afternoon, a few Senators were discussing a bill which would make it legal to hand fish for catfish. The sport called, “noodling” is a long-time tradition and practically the state sport of Oklahoma, but pulling a catfish out of the water with […]

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Senate Passes Redistricting Map that Threatens Davis

It wasn’t quite the 16-hour marathon redistricting debate we saw in the House. After about an hour or so of discussion today, the Texas Senate passed its own redistricting map with a 29 to 2 vote. Senate Bill 31 by Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, alters some of the 31 senatorial districts and makes major changes […]

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Senate Votes to Tap Rainy Day Fund

Just as the Senate was set to adjourn today, chief budget writer Steve Ogden appeared on the floor with a bill to use $3.97 billion of the Rainy Day Fund to plug the budget hole for the current 2010-2011 biennium. “It’s more than important, it’s essential.” Sen. Ogden, R-Bryan, said of the bill. The state […]

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