Quorum Report Daily Buzz

View By Date
Printable Version of This Page

November 16, 2018      5:05 PM

Updated: Amid uncertainty and a coming transition of power, LBB postpones setting constitutional spending limit

Speaker Straus tells QR there are too many variables right now including school finance, the price of oil, and Hurricane Harvey relief. "Why make a decision now that we could regret later?"

The Legislative Budget Board took a pass on setting a Constitutional spending limit this afternoon, a move Speaker Joe Straus said was, at least in part, to give the next Speaker of the House a chance to weigh in on the final budget limits.

It was Straus who moved to take a pass on the decision, as his heir apparent Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, sat to his right. Barring any serious changes in fortune, it will be Bonnen who will assume the speaker’s dais on the first day of the 86th session.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

Top of Page

November 16, 2018      3:24 PM

Bresnen issues preliminary report to the Legislature on American Phoenix Foundation finances

Report raises new questions including “what happened to more than $670,000 in tax-deductible donations made to APF and attempt to alert those who may have been cheated”

Editor’s note: The full report is available to subscribers at the end of this story – SB

Years after a group of political operatives secretly surveilled members of the Texas Legislature in the Capitol building and around Austin, veteran lobbyist Steve Bresnen is hand delivering to lawmakers his preliminary report on the group’s finances.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

Top of Page

November 16, 2018      9:32 AM

Bonnen Names Gardner Pate Director of Policy and General Counsel

Top of Page

November 16, 2018      9:28 AM

People on the Move

A huge promotion, new companies forming ahead of session, a notable retirement, and some damn good barbecue

Yes, I was that reporter in the Bonnen press conference. You can stop asking. This really is the best audience in the world, with many of you saying the journalist got Trumped while the question went unanswered.

We’ll come back to that.

Thanks to the Texas Association of Business for the chance to speak in Dallas at City Club this week. It was a very informative event where Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said with some glee that Empower Texan’s Chairman Tim Dunn lost a senator in the Fort Worth area in last week’s elections. It’s really just too bad.

Great to see so many of you last night at the Sine Die Smokers BBQ Party. POTM is coming out a little early this morning so that I can remind you the cookers are out there again today and you should go get some for lunch. The meat is good, y'all and they're “cookin' for a cause” – raising money for the Central Texas Food Bank. Stop by from 11:30am to 2:30 this afternoon at 1111 Guadalupe. It's in the alley across from the Westgate. You know where it is. They’ll also be there for happy hour from 4 to 7 and I think you can get sausage wraps all day. That’s what I heard. Go ask Gavin.

A lot of big news, meantime, in the lobby world. Plenty of new hires and several new companies forming ahead of the session. Good luck in your new ventures. By the way, I’m taking the week off from this column for Thanksgiving. But if you’ve got career news to share please send it along and we’ll be sure to get to it the following week. ksbraddock@gmail.com is the email address and please use POTM in the subject line.

That would make this the Thanksgiving edition of People on the Move:

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

Top of Page

November 15, 2018      5:18 PM

KR: The real question the Abbott school finance plan must answer

As laid out, it appears to upend equity as required by the Texas Constitution; if tax rates are reduced district by district, rather than compressed equally across the state, tax rates could vary wildly and widely

This week’s meeting of Sen. Paul Bettencourt’s work group on school finance should shed light on whether Republicans intend to put new money into the system next session, but that’s not the biggest question the Commission on Public School Finance needs to answer.  

Instead, the central question – the one that keeps surfacing among a small group of people who closely follow school finance – is whether Gov. Greg Abbott’s school finance plan flouts the equity set out in three decades of Supreme Court rulings.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Kimberly Reeves

Top of Page

November 15, 2018      5:15 PM

Crosby: The Beto Blues

In this guest column, Democratic strategist Jeff Crosby says new voters who helped push Beto to the brink of victory have more to be proud of than they may realize

Democrats in Texas have suffered through a political drought for decades. Every election, we’ve searched the horizon for a gathering storm that would end our misery. Finally, a pretty damn big storm arrived November 7, 2018, and it swept away Republicans thunderstruck by change.

To be clear, we didn’t turn Texas blue, but it would be hard to argue it’s not purple now. Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties were solidly blue. Tarrant is the only holdout among the big urban counties, but Republicans dramatically underperformed there in comparison to recent elections.

But just consider this: Democrats didn’t lose a single congressional or legislative incumbent in the general election. Not one. I am too lazy to look it up, but I’d imagine the last time that happened was a long, long time ago.

The full column by Jeff Crosby is in the R&D Department.

By Jeff Crosby

Top of Page

November 14, 2018      7:43 PM

Update: Rep. Bohac wins by 47 votes

Final tally was 24,222 to 24,175, per Harris County

Top of Page

November 14, 2018      4:26 PM

Patrick and Bonnen release joint statement on unity between the Texas House and Senate

"Not only is unity my utmost goal in the Texas House but also my guiding force in working with the Texas Senate,” Chairman Bonnen said, echoing Patrick

Following what his office called their first "official phone call," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's office on Wednesday released a joint statement from him and Rep. Dennis Bonnen, the presumptive speaker at this point, pledging unity between the Texas House and Senate.

