2015 Texas Legislature

Texas AG Fires Off Brief in Waller Courthouse Gun Carry Lawsuit

The Texas Attorney General has fired off a brief in the litigation over the right to bear arms in the Waller County Courthouse complex. AG Ken Paxton urges that “Both the law and sound public policy against the chilling of protected speech demand dismissal of Waller County’s claim. He also urges that the Waller County court is without jurisdiction to determine the issue.

Terry Holcomb - Waller County Courthouse

Armed Protest Planned After Texas County Targets Open Carry Activist

HOUSTON, Texas — Texas gun rights activists are converging on the Waller County, Texas, courthouse to protest what they are calling the “tyrannical” actions of the district attorney there. The D.A. sued the founder of Texas Carry, a gun rights organization that sent notices to 76 government entities complaining that officials are violating the law by excluding licensed to carry (LTC) holders. The Second Amendment activists will be engaging in an “open carry protest.”

Open carry Glock (Ben Branam / Flickr / CC / Cropped)

Texas Gov. Signs Toughest Border Security Plan of Any State, and Seeks Fed Reimbursement

Texas Governor Greg Abbott held a ceremony to sign the toughest and most comprehensive border security plan of any state in the United States of America. The legislative package provides historic levels of funding to secure the border, establishes a Child Sex Trafficking Prevention Unit, strengthens penalties for human traffickers, increases funding for the border protection unit, and seeks reimbursement from the federal government for Texas funds spent on border issues.

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Minors Seeking Abortions: Texas Making it Harder for Judges to Bypass Parents

Pro-life legislation making it more difficult for Texas judges to bypass parental notification when their children are seeking an abortion is gaining speed in the Lone Star State. The bill is sponsored by Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and strengthens judicial bypass laws. After four hours of debate on the Texas Senate floor on Memorial Day, it received preliminary approval by a 20-11 vote margin. The bill now goes to a third reading as amended on Tuesday, May 26th.

The Associated Press

Texas Bill Governing Judges Raises Questions by Judge over Separation of Powers

A long time statutory probate judge in Harris County, Texas, is raising an issue which begs the question of where the legislature’s power over the judiciary begins and ends. It is his opinion, that Senate Bill 1876, relating to appointing attorneys, mediators, or guardians, via a rotating list, is unconstitutional as violative of the separation of powers.

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Minimum Wage Increase Defeated in Texas House

If passed by the Texas Legislature, the bill would have increased pay to either $10.10 an hour, or the federal minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (currently $7.25 per hour for non-exempt employees), whichever was higher.

Minimum Wage 15 - AP Photo

Texas House Calls for Article 5 Convention to Restrain Federal Government

A Texas State House Joint Resolution passed Thursday would, if passed by the Texas State Senate, ask the U.S. Congress to call an Article 5 convention, which would propose Constitutional amendments to impose fiscal restraint on the federal government, reduce its powers and jurisdiction, and limit the terms of office for federal officials and members of Congress.

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Texas Legislature Moves Forward on Marijuana Related Bills

The Texas Senate voted 26 to 5 on Thursday to allow the use of cannabis oil treatment for epilepsy patients. Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) is the author of the Senate Bill 339. According to the Quorum Report, the Senator said “he is very appreciative of my senate colleagues for passing this bill that gives hope of help for those with intractable epilepsy.”

A young cannabis plant grows at The Joint Cooperative in Seattle, Washington

Texas Senate: Creighton Bill Would Give Sales Tax Holiday for Firearms and Ammo

The Texas State Senate has passed a bill that would establish a sales tax holiday for firearms and ammunition. Senate Bill 228, authored by Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), would create the sales tax holiday on the last weekend in August before hunting season, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on that Friday, and lasting until midnight on the following Sunday.

Creighton at shooting range

Texas Bill: Judges’ Judicial Bypass Rulings for Teen Abortions Will be Public

Under a bill by Texas State Representative Geanie W. Morrison (R- Victoria), co-authored by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton), rulings by judges in judicial bypass cases will no longer be kept from the public. Such rulings would be included in a report by the Texas Office of Court Administration which is made public annually. The name of the minor involved would be kept anonymous.

Judge in robe