The Brief: State leaders consider binding presidential electors
Such a law would require electors to support the winner of the statewide popular vote — a regulation in 29 states.
Texas transit agencies eye bus changes after ridership jump in Houston
Houston's bus overhaul, planned for years but rolled out literally overnight in 2015, has led to an increase in bus ridership, bucking state and national trends. Many are taking notice.
On some key early issues, Cruz sides with Trump
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, once a vicious critic of Donald Trump, is allying himself with the president-elect on some key issues shaping the early stages of Trump's transition into the White House.
Texas ag chief Sid Miller on social media habits: "I'm not a news organization"
"It’s like Fox News: I report, you decide if it’s true or not," Miller said Wednesday, responding to a Texas Tribune report about his tendency to spread fake news stories on Facebook.
Mental health pilot program for Texas foster kids underway
A new pilot program led by Gov. Greg Abbott’s office aims to provide specialized care and services for 500 of the most emotionally traumatized foster children in Texas.
Reports: Trump passing on Michael McCaul to lead Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul was widely viewed as a top contender for the position in Trump's Cabinet.
Boomtown, Flood Town: Unchecked development and the risks for Houston
Rapid development continues in Houston, creating some economic gains but also contributing to flood risks. This project, done in partnership with ProPublica, looks at those risks and the debate over what to do.
The Big Story
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Wednesday that the Legislature may look into a law that binds Texas presidential electors to cast their ballots for the winner of the state's popular vote. Here’s the story so far:
• Over the past few weeks, two Texas Republican electors have said they will not vote for President-elect Donald Trump. In late November, Art Sisneros of Dayton resigned, saying that voting for Trump "would bring dishonor to God." More than a week later, Christopher Suprun of Dallas said he plans to remain an elector but support another Republican.
• In a radio interview Wednesday, Patrick said the decisions of the two electors may lead state legislators to pass a law requiring electors to support the winner of the statewide popular vote. "We thought that people in Texas here who run for elector would keep their word," said Patrick, who chaired Trump's campaign in Texas.
• Hours after Patrick's remarks, Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed the idea of an elector-binding law, tweeting that it "must be done" as part of the state's efforts to ensure the integrity of elections.
• Electors are currently bound in 29 states, according to FairVote, a non-partisan election research group, meaning they cannot vote for anyone other than the winner of the statewide popular vote. Texas electors signed pledges earlier this year at the state GOP convention promising to vote for their party's nominee, but the documents are not legally binding.
What We're Reading
(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)
How Austin’s East Side Pies became target of fake #pizzagate, Austin American-Statesman
Uresti loses high-profile legislative appointment, San Antonio Express-News
Texan Michael McCaul reportedly loses out to Gen. John Kelly for Trump homeland security post, The Dallas Morning News
Texas State won't report undocumented immigrants, its president says, Austin American-Statesman
Today in TribTalk
"The Texas Association of Business claims that legislation that allows businesses to protect women and young girls is 'discriminatory,' but this couldn't be further from the truth."
— Matt Shaheen, state representative, R-Plano
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
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