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Everything's bigger in Texas - Including Government

Think about the things that Texas is known for. Oil, trucks, cowboys, cows and big city life. Also, a gun loving governor and a booming economy. Oh, yeah and the myth that everything is bigger in Texas, right? We've got big trucks, big hair and...big government? Big government, you say? Sadly, yes.

Back in 1999, the Texas Legislature signed a bill into law that granted a panel of doctors, appointed by the hospital in which they work, to help with end of life directives. What does that mean, exactly? Well, if you wanted to go all Sarah Palin, then, I guess you could call these death panels.

As we all know, the 83rd legislative session of the Texas house is coming to a close. This year proved to be a fairly quiet one, until now. The current legislative body has apparently

at May 16, 2013 9:23 AM
       

The Legislature Shouldn’t Hit-And-Run on Immigration

You might think a proposal to force undocumented immigrants to be background checked, fingerprinted, photographed and entered into a database would be an easy sell with Republican lawmakers. But, you’d be wrong.

With time quickly running out in the legislative session, a plan to make it possible for undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver permit has stalled in legislature. The idea’s Republican champion in the House, Rep. Byron Cook of Corsicana, said the process has slowed way down but he’s still hopeful the proposal can become law. “Right now, we are pushing a big rock uphill,” he told me.   Read more »

at May 14, 2013 8:15 AM
       

Texas Senate Passes NRA-Backed Campus Parking Lot Bill And House Schedules Pro-Gun Measures For Consideration This Weekend

The following is a press release from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action:

As NRA members begin to gather in Houston for the 2013 Annual Meeting, action is heating up in Austin on Second Amendment-related measures. Yesterday, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 1907, sponsored by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), a measure that prohibits public and private colleges and universities from adopting or enforcing policies banning students who are Concealed Handgun Licensees (CHLs) from transporting and storing handguns and ammunition in their privately-owned motor vehicles while driving through or parking on campus. SB 1907 now goes to the Texas House for consideration.

Additionally, the state House is scheduled to consider a full calendar of firearm-related bills this Saturday, May 4, including

at May 3, 2013 11:32 AM
       

Texas Legislature 2013 - Senate Passes Heavy Truck Bill (SB 1671) House Looks at Options

Previously TexasGOPVote reported on State Representative Allen Fletcher's bill (HB 3094) to increase the fines on trucks that run overweight loads that are destroying our roads and highways. Recently the Texas Senate passed and forwarded on to the House for consideration, a bill (SB 1671) by State Senator Robert Nichols. The Senate bill is now before the House Transportation Committee, chaired by Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman).   Read more »

at May 2, 2013 10:12 AM
       

Update on the Texas Advance Directive Act (SB 303)

The Texas Advance Directive Act of 1999 (TADA) describes “Advance Directives to Physicians” (what most people would call a “Living Will”) and contains Section 166.046, an attempt to outline the procedure for resolving a disagreement between a doctor and patients or their surrogates about what is medically appropriate treatment.

The law currently in effect requires the doctor to notify the patient or the surrogate when he or

at Apr 30, 2013 4:34 PM
       

State Rep. Jason Villalba’s Teacher Appraisal Bill is Another Vital Step Toward Upgrading Texas Public Schools

Texas’ 83rd Legislative Session features an important theme, reflected in numerous pending bills: the determination to improve the public education system, and to protect and advance school choice, especially for low-income families. Texas Republicans are leading the way.

One aspect of upgrading public schools, reviewing the caliber of our teacher performance appraisal process,

at Apr 29, 2013 2:26 PM
       

Why I Support "Safe Driver Bill" HB 3206 as Revised

By way of background, I have been a licensed attorney for almost 23 years. Of those 23 years, I spent nine years as a state prosecutor and over 2 years as a federal prosecutor. As a federal prosecutor, I prosecuted the entire gambit of border immigration cases including misdemeanor violations of border entries (8 U.S.C. § 1325), felony re-entry of a removed aliens (8 U.S.C. § 1326), and felony alien smuggling cases (8 U.S.C. § 1324).   Read more »

at Apr 28, 2013 6:46 PM
       

Don't Let Misclassification Crackdown Die Behind Closed Doors

The Texas Legislature is designed to kill legislation, not to pass it. There are countless ways in which legislation can die. Put simply: That's usually a good thing. The vast majority of the time, the government should get out of the way and let the private sector do its thing. After all, less legislation usually equals less government and less government always equals more freedom.

The flip side of that, though, is that there are times when the machine of Austin politics can kill very good legislation. Our readers know that one thing that has got to stop in Texas is the intentional misclassification of workers, sometimes called payroll fraud. It's a huge problem in the construction industry, and there are some companies that would love to go right on cheating taxpayers by avoiding payroll taxes and using the gray areas of the law to hire illegal immigrants.   Read more »

at Apr 28, 2013 8:53 AM
       

Texas Legislature 2013 - House State Affairs Committee Passes Bill to Issue Driver's Permit to Undocumented Immigrants

Driver's Permit for Illegal Immigrants one step closer in TexasUnder the outstanding leadership of State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) and with help from Texas State Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands), Texas roadways are one step closer to being made safer as the committee voted a committee substitute version of the "Safe Driver Bill", HB 3206 out of committee. With the cooperation of the bill's author, Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas), Sen. Williams and

at Apr 26, 2013 5:07 PM
       

Texas Legislature 2013 - Reduce Unlicensed & Uninsured Drivers on Texas Roads

Are you legal to drive in Texas?  Wish everyone was?The 2011 Texas Legislature passed a new law to prohibit the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) from issuing a Texas Driver's License to anyone who could not prove they were a citizen or legal U.S. resident. There were many good reasons for that I will address later, but there was one HUGE unintended consequence. The passage of this law created more lawlessness on Texas highways

at Apr 24, 2013 7:09 PM
       

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