At the tail end of the regular legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry demanded that Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resign because of her DWI arrest and conviction or have the state’s Public Integrity Unit, which is run by her office, face a loss of about $7.5 million.
Update (2:30 p.m.): The Senate took the house transportation plan, replaced it with their own funding mechanism, and then passed it on a unanimous vote.
The original House bill's plan to end the gas tax diversion has been eliminated, and the Senate has elected to go with the 50-50 oil and gas industry tax split in their own version of the bill. The Senate also established a $6 billion floor for the Rainy Day Fund, which must be maintained for the State Highway Fund to get the money from the oil and gas industry tax.
The Democratic Caucus in the Texas Senate has submitted a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst requesting that lawmakers be allowed to study how family planning and better women’s health services could help reduce the number of abortions.
The Democratic Caucus wants to know how much actual funding goes into women’s healthcare and family planning.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, said a study of these issues leading up to the next legislative session would reduce unplanned pregnancies and the need for abortions.
Taking a step into the social media world, a tactic that has been deployed with success by Democrats in recent campaigns, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott held a question and answer session live on Twitter yesterday evening.
Gov. Rick Perry joined fellow anti-abortion lawmakers and advocacy groups at his side to sign into law House Bill 2, the controversial abortion bill tightening requirements on clinics that perform abortions and banning the ability to have an abortion after 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
Update: Gov. Perry is set to sign HB 2 in a ceremony this morning, July 18, at 9:30 at the state capitol.
Original Post: Thus far, no lawsuit against the State of Texas has been filed -- that would only come after Gov. Rick Perry signs the bill into law -- but even after the governor signs it, Terri Burke, the executive director the ACLU of Texas, said a lawsuit wouldn't be filed until 90 days later.
Less than 72 hours after the passage of House Bill 2, the bill that will hold clinics performing abortions to a standard equal to a ambulatory surgical center, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst released a campaign video that features his role in the bill's passage with clear political and religious undertones.
On June 19, before the filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and before the second special session was even being discussed, Dewhurst sent a tweet that featured an ad about how the abortion bill would close all but five clinics in Texas.
Bexar County has been selected by the state legislature to test a pilot program for email voting. For the first time next year, ballots will be sent and returned by email from 200-300 military members.
Voters eligible for the program will be able to cast ballots by email for the first time in the 2014 primary elections.
A rally that started at the capitol in Austin yesterday only drew a small number of people compared other abortion rights events around the state.
About 300 abortion rights supporters gathered at the capitol to speak out against last week’s passage of a strict abortion bill during a national day of action. Demonstrators huddled under umbrellas and rain gear intently listened to keynote speaker Jim Hightower, the former agriculture commissioner, who had a few choice words for Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans at the state capitol.