Archive for June, 2015

Statements on SCOTUS ACA Ruling

We have compiled all the statements we have received from Texas lawmakers about today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. We will continue to update this post as more come in.


Governor Greg Abbott (R):

“The Supreme Court abandoned the Constitution to resuscitate a failing healthcare law. Today’s action underscores why it is now more important than ever to ensure we elect a President who will repeal Obamacare and enact real healthcare reforms.”

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Daily Digest | June 9

Our daily digest is a mid-day update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re watching:

The 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans has issued a ruling on the controversial 2013 abortion bill, HB2. The ruling, which can be read in full here, found much of the bill constitutional, exempting only the Whole Woman’s Health clinic in McAllen:

In plain terms, H.B. 2 and its provisions may be applied throughout Texas, except that Supreme Court precedent requires us to partially uphold the district court’s injunction of the ASC requirement as applied to the Whole Woman’s Health abortion facility in McAllen, Texas, and to uphold the district court’s injunction of the admitting privileges requirement as applied to Dr. Lynn when he is working at the McAllen facility.

The bill requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers and mandates that a doctor have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where he or she performs abortions. This ruling is a major win for those opposed to abortion in the legal challenge against the bill. Nancy Northup with The Center for Reproductive Rights released a statement saying:

“Again, women across TX face the near total elimination of safe & legal options for ending a pregnancy.”

Meanwhile, Governor Greg Abbott put pen to paper on the Legislature’s omnibus border security bill this morning. The Governor held a ceremony at DPS Headquarters in Houston. House Bill 11 would send more DPS troopers to the border, and would also create a multi-agency crime information center in Hidalgo County. Critics have raised concerns about over-militarizing the area. More than $800 million of this year’s budget plan has been set aside for border security, about twice as much as last session.

For all these stories and more, tune in to “Capital Tonight.” Our guest tonight is Laura Prather with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. She’ll give us her take on how legislation regarding government transparency fared this session. Plus, political strategist Harold Cook will look ahead to the road map for presidential candidates trying to win in 2016. Tune in to Time Warner Cable News, tonight at 7 and 11.

Daily Digest | June 3

Our daily digest is a mid-day update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re watching:

The dust may still be settling from the final gavel of the 84th Legislature, but we are already looking ahead to 2016. Former Governor Rick Perry is expected to announce his presidential ambitions at the Addison Airport outside of Dallas tomorrow. Follow Karina Kling (@KarinaKling) as she heads to Dallas. We’ll check in with her tonight from the spot where Perry is speaking, and talk about his campaign efforts so far.

Mitch Goulding (@MitchTWCN) is sitting down with the people behind Mothers and Sons, a play at the Zach Scott Theatre this month addressing same-sex marriage. With a looming Supreme Court decision that could alter the legal rights of same-sex couples forever, he’ll look into the changing perception of the LGBT community over the decades, and the effect that may have had in the last legislative session.

Finally — last night, we sat down with Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, who announced Monday he is stepping down after nearly a decade in the Legislature. We talked about his time at the Capitol, and how he sees Texas politics shaping up in the future. Check out that conversation here.

Make sure to tune in to Capital Tonight at 7 and 11 for more on all of this. We’re joined tonight by Rep. Jason Isaac (R – TX House District 45) to talk about the flood recovery happening in his district and his signature water bill that passed in dramatic fashion this session. Plus the Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg will provide his perspective on all the week’s stories. Tune in on Time Warner Cable News in Austin and San Antonio.

Daily Digest | June 1

Our Daily Digest is a lunchtime look at the stories we have our eyes on at the Capitol and beyond. Here’s what we are watching today:

The 84th Legislative Session has officially come to a close. Both chambers officially gaveled out for the final time this year early this afternoon. It comes after a jam-packed weekend that sent a flurry of bills to the governor’s desk, including the campus carry bill, the final vote on open carry, legalizing a form of medical cannabis oil and changing the way individual schools are graded. It also marked the end of several lawmakers’ tenures in the Legislature. Rep. Sylvester Turner (D – TX House District 139), Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R – TX House District 54), Rep. Allen Fletcher (R – Texas House District 130) and Rep. Joe Farias (D – TX House District 118) have all announced they will not be returning for the next session in 2017. Some have other political aspirations, others are returning to private citizenship.

Make sure to tune in to Capital Tonight at 7 and 11 tonight for a special Sine Die edition to cap off the 84th Legislative Session. We’ll be joined by political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi as well as Harvey Kronberg from the Quorum Report. We’ll look back on the key takeaways from the session, the biggest policy decisions affecting Texans, and the political implications for state lawmakers moving forward. Tune in on Time Warner Cable News in Austin and San Antonio.