Tribpedia: Joe Straus

Speaker Joe Straus during June 9, 2015 Tribune Conversation
Speaker Joe Straus during June 9, 2015 Tribune Conversation

Straus: A Cautious, Conservative Session

In a wide-ranging interview with The Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith, House Speaker Joe Straus touted the new state budget, franchise tax cuts and the Legislature’s slow but steady pace this year. He said he wasn't surprised by the failure of ethics reform legislation and said a controversial union dues bill was plagued by "the poorest job of lobbying" he'd seen.

A fueling station for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas sits in Austin. As of mid-March, Texas was home to 130 natural gas fueling stations, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. Those 77 public stations and 63 private ones serve about 7,200 vehicles.
A fueling station for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas sits in Austin. As of mid-March, Texas was home to 130 natural gas fueling stations, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. Those 77 public stations and 63 private ones serve about 7,200 vehicles.

After Early Momentum, Energy Legislation Stalls

Who killed the House and Senate's top energy bills? Their autopsy evokes the names of T. Boone Pickens and Koch Industries and involves plenty of squabbling between the chambers.  

Former Gov. Rick Perry poses with cadets after delivering a foreign policy speech at The Citadel, South Carolina's military college, earlier this year.
Former Gov. Rick Perry poses with cadets after delivering a foreign policy speech at The Citadel, South Carolina's military college, earlier this year.

The Brief: Perry Set to Return to Presidential Politics

Later this morning in Addison, Rick Perry is expected to announce that he plans to run again for the White House, testing whether GOP voters across the country believe in extending him a second act in presidential politics.

State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, shows off his Sine Die tie on the last day of the 84th Legislative session on June 1, 2015.
State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, shows off his Sine Die tie on the last day of the 84th Legislative session on June 1, 2015.

Analysis: A Conservative but Complicated Legislature

Voters sent a conservative pack of lawmakers to Austin and got conservative results. But it's more complicated than that. Issues that might have seemed black and white during the elections were rendered in shades of gray during the session.

(L-R) State House Speaker Joe Straus, Governor Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick on May 21, 2015.
(L-R) State House Speaker Joe Straus, Governor Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick on May 21, 2015.

Effort to Tighten Spending Cap Dies

The state’s constitutional spending cap will remain untouched this session, and House and Senate leaders are blaming each other for the lack of action on the arcane but politically important measure.

House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, speaks with House Appropriations Chair John Otto, R-Dayton, and House Administration Chair Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, on the House floor on May 14, 2015.
House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, speaks with House Appropriations Chair John Otto, R-Dayton, and House Administration Chair Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, on the House floor on May 14, 2015.

The Brief: The Tax Deal That Almost Wasn't

The Dallas Morning News takes a detailed look at the evolution of the deal on tax cuts this session and finds that at a few critical junctures, the deal almost derailed entirely.

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, celebrates passage of his tax cut measures during the House session April 28, 2015.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, celebrates passage of his tax cut measures during the House session April 28, 2015.

House Passes $4.9 Billion Tax Cut

The Texas House tentatively approved a $4.9 billion tax relief plan Tuesday that includes a cut to the state’s sales tax, marking a clear line in the sand against the Senate, which favors property tax cuts.

 

House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

A Look at the Priority Bills for Straus and Patrick

The House speaker and the lieutenant governor traditionally award the lowest bill numbers to measures they view as priorities. Here's an updated breakdown of House Bills 1-20 and Senate Bills 1-20, showing where House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are placing their priorities for the 84th legislative session.

Texas House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, talks over amendments to border security legislation on March 1, 2015.
Texas House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, talks over amendments to border security legislation on March 1, 2015.

The Brief: Impasse on Tax Cuts Persists on Eve of House Debate

The House is set to consider its tax relief package today as the impasse between its approach emphasizing a cut to the sales tax rate and the Senate's recipe that relies on a property tax reduction shows no sign of resolution.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during inaugural parade up Congress Ave. on January 20th, 2015
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during inaugural parade up Congress Ave. on January 20th, 2015

Grassroots Panel Creates Political Drama for Patrick

The panel of conservative activists that is advising Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is putting him in a tricky spot as he navigates leadership politics under the dome. The leader of the Grassroots Advisory Board says the panel has no plans to scale back its activities at the Capitol.