Posts Tagged ‘texas capitol’

Senator Wendy Davis

Texas State Senator greeted enthusiastically by the crowds. by Karen Hadden

An estimated 5,000 demonstrators descended on the Texas Capitol today, with the majority expressing their opposition to new abortion restrictions that a Democratic filibuster led by state Senator Wendy Davis and raucous protests outside and inside the capitol derailed last week.

Today, Texas lawmakers convened a second special legislative session aimed at reviving the bill that would limit where, when and how women may obtain abortions in the state. Supporters say it will protect women’s health, while opponents say it is designed to shutter the majority of the state’s abortion clinics. Whatever is said about this law, the GOP dominated legislature is determined to pass it during this special session.

The session is also supposed to deal with a constitutional amendment for new highway funding and a juvenile justice measure that refines a no-parole provision for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last summer that outlawed such sentencing schemes.

A special session costs taxpayers more than $800,000. Each lawmaker is given a $150 per diem to cover food and living expenses per day during a regular or special session. The longer a special session goes, the more money will be spent. If the second special session takes a full 30 days, Texans could be paying legislators nearly $1.6 million.  But the leadership has indicated that they are confident this session will not last the full 30 days as they railroad these three measures through.


Hearing tomorrow
That being said, the house just posted a notice of public hearing to hear testimony on HB 2 by Representative Jodie Laubenberg – (District 89 R-Parker), Relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities. The hearing is scheduled in front of the House State Affairs Committee in the Capitol Extension room E2.030 at 3:30 pm tomorrow, Tuesday, July 2nd.

The committee will receive testimony upon convening, until 12:01 a.m., July 3, 2013, and witnesses will be given 3 minutes for oral testimony. Written testimony is encouraged and appreciated.  If you would like to provide the committee with written testimony, please bring 15 copies.

The committee will be using the electronic witness affirmation system developed for the regular 83rd legislative session, and is available at registration kiosks located throughout the Capitol Extension.  Registration must be performed the day of the hearing and within the Capitol Complex — however, you may create a profile in advance from any internet connection. Please visit: www.house.state.tx.us/resources/.

NOTICE OF ASSISTANCE AT PUBLIC MEETINGS:  Persons with disabilities who plan to attend this meeting and who may need assistance, such as a sign language interpreter, are requested to contact Stacey Nicchio at (512) 463-0850, 72 hours prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.  Since the hearing is in 24 hours, I guess that means persons with disabilities are out of luck.

Despite the fact that the GOP leadership has told the world that this bill is going to pass, the spontaneous outpouring of support show by citizens from across the state has been a heartening display of democracy in action. The 83rd legislative session along with the two special sessions is a snapshot of how little our elected officials listen to what is important to Texans.  Perhaps this time, there will be consequences.

Check out these photos:


Thongs showed up

Thousands showed up #StandingWithWendy

A sea of orange in front of a pink granite capitol

A sea of orange in front of a pink granite capitol

Inside the capitol after the rally.

Inside the capitol after the rally.

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The Texas Progressive Alliance’s brackets are still in good shape as it brings you this week’s blog roundup.

WhosPlayin has been focused on City Council elections and the criminal records of two of the candidates, each of whom has assault convictions, and each of whom lied on their ballot application.

Off the Kuff discusses the budget deal that allows for Rainy Day funds to be used to close the current biennium’s shortfall.

DosCentavos compares theMexican shootin’ Missouri legislator and the goings on at the Texas Capitol; and tell us what Dems should be doing.

Bay Area Houston notes When the Galveston County Republican Party Chair slept with teabaggers he woke up with a bad taste in his mouth…..and no job.

Are you in favor of preserving the mortgage interest income tax deduction, or do you favor phasing it out for larger, more expensive homes and/or wealthier taxpayers — or eliminating it altogether? PDiddie wants your opinion at Brains and Eggs.

Musings gives an update on the ground perspective of why schools need more support staff, not less, in order to ensure student success with the new, more rigorous curriