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Opening Ceremonies at the 84th Session of The Texas House of Representatives

As the 84th Texas Legislature opened, mixed emotions ran through my heart and my mind. I was sitting in the Texas House of Representatives' gallery looking down to a full floor of elected state representatives and their families.

This was the fifth time I have been present at a swearing in ceremony for the Texas Legislature session, having been to both the House and Senate ceremonies. I started attending the sessions at the 80th Texas Legislature, back in 2007, but this time was different- as I was there as a former candidate for the Texas State House for this specific term. Try to imagine my feelings as I was there watching and thinking that I could have been on that floor about to take an oath surrounded with my own family and making history as the second Hispanic woman in ALL history of Texas sitting as a Republican.

at Jan 16, 2015 9:12 AM
       

Strengthen Oversight of Taxpayer Funds

The Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly elected Joe Straus as Speaker of the House at the opening of the 84th Legislature yesterday. 

Last week, Joe Straus announced that the House will soon release a budget proposal that significantly strengthens oversight of state agency contracts.   Read more »

at Jan 14, 2015 3:06 PM
       

Pro-Life Leader Clears the Air About Who’s a Lobbyist and Who Is Not

The battle playing out among the largest anti-abortion groups in Texas is difficult to understand without taking into consideration some of the undercurrents and becoming familiar with some of the key players in our great state’s politics. The widening rift between groups like Texas Right to Life and Texas Alliance for Life has much to do with differences in policy positions and endorsements of political candidates. But, it’s also about allied organizations of pro-life groups and who they support for Speaker of the Texas House, for example.

Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman is an anti-abortion leader who strongly backs Speaker Joe Straus

at Jan 12, 2015 12:37 PM
       

Pro-Life Leader: Unfortunate that Pro-Life Groups are at Odds

As lawmakers prepare to convene for the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature – a session that could once again see intense debates over abortion – at least one prominent anti-abortion leader says it’s unfortunate that there’s a growing rift between the state’s biggest pro-life groups.   Read more »

at Jan 7, 2015 11:08 AM
       

Texas House To Build on HB5 Education Reforms

Austin - The Texas House will continue to strengthen college and career readiness in the upcoming legislative session by providing additional training for high school guidance counselors, Speaker Joe Straus said Monday.

The initiative will build on the successes of House Bill 5, a major education reform measure that the Legislature passed unanimously in 2013. House Bill 5 changed high school graduation requirements to allow

at Jan 5, 2015 5:00 PM
       

8 False Claims About Joe Straus

The legislative record of the Texas Legislature during the six-year tenure of House Speaker Joe Straus draws high praise from national pro-life organizations and harsh criticism from pro-abortion organizations. Americans United for Life ranks Texas as the 6th most pro-life state and writes, “As a result of aggressive legislative action over the past several years,

at Dec 18, 2014 11:49 AM
       

Gov. Perry follows in Obama’s footsteps with an immigration executive order of his own

When President Obama could not get what he wanted from Congress on immigration, he simply issued an executive order. Now, it seems Governor Rick Perry is following President Obama’s example.

The Legislature has on multiple occasions rejected mandatory E-Verify. Now Perry’s made an end run around them and mandated it on his own through an executive order. On December 3, Perry issued Executive Order RP80 requiring Texas State Agencies and private entities seeking state contracts to use E-verify, not only on new hires, but on current and prospective employees including subcontractors.   Read more »

at Dec 16, 2014 2:42 PM
       

Texas House Democrat's Bill Could Impact Hiring of Illegal Immigrants

Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) filed a bill in the Texas House of Representatives to increase fines for employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors when they should rightfully be classified as employees. This technique is often used by companies to work illegal immigrants as independent contractors avoiding the I-9 employment documentation process.   Read more »

at Dec 11, 2014 5:01 PM
       

Bill Filed to Crack Down on Worker Misclassification in Texas Construction Industry

Far too often, construction companies cheat taxpayers and their workers by pretending their employees are independent subcontractors when, by law, they should be paid as employees. It’s a practice known as worker misclassification. Some ethical contractors have called it a “cancer that is eating at the heart of our industry.”

If a person is paid as a subcontractor, that individual is on the hook for payroll taxes and benefits like health insurance. When they’re injured, uninsured workers are often dropped off at county hospitals and the rest of us end up paying more in health costs and local property taxes.   Read more »

at Dec 8, 2014 3:41 PM
       

Kolkhorst Wins Texas Senate Seat in Special Election

After a whirlwind campaign, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, on Saturday night defeated four other candidates in a special election for a State Senate seat just vacated by the state's next Comptroller. Former Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, resigned the seat that represents a huge area spanning from Katy to Brenham to the coast.

Kolkhorst was able to win 55 percent of the vote, with her closest competitor Gary Gates receiving only 34 percent of the vote. The fact that Kolkhorst received over 50 percent means there will be no runoff and she is now Senator-Elect. The election happened quickly enough that Kolkhorst will be sworn in as a senator as the Legislature convenes in January.   Read more »

at Dec 6, 2014 11:57 PM
       

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