The two “affirmed their commitment to working together in the upcoming legislative session to continue to move Texas forward,” per Patrick’s office.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

Top of Page

November 14, 2018      12:30 PM

Chair Bonnen taps Gavin Massingill to serve as chief of staff for the next Speaker of the House

“Gavin brings a wealth of experience and a valued perspective to my office,” said Rep. Bonnen. “In addition to his years of experience as a legislative staffer, Gavin has a deep passion for the institution of the House and the ability to work across party lines to achieve the best results for Texas.”

Top of Page

November 13, 2018      5:34 PM

Bonnen appoints search committee to find candidates for House Parliamentarian

The working group includes Anchia, Burrows, Krause, Minjarez, Moody, Morrison, Wray Price, Rose, Thompson

Top of Page

November 13, 2018      4:22 PM

KR: What we saw on the first day of bill filing for 2019

Expect tougher negotiations from the House when it comes to school finance, which Bonnen expects to be at the top of the House’s priorities

The opening day of bill filing is a bit like the first round of cards in a game of Texas Hold’em: a bit of a tease, an early reveal but no chance to see the session’s real hole cards.

The lower the bill number, the higher the priority, so as of the end of the day, the House has filed 313 bills, with the top 20 set aside of House priority legislation. And the Senate has filed 149 bills, with the numbers starting with Senate Bill 31, followed by more than three-dozen bills filed by long-time Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Kimberly Reeves

Top of Page

November 13, 2018      4:18 PM

Grusendorf: What happened on election day

Republican former House Chairman Kent Grusendorft argues losses for Republicans were not about issues; instead he says it was more about the mechanics of elections

Republicans got their butts kicked.  Democrats deserve credit – they successfully embraced and implemented a winning strategy for Texas. Republicans must examine what happened and learn from this drumming.

Although Republicans held every statewide office, they won by much lower percentages than expected in each race. 

Governor Abbott won by 13 points, against an opponent who spent little money and was not actually seen as a serious candidate by most Texans.  Sen. Ted Cruz won by only 3 points after being significantly outspent by a candidate who ran the most aggressive and most expensive campaign in Texas history. 

The complete guest column by Kent Grusendorf can be found in the R&D Department.

By Kent Grusendorf

Top of Page

November 13, 2018      4:09 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick event at TPPF postponed

The event originally slated for Thursday and sponsored by various business groups is being rain-checked for now, not clear when it will be rescheduled

Top of Page

November 13, 2018      11:34 AM

Rep. Bonnen Names Brian McCall Chairman of Speaker Transition Team

"Chancellor McCall knows the Capitol and the people who make it work. More importantly, he has a reputation as both a legislator and a higher education leader for his fairness, decency and ability to bring people together," said Bonnen.

Top of Page

November 12, 2018      7:50 PM

Updated: Chair Bonnen releases list of 109 pledges for Speaker

Bonnen says he's committed to bipartisanship as a “legacy of greatness that makes the Texas House stand out from other legislative bodies around the country."

Pledging that he will absolutely continue the tradition of the Texas House existing as a bipartisan institution, Chairman Dennis Bonnen on Monday announced he has secured the pledges of 109 colleagues in his bid to preside over the lower chamber come 2019.

“We’re here to let you know that the speaker’s race is over and the Texas House is ready to go to work,” Bonnen said. He said to disregard the number of 109, because “All 149 members are going to be part of this House.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

Top of Page

November 12, 2018      7:42 PM

Patrick congratulates Bonnen on securing path to speakership

Statement from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tonight:

"I congratulate Chairman Bonnen on his announcement today that he has secured a path to be elected the next Speaker of the Texas House. Texas is stronger when leadership works collaboratively. I look forward to building a close partnership with him moving forward. I know Dennis shares my commitment and the governor’s commitment to property tax and school finance reforms and I look forward to working with him on those issues and many of the other urgent challenges we are facing in the state. If the governor, the speaker and the lieutenant governor are on the same on page there is nothing Texas can’t do.”

Top of Page

November 12, 2018      4:36 PM

Chair Bonnen releases list of supporters

Here it is.

Top of Page

November 12, 2018      12:57 PM

Sources tell QR Darby has released his pledges--final obstacle to Bonnen Speakership

Top of Page

November 12, 2018      10:43 AM

Friday, Nov 16: Sine Die Smokers BBQ Party at 1111 Guadalupe to raise money for Central Texas Food Bank--11:30-2PM and 4Pm-7PM

Check their FB page for more details but come by to this annual fundraiser and party with friends and colleagues before session poisons the water.

Top of Page

November 12, 2018      9:37 AM

Democrats huddle this morning on conference call about speaker race

Meantime, TMF held a call of his own for incoming freshmen; those involved say it was just educational with Q and A, not pushing any particular candidate

Top of Page

November 12, 2018      8:56 AM

Rep. Tan Parker ends speaker bid, endorses Chair Bonnen

Democrats huddling this morning to discuss speaker's race, meantime

Top of Page

November 11, 2018      5:15 PM

Rep. Phil King tells QR he is also dropping speaker bid, endorses Chair Bonnen

Top of Page

November 11, 2018      2:03 PM

Chair Price will endorse Rep. Dennis Bonnen for Speaker, Price confirms to QR

In something of a surprise move, Chairman Four Price, R-Amarillo, on Sunday afternoon dropped his bid for Speaker of the Texas House and threw his support to Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

Top of Page