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 Governor Abbott in Houston Tuesday for Grassroots Tour

Texas Governor Greg Abbott will make his ninth and last stop in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday as part of his statewide Grassroots Tour. The Governor will discuss the successes of the 2015 legislative session. The event is free.

Abbott announces "A Working Plan for Texas" during campaign.

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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Governor Abbott Vows to Sign Pastor Protection Bill into Law

The “Pastor Protection” bill, designed to protect pastors and their churches when refusing to perform a same-sex marriage, passed the Texas House with bipartisan support. The bill will go immediately to Texas Governor Abbott, who has vowed to sign it.

Gov Abbott with seal and Republican elephant

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.

Article 5

Texas Senate Passes Bill Protecting Pastors from Performing Gay Marriages

The Texas Senate passed a bill on Tuesday which would protect the rights of certain religious organizations and pastors to refuse participation in marriage ceremonies which violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs. The Governor said he will sign a bill that offers such protection to pastors and ministers.

Bible

Texas Senate Bill Would Ban Abortion Coverage in Private Insurance Plans

The Texas State Senate has voted in favor a bill that would ban insurance coverage for abortion. The ban applies to private health insurance plans, including qualified plans offered through health benefit exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).

Sen Larry Taylor

Texas Bill Would Forgive CHL Holders for Airport Security Slips

Responsible CHL holders in Texas have found themselves in airport security lines and forgot they were carrying a handgun. A bill that passed the Texas State House late last week would forgive concealed handgun license (CHL) holders for airport security slips.

AP Photo/Al Behrman

Texas Legislature: Children Orphaned by Texting Driver Testify for Ban

The Berry children from Houston testified before the Senate State Affairs committee on Thursday, telling lawmakers how they were orphaned by a driver who was sending text messages on his smart phone. A bill in the Texas State House would make texting while driving a Class C misdemeanor.

Distracted Drivers

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

Texas Senate Bill Protects Pastors from Overbearing Government

Pastors and their sermons have moved one step closer to protection under Texas law. State Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston) received unanimous approval for Senate Bill 2048, a bill necessitated by the actions of Mayor Annise Parker when she issued subpoenas to

Parker Claims Pastors Lied