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LG Patrick Gavels Out Sine Die

Texas Legislature Closes with Multiple Conservative Victories

AUSTIN, Texas — The 84th session of the Texas Legislature came to a close on Monday afternoon. Legislators spoke in the hallways about a successful session while some grassroots activists, conservatives and tea party leaders expressed wanting more.

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Texas Open Carry Bill Stalls Again Due to Political Pressure

The Texas House of Representatives voted against concurrence with changes made to the open carry bill by the Senate. The move by the House sends the bill to a conference committee between the two bodies of the Legislature to resolve their differences in the bill.

Open Carry

Open Carry Passes in Texas Senate, Changes Force it Back to House

The Texas Senate gave final passage to House Bill 910, the bill that would allow concealed carry license holders to openly carry a handgun. The bill was passed out of the Senate during a late night Memorial Day weekend session with a vote of 20-11. Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston) was the lone Republican voting against the bill.

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Op-Ed: Texas Must Protect Our Grid Against Attack — The Feds Won’t

Imagine what would happen if the power went off nationwide and did not come back for several years. Water pumps, life-saving equipment in hospitals, gasoline production, and refrigeration of our food and medicines would all stop. A widespread, extended power outage would end life as we know it.

AP Photo/Al Behrman

Open Carry Bill Heading Back to Texas House Floor for Vote

AUSTIN, Texas – The bill to allow holders of Texas Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL) to openly carry handguns is heading back to the House floor for a vote on Friday. The bill came to the floor for a vote earlier this week but was sent back to committee due to a technical glitch.

Woman Open Carrying in Resturaunt - Reuters-Bill Waugh

Point of Order Sends Texas Open Carry and Fracking Bills Back to Committee

Texas House Representative Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) raised a point of order that resulted in a temporary setback for the House Open Carry bill, HB-910. The point of order was sustained by the Speaker, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) and the bill will be sent back to the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. The bill prohibiting local authorities from blocking fracking operations in their jurisdictions was sent back to committee on a similar point of order.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Chairman Dennis Bonnen

Fireworks Erupt Between Texas House and Senate Over Tax Reform

Fireworks erupted on Wednesday in the Texas capitol building between the Lt. Governor and the House Speaker Pro Tempore over tax reform legislation. The verbal exchange between the two leaders began after State Representative Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton), who also serves Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, unveiled his plan for a $4.7 billion tax cut.

Jason Villalba

Texas Rep. Villalba Deletes Angry Tweets and Facebook Page Amid Backlash

One Texas legislator seems to be finding criticism over a bill he filed too much to take, lashing out at critics on Twitter, then deleting some of his most intemperate remarks, as well as deleting critical comments from his Facebook page before finally taking down the page altogether.

Jason Villalba - YouTube

Backlash Grows Against Texas Rep. Villalba’s Bill Criminalizing Bloggers Filming Cops

AUSTIN, Texas — State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) is pushing back against critics of a bill he filed that would make it a crime for bloggers and independent journalists to film or photograph police officers. After the bill, HB 2918, was filed, it was the target of criticism from both the right and the left. Villalba has conceded he will make some amendments, but has continued to aggressively defend the bill. This week, the bill was referred to a committee and set for public hearing on March 26.

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Texas House Passes Anti-Human Trafficking Bill

On Monday, the Texas House passed on second reading HB 10, an omnibus anti-human trafficking bill, with a unanimous, bipartisan vote. The bill still needs a third reading but is expected to easily pass Tuesday morning and will be the first bill passed by the House this Session.

AP Photo

Texas Speaker Straus Announces Committee Assignments

On Wednesday afternoon, Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) announced his appointments for House Committees, laying out who will hold crucial positions of power over the bills considered during the state’s 84th Legislative Session.

Texas Capitol

New Texas House Media Rules Could Allow Retaliation Against Journalists

AUSTIN, Texas — On Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives passed House Resolution 4, which contained several amendments to the rules governing the administration of the House, including new restrictions on media access to the Capitol that may make it easier for elected officials to retaliate against journalists who criticize them, as well as creating new challenges for citizen journalists, bloggers, and other new media to obtain media credentials.

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Texas House Releases Interim Committee Reports

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) released the results of several interim committee reports ahead of the opening of the incoming 84th Legislative Session.