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October 22, 2021      5:22 PM

Updated: US Supreme Court fast-tracks challenges to Texas 6 week abortion ban, will hear oral arguments on jurisdictional issues Nov 1

The US Supreme Court has agreed to take up some of the jurisdictional – if not constitutional – questions around the so-called Texas “fetal heartbeat bill” on November 1.

The action in these contentious legal cases can often be a series of stops, starts, and stalls. Today’s US Supreme Court action rejected the Department of Justice’s efforts to put a hold on the 6 week abortion ban.

Conservatives who supported the law declared the high court action to be a victory against unwarranted attacks.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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October 22, 2021      2:16 PM

People on the Move

Significant appointments, career changes, lobby moves, agency hires, and more

When you run on adrenaline for weeks on end and then the chaos suddenly concludes, you collapse physically and mentally. Many have said you’re going through that right now – including those of you who basically slept most of this week.

But others have largely been tuning out much of what’s been happening inside the building because most of what they were debating had little if anything to do with your clients’ interests. That was true right up until the governor decided state government should tell businesses how to handle their vaccination policies. When was the last time the business community so forcefully rejected a policy proposal from any governor? Seriously, I’m asking.

We’ll come back to all that.

Meantime, some power players are making moves and you can expect a flurry of filings and campaign announcements now that the lines are drawn and sitting on the governor’s desk. To share your career news, send it anytime to ksbraddock@gmail.com and use POTM in the subject line. Campaign announcements, by the way, should go to pressrelease@quorumreport.com. Please and thank you.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

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By Scott Braddock

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October 21, 2021      11:05 AM

For Secretary of State, Abbott appoints John Scott, who worked with Trump to overturn election results

Some sharp observers note that two thirds of senators would not confirm such a controversial pick, but Abbott doesn't have to worry about that as long as the Texas Senate is not in session

Here is the announcement from the Office of the Governor.

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October 20, 2021      5:05 PM

With redistricting passed, intentions of more officeholders and candidates become clearer

With the decennial redistricting process completed – legal challenges notwithstanding – we now enter the next phase of all this: The onslaught of retirements and promotions.

In the Texas Senate, retiring are Finance Chair Jane Nelson of Flower Mound and Kel Seliger of Amarillo, who just announced that intention today.

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By James Russell

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October 20, 2021      12:30 PM

Sen. Seliger to retire

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October 19, 2021      10:30 AM

Rep. Huberty to retire from the Texas House

Full statement here.

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October 19, 2021      12:42 AM

The Texas House and Senate adjourn sine die

Speaker Phelan says that for some of the members this marks the end of their experience in the Texas Legislature; Lt Gov. Patrick thanks everyone for their service in Austin this year

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October 18, 2021      10:25 PM

On a vote of 84 to 59 the Texas House joins the Senate in approving the congressional map, sending it to Gov. Abbott

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October 18, 2021      8:52 PM

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer is drawn into Congressional District 35 "at his request," per Redistricting Chair Huffman

The comments came from Sen. Huffman just before the Senate adopted the conference committee report on the congressional map

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October 18, 2021      6:54 PM

In last minute bid for property tax reform, Sen. Bettencourt pushes SJR2 to raise homestead exemption to $40,000

With time running short and the House and Senate at a stalemate over property tax “relief,” the speaker’s office calls it a “healthy compromise”

As the House and Senate do not seem close to terms on how to move forward with property tax “relief” in this special session, Texas Senate Finance Monday evening quickly heard and voted out SJR2 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, to raise the homestead exemption to $40,000.

This is after the House would not agree to the Senate’s proposal for M&O compression resulting in a one-time savings of $100 for a home valued at $300,000 and the Senate would not agree to use federal funds to send roughly $500 checks to homeowners next year.

When asked for comment, Speaker Dade Phelan’s Communications Director Enrique Marquez said, “It’s a healthy compromise.”

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By Scott Braddock

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October 18, 2021      5:40 PM

Mexican American Legislative Caucus files petition to depose Adam Foltz, a GOP operative who aided Chair Hunter with redistricting

MALC argues the deposition is necessary to “investigate potential violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act.”

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus is asking a state district court judge in Travis County to order the deposition of a GOP operative hired this year to assist with the redrawing of Texas political boundaries.

The nation’s largest and oldest group of its kind said the deposition is necessary to “investigate potential violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act.”

“Specifically, MALC seeks to depose Adam Foltz, a partisan redistricting operative employed by the Texas Legislative Council, a non-partisan state agency that supports the Legislature in drafting and analyzing proposed legislation, which also manages the internal mapping tool lawmakers use to draw electoral maps,” MALC said in a news release.

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By Scott Braddock

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October 18, 2021      3:48 PM

MALDEF files suit over Texas redistricting maps

Download the complaint here.

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October 18, 2021      1:43 AM

Here is the conference committee report for Senate Bill 6, the Texas Congressional map

You can download it here. Scroll to page 225 to see the maps.

Here is the map in District Viewer.

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October 17, 2021      1:43 AM

Texas Senate appoints conferees on congressional map

Conferees are Huffman, Nelson, Nichols, Campbell, and Perry

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October 16, 2021      11:40 PM

After multiple changes and with a conference with the Senate expected Sunday, the Texas House votes 80 to 61 to advance congressional map

Some changes were made in South Texas, Rep. Toth had his residence drawn specifically into a district, and more

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October 16, 2021      5:12 PM

TRBs bill, SB 52, advances out of Texas House Appropriations

It is now set for floor consideration on Sunday

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October 15, 2021      6:35 PM

Texas House and Senate headed to conference on SB8, federal funding, and SB1, the property tax deal

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October 15, 2021      6:05 PM

Emblematic of the distrust between the House and Senate all year: The House and Senate finally pass each others maps simultaneously

Before the vote, Chair Burrows wanted to ensure the doors were open to both chambers so that members could watch each other pass the others' maps

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October 15, 2021      5:33 PM

Updated: Texas business groups come out in force against ban on vaccine mandates for private employers

AGC-TBB, TLR, TAB, NFIB, Texas REALTORS, Chemical Council, Texas Civil Justice League, CPAS, Hotels and Lodging, TMA, Texas Trucking Association, multiple Chambers, and many others urge lawmakers to vote no on anything like SB51 by Sen. Hughes

From the statement, which is now signed by even more business groups:

"We believe strongly that legislation of this kind represents an unprecedented intrusion into the liberty of employers to operate their businesses as they see fit. Texas’ successful business climate is premised upon this fundamental liberty, but this legislation undermines it by placing employers in an impossible position between federal and state mandates. It will also subject employers to potentially crippling litigation costs at both the federal and state levels with no ability to protect themselves against this risk."

Check this out for the whole thing.

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October 15, 2021      4:58 PM

On a vote of 80 to 63, the Texas House tentatively approves the map for the Texas Senate

The House also approved the SBOE map earlier in the day. Third readings are expected soon

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October 15, 2021      3:34 PM

Updated: Without making any changes of its own, the Texas Senate passes the House map

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October 15, 2021      9:48 AM

At the urging of Patrick, Abbott adds tuition revenue bonds to the special session call

Here is the announcement from the Office of the Governor.

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