GOVERNMENT: Legislature

Committee Breakdowns: Texas Senate

Texas Weekly

We take a look this week at how the newly formed Senate committees stack up by party ID and by gender. Compared to their overall representation, Democrats are significantly underrepresented on State Affairs, Transportation, Administration and Nominations. And with eight currently, the number of women Senators is at an all-time high. But they are significantly underrepresented on the Administration, Nominations and Finance committees. And in the most extreme example, there is not a single woman on the Business and Commerce Committee.

McRaven Letter Takes Aim at Campus Carry

Retired Admiral William McRaven, shown last year, took over as chancellor of the UT System on Jan. 5.
Retired Admiral William McRaven, shown last year, took over as chancellor of the UT System on Jan. 5.

Allowing concealed weapons to be carried on college and university campuses would create "less safe" environments, University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven wrote in a letter to legislative leaders on Thursday.

Reps Wear "I'm Poncho" Stickers for Safety, Solidarity

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, wearing an "I'm Poncho" sticker on Jan. 28, 2015 after fellow Rep. Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, was the target of threats and racial slurs from some gun advocates.
State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, wearing an "I'm Poncho" sticker on Jan. 28, 2015 after fellow Rep. Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, was the target of threats and racial slurs from some gun advocates.

After state Rep. Poncho Nevárez kicked gun advocates out of his Capitol office, he received death threats. On Wednesday, Texas House members wore "I'm Poncho" stickers to show support for Nevárez.

Nelson Emphasizes Property Tax Relief in Senate Budget

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

Nearly two weeks after the House's base budget was released, Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson presented the Senate's plan, which she said sets aside $3 billion for "meaningful" property tax relief for Texas homeowners.

HHSC Ditching Anti-Fraud Initiative Started by Stick

Jack Stick in the evidence room of the state Office of Inspector General in Austin on June 18, 2012.
Jack Stick in the evidence room of the state Office of Inspector General in Austin on June 18, 2012.

After Jack Stick joined the Health and Human Services Commission's Office of Inspector General, he incorporated sales quota-like performance standards for investigators. The effort got results, but reviews have been mixed and the initiative is being shut down.