April 2015

Not Crooks…

Not Crooks…

As the Texas Senate was debating an ethics reform package this week, one state senator inadvertently channeled the late Richard Nixon by protesting that “we’re not all a bunch of crooks.” If you have to proclaim it… State Sen. John Whitmire...
Ethics Overhaul Passes Texas Senate

Ethics Overhaul Passes Texas Senate

On Tuesday, the Texas Senate passed a major ethics overhaul bill, SB 19. Spearheaded by State Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano), the initiative carries the endorsement of Gov. Greg Abbott, who labeled ethics reform as one of his emergency issues. The legislation would expand...
Kassi Marks: Tell the Truth

Kassi Marks: Tell the Truth

Kassi Marks was introduced to civic engagement at the age of five, when her father ran for school board in their small town of Carrizo Springs, Texas. As part of his campaign, he worked to educate local taxpayers on the risks associated with a proposed bond package...
The Burden of Parking Minimums

The Burden of Parking Minimums

Criticism of municipal regulations in Texas usually centers around Austin and San Antonio, while Houston is often praised for its zone-free model and relaxed land use regulations. Houstonians appreciate the absence of zoning restrictions that allow developers to...
House Passes Tax Relief Measures

House Passes Tax Relief Measures

Tax relief moved easily through the Texas House on Tuesday, a full month after the Senate passed their package. Both the House and the Senate are working to implement tax relief, but the two chambers currently differ over the proper method. The Senate’s $4.6 billion...
Obstructing Real Reforms

Obstructing Real Reforms

There are many measures by which this legislative session will be judged, but no measure is more important than their success in reforming the very operating systems of government in Texas. As the great Sam Houston put it, “A leader is someone who helps improve the...
Senate Budget Conferees Appointed

Senate Budget Conferees Appointed

On Thursday afternoon, the Senate released the names of its five members who will serve on the conference committee for the state budget, HB 1. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has appointed Sens. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa...