Tribpedia: Sid Miller

Heated Debate Surrounds Push for Deep Fryers in Schools

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Jan. 13, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Jan. 13, 2015.

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, the cowboy-hat-wearing champion of local control, is looking to buck a decade-old statewide ban on deep fat fryers in public schools. Putting decision-making back into the hands of Texas school districts, he says, “isn't about french fries, it's about freedom.”

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.

Despite Rocky Start, Agriculture Chief Defends Record

A collection of unflattering headlines has lawmakers and one of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's predecessors questioning whether the world-champion calf roper was fully ready to steer a billion-dollar state agency. But Miller is brushing off the criticism, touting his first 100 days as a wild success. 

 

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller at Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, June 5th, 2014.
Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller at Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, June 5th, 2014.

Sid Miller Backed, Then Nixed, Ag Agency Remodel

Hand-scraped wood floors. Custom ceiling tile. A shower. Those items may not sound like upgrades a cash-strapped agency would need, and new Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller ultimately didn't think so, either. After initially supporting a big renovation at the agency, Miller decided to nix it, officials say.

New Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller does a fist pump on election night Nov. 4, 2014.
New Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller does a fist pump on election night Nov. 4, 2014.

Sid Miller Clashes With Legislature Over Budget

Recent episodes — including a parking kerfuffle and a request to leave the House floor — highlight a rapidly deteriorating relationship between the cowboy hat-wearing agriculture commissioner and the Legislature that once counted Sid Miller as one of its own. 

Anti-guns advocates inside Texas Capitol where the Senate Committee on State Affairs is listening to testimony SB 11 & SB 17 both related to handguns on Feb. 12th, 2015
Anti-guns advocates inside Texas Capitol where the Senate Committee on State Affairs is listening to testimony SB 11 & SB 17 both related to handguns on Feb. 12th, 2015

The Brief: Guns Again Take Center Stage in Legislative Session

Legislative activity begins to ramp up in the two chambers this week with speculation rampant that the Senate might take up as early as today legislation that would allow permitted gun owners to carry handguns openly.

This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.
This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.

Signs of Neglect, Wear and Tear in State Government

After years of budget cuts, raids on dedicated funding and deferred maintenance, rats, bats, leaking roofs and audible bathroom sounds are the new normal in state government — not to mention decades-old computer and technology systems, dilapidated parks and a backlog of pipeline safety inspections.

Sid Miller at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.
Sid Miller at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.

Ag Commissioner Says Consumers Being "Screwed"

From gasoline sales to grocery purchases, the Texas Department of Agriculture is supposed to ensure consumers aren't getting ripped off by fuel pumps, retail scanners or other measuring devices. But the agency is so cash-strapped that consumers are getting "screwed" due to a lack of oversight, the agency's new commissioner says.

Newly-elected Land Commissioner George P. Bush speaking at the GOP Election night party at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas on Nov. 4, 2014.
Newly-elected Land Commissioner George P. Bush speaking at the GOP Election night party at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas on Nov. 4, 2014.

Republicans Extend Statewide Streak to 16 Years

Texas Democrats maintained their 16-year losing streak on Election Day, with Republicans decisively sweeping all 15 statewide races on the ballot. As of late Tuesday, Republicans were leading by more than 20 percentage points in all of the statewide races. Texans have not elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.

 

 

 

A cascade aerator is shown at the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant outside of San Antonio, where the San Antonio Water System maintains an underground storage reservoir.
A cascade aerator is shown at the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant outside of San Antonio, where the San Antonio Water System maintains an underground storage reservoir.

The Brief: San Antonio on Verge of Big Water Play

Questions continue to be raised about a giant water pipeline project that would pump roughly 16 billion gallons of groundwater annually from Burleson County to San Antonio.

Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick chats with reporters at a polling station in Cypress, Texas Tuesday, May 27, 2014 to stump for votes in his runoff against against incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick chats with reporters at a polling station in Cypress, Texas Tuesday, May 27, 2014 to stump for votes in his runoff against against incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

The Brief: Tea Party Ascendant as Curtain Falls on Two Careers

The Tea Party demonstrated forcefully its predominant position in Texas GOP politics on a runoff election night that also closed the curtain on a couple of long political careers.

Dan Patrick (l) in Salado, Tex., and David Dewhurst in Austin.
Dan Patrick (l) in Salado, Tex., and David Dewhurst in Austin.

In Texas, Conservative Candidates Ride Out Hard Hits

In three statewide Republican runoff races, candidates who have aligned themselves to the right of their opponents are poised to capture their party's nomination despite fielding significant blows from their opponents, including forays into mental health records three decades old and a potentially disqualifying violation of state securities law.  

Kinky Friedman is shown at his Medina, Texas, ranch.
Kinky Friedman is shown at his Medina, Texas, ranch.

Analysis: A Kink in the Democrats' Chain

Texas Democratic leaders tried to keep Kinky Friedman off of their November ticket, for fear voters will not take him seriously. But if he wins a runoff for agriculture commissioner in May, he might offer them their best odds for a win. The Republicans are choosing between two former legislators who were voted out of office, and neither is as well-known as the Kinkster.

School children at Cantu Elementary in San Juan, Texas, eat their free breakfast, Wednesday April 24, 2013.
School children at Cantu Elementary in San Juan, Texas, eat their free breakfast, Wednesday April 24, 2013.

Ag Candidates Weigh In on School Lunch Program

One of the Texas agriculture commissioner's biggest jobs is running the federally funded school breakfast and lunch program. Read what the Republican and Democratic candidates for agriculture commissioner have to say about the program.