Justin Miller

Justin Miller is the politics reporter for the Observer. He previously covered politics and policy for The American Prospect in Washington, D.C., and has also written for The Intercept, The New Republic and In These Times. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

By Justin Miller:

Texas Legislature

With a Special Session on Voting Restrictions Looming, Texas Dems Push for Federal Protections

Voting rights advocates say Texas Republicans’ underhanded effort to ram through new voter suppression measures highlights the need to restore federal voting rights legislation.

Nearly every legislative session, Texas Republicans cite the myth of widespread, election-swinging voter fraud to try to make voting harder, scarier, and more confusing. This session, they came very close to getting their way, prompting calls for federal intervention before … Read More

Texas Legislature

The Lege This Week: Behind Closed Doors

With the end of session near, Texas lawmakers descend into the backrooms of the Capitol to hash out hugely consequential legislation.

Welcome to the 87th Legislative Session. Since the last session came to a close in June 2019, Texas has been hit by an unrestrained pandemic and a crippling economic crisis—and now the fallout from deadly blackouts. Under unprecedented circumstances, lawmakers … Read More

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News

Texas’ Largest Corporate Welfare Program Is Leaving Companies Flush and School Districts Broke

The state’s Chapter 313 program offers steep discounts on property taxes to attract big industrial projects that are supposed to pay off over the long term. But by the time these projects return to the tax rolls, much of that value has disappeared.

As the United States struggled to meet demands for fuel in the early 2000s, Motiva Enterprises decided to double the capacity of its oil refinery in the Gulf Coast city of Port Arthur on the Texas-Louisiana border. The refinery had … Read More

Texas Legislature

The Lege This Week: Lurching Rightward

As the session enters its final stretch, Republicans are advancing a barrage of right-wing bills—from permitless carry and abortion bans to pro-fossil fuel theatrics and anti-“woke” mandates for schools.

Welcome to the 87th Legislative Session. Since the last session came to a close in June 2019, Texas has been hit by an unrestrained pandemic and a crippling economic crisis—and now the fallout from deadly blackouts. Under unprecedented circumstances, lawmakers … Read More

Texas Legislature

The Lege This Week: The Capitol’s Longstanding Toxic Culture

From allegations of sexual misconduct to Dan Patrick's push for permitless carry, here's what happened this week in the 87th Texas Legislature.

Welcome to the 87th Legislative Session. Since the last session came to a close in June 2019, Texas has been hit by an unrestrained pandemic and a crippling economic crisis—and now the fallout from deadly blackouts. Under unprecedented circumstances, lawmakers … Read More

Texas Legislature

The Lege This Week: Instead of Addressing Mass Shootings, Lawmakers Expand Gun Rights

The Texas House passes a controversial bill that would allow Texans to carry a handgun without a permit.

Welcome to the 87th Legislative Session. Since the last session came to a close in June 2019, Texas has been hit by an unrestrained pandemic and a crippling economic crisis—and now the fallout from deadly blackouts. Under unprecedented circumstances, lawmakers … Read More

Texas Legislature

The Lege This Week: Stimmy for Schools?

The Texas Senate passes its budget bill without addressing billions of dollars in unspent federal relief. Now, public education advocates are demanding that lawmakers open up the spigot for local school districts.

Welcome to the 87th Legislative Session. Since the last session came to a close in June 2019, Texas has been hit by an unrestrained pandemic and a crippling economic crisis—and now the fallout from deadly blackouts. Under unprecedented circumstances, lawmakers … Read More

Texas Legislature

The Lege This Week: “Another Watershed Moment”

The push for an omnibus reform package named after George Floyd underscores how outrage over his death changed local and state policy debates around policing.

Welcome to the 87th Legislative Session. Since the last session came to a close in June 2019, Texas has been hit by an unrestrained pandemic and a crippling economic crisis—and now the fallout from deadly blackouts. Under unprecedented circumstances, lawmakers … Read More

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Texas Legislature

The Lege This Week: GOP Launches Election Crackdown

The state’s biggest counties took action to make it easier to vote during the pandemic, helping spur record-level turnout. Now, Texas Republicans are vying to prohibit those measures in future elections.

Welcome to the 87th Legislative Session. Since the last session came to a close in June 2019, Texas has been hit by an unrestrained pandemic and a crippling economic crisis—and now the fallout from deadly blackouts. Under unprecedented circumstances, lawmakers … Read More

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