While people and drugs come north, guns pour south into Mexico
Often overlooked in border security debates is the river of guns and ammunition that flows from the United States — especially Texas — into Mexico, arming cartels and smugglers.
Analysis: A bathroom mess for Republican Texas lawmakers
If they were only listening to voters, Texas Republican lawmakers could cast stress-free votes on a proposed bathroom bill. That's also true if they were only listening to businesses. But voters and businesses don't want the same thing.
At A&M, protests, big crowds and tension over white nationalist's speech
Richard Spencer's speech at Texas A&M drew more than a thousand protesters. As he preached white nationalism, tension was high and police in riot gear tried to maintain calm.
Immigration detention centers will continue operating despite judge's ruling
Two immigration detention centers in Texas will continue their day-to-day operations despite a Travis County judge’s ruling last week that denied the facilities state licenses.
Greg Abbott appoints new Dallas County district attorney
Republican Faith Johnson, a former state district court judge, will finish the term of Dallas District Attorney Susan Hawk, who resigned in September after taking medical leaves to treat depression and mood disorder.
Greg Abbott: Convention of states to amend Constitution still needed under Trump
Gov. Greg Abbott squared the new political reality Tuesday with his long-standing crusade to amend the U.S. Constitution by arguing President-elect Donald Trump "epitomizes exactly why we need a convention of states."
The Big Story
Texas Republicans' efforts to pass a bill to keep transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity and another that would shield religious objectors to same-sex marriage could cost the state up to $8.5 billion, the Texas Association of Business warned Tuesday. Here’s the story so far:
• The figure is based on an economic impact study conducted by St. Edward’s University and commissioned by the Texas Association of Business. According to their report, the economic fallout in Texas would mostly come from loss of tourism and events if lawmakers move forward with legislation similar to North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill and Indiana’s so-called religious freedom law.
• Texas Republican leaders, namely Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, have vowed to push further measures. In his agenda for the upcoming legislative session, Patrick listed the as-yet-unfiled Senate Bill 6, which would regulate the use of bathrooms and prohibit transgender Texans from using the bathroom in line with their gender identity. However, House Speaker Joe Straus has said such legislation is not high on his chamber's list of priorities.
• The fight over equal rights in Texas picked up strength after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. It was also spotlighted last year when conservative activists in Houston helped overturn a local ordinance, better known as HERO, that would have established protections from discrimination for gay and transgender residents among several other classes.
• Lawmakers have filed several bills regarding LGBT and religious rights, including pre-empting local ordinances that extend protections to LGBT residents and legislation to shield religious objectors to same-sex marriage if they refuse to serve same-sex couples. Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth have had comprehensive ordinances offering LGBT residents some degree of protection against discrimination in employment, housing and other public accommodations, such as bathrooms.
The House Committee on Transportation will meet today (9 a.m. E2.010) to hear invited testimony on autonomous vehicles. See the full committee schedule.
What We're Reading
(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)
Dallas hopes for windfall in Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure pledge, but details remain fuzzy, The Dallas Morning News
Officials leave sex offenders' election ballots uncounted, Houston Chronicle
New state-required pamphlet overstates abortion risks, physicians say, Austin American-Statesman
Patrick and Straus: 'legislators don't need a pay raise', San Antonio Express-News
Today in TribTalk
"The rhetoric of President-elect Donald Trump against Mexican-Americans is striking, but the ideas aren't new. Latinos and Latinas faced similar attacks in Texas more than 160 years ago from the Know-Nothing movement."
— Raúl A. Ramos, Associate professor, University of Houston
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation with Sen.-elect Dawn Buckingham & Rep.-elect Hugh Shine on Dec. 8 at Temple College – Arnold Student Union
• Health Care and the 85th Legislature on Dec. 15 at UT Health Science Center San Antonio - Pestana Lecture Hall
• Trivia Night on Jan. 8 at The Highball
• A Conversation with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Jan. 11 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation with the University of Houston's Renu Khator on Jan. 12 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation with Reps. Dustin Burrows & Drew Darby on Jan. 19 at Howard College – West Texas Training Center
• A Conversation with Sen. Kel Seliger & Rep. Brooks Landgraf on Feb. 17 at Odessa College – Saulsbury Campus Center
• A Conversation with Reps. Senfronia Thompson & James White on March 31 at Prairie View A&M University – W.A. Tempton Memorial Student Center