Tribpedia: Troy Fraser

On Way Out of Office, Some Lawmakers Keep Spending

Sen. Troy Fraser R-Horseshoe Bay on floor April 23
Sen. Troy Fraser R-Horseshoe Bay on floor April 23

If retiring Texas Sen. Troy Fraser is looking for a country music song to describe his recent months in office, “I’ve Been Everywhere” might do the trick. In the second half of 2015, he tapped his campaign account to pay for travel to France, Hawaii, Colorado, California and South Carolina. Nothing bars lawmakers from spending campaign cash on the way out the door, but they vary in how they do it. 

Texas House Appropriations Chairman John Otto, R-Dayton, looks at his computer while state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, stands nearby on June 1, 2015.
Texas House Appropriations Chairman John Otto, R-Dayton, looks at his computer while state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, stands nearby on June 1, 2015.

Analysis: Legislature Losing Some Key Players

It will be more than a year before we know everyone who is and is not coming back to the Texas Legislature, but the trickle has started, and some big players are leaving the field. 

The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases.  In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.

Lawmakers Move to Speed Permits, Limit Protests

Business-friendly Texas still isn't quite friendly enough, Republican lawmakers say, and they're pushing legislation to curtail public input and speed up permits issued by state environmental regulators.

Texas Railroad Commission lead engineering technician for districts 1 and 2, Michael Polasek, inspects a salt water disposal injection well at a Heckman Water Resources commercial disposal facility on the LAMZA lease near Highway 80, January 22, 2012.
Texas Railroad Commission lead engineering technician for districts 1 and 2, Michael Polasek, inspects a salt water disposal injection well at a Heckman Water Resources commercial disposal facility on the LAMZA lease near Highway 80, January 22, 2012.

The Brief: SMU Earthquake Report Could Cause Well Closures

There was more fallout late last week from the Southern Methodist University-led research study that linked wastewater injection wells to a swarm of earthquakes near Reno and Azle in late 2013 and early 2014.

A bowl of shark fin soup with crab meat at Ho Ho Chinese BBQ in Austin.
A bowl of shark fin soup with crab meat at Ho Ho Chinese BBQ in Austin.

Shark Fin Ban Back on the House Menu

A proposal to ban the trade of shark fins in Texas sailed through the Texas House on Wednesday, but it faces choppier waters ahead: the Texas Senate, where similar legislation foundered in 2013.

Granbury resident Joe Williams (left) stands with City Council Member Rose Myers and Hood County Commissioner Steve Berry under a Lake Granbury resident's dock in the Waters Edge neighborhood on Lake Granbury's north shore. The lake is 53 percent full.
Granbury resident Joe Williams (left) stands with City Council Member Rose Myers and Hood County Commissioner Steve Berry under a Lake Granbury resident's dock in the Waters Edge neighborhood on Lake Granbury's north shore. The lake is 53 percent full.

Criticism of Water Policy Flows From Conservatives

Many conservative activists in Texas worry that when it comes to state water policy, Republican leaders have not focused on principles like small government, private property rights and local control. 

Dallas businessman Wallace Hall, Jr. takes notes at the University of Texas Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 14, 2013 in Austin.
Dallas businessman Wallace Hall, Jr. takes notes at the University of Texas Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 14, 2013 in Austin.

The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Nov. 11, 2013

Your evening reading: UT System regents ask for guidance on restricting public testimony; despite lack of opponent, many incumbents continue to collect beaucoup campaign cash; another look at the potential Perry v. Cruz showdown in 2016