GOVERNMENT: Legislature

Bill Increasing Unemployment Taxes Advances

State Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, who replaced Sen. Tommy Williams at TTEvents Dec. 11, 2014
State Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, who replaced Sen. Tommy Williams at TTEvents Dec. 11, 2014

Legislation pushed by a politically connected company would increase unemployment taxes for Texas employers. Proponents say it would help outsourcing companies avoid "double taxation." Critics say it's a special interest perk. 

Union Dues Spark an End-of-Session Dispute

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, answers an audience question during TTEvents on April 30, 2015.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, answers an audience question during TTEvents on April 30, 2015.

An unexpected end-of-session skirmish over payroll deductions for union dues pits Republicans against Democrats, business against labor, and presents lawmakers with one of those votes that might be important in next year's elections.

More Pay for Medicaid Doctors Lost in Budget Deal

Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.
Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.

The House-Senate budget conference committee adopted its compromise on health and human services funding Wednesday, pleasing fiscal conservatives and giving little cheer to advocates for the poor and disabled.

 

Senate Panel OKs Restrictions on Minors Seeking Abortions

State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, are shepherding House Bill 3994 through the Legislature. The bill would tighten the requirements on "judicial bypass," the legal process used by minors seeking abortions without parental consent.
State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, are shepherding House Bill 3994 through the Legislature. The bill would tighten the requirements on "judicial bypass," the legal process used by minors seeking abortions without parental consent.

A far-reaching proposal to restrict the mechanism used by minors seeking abortions without parental consent is headed to the Senate floor.

Without Two-Thirds Rule, Senate Moving Patrick's Priorities

Parliamentarian Karina Davis watches as new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gavels in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.
Parliamentarian Karina Davis watches as new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gavels in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.

When the Texas Senate changed requirements on bringing legislation up for debate, Democrats said a process intended to encourage compromise would suffer. Several bills have been unblocked, but the conservative steamroller that Democrats feared hasn't emerged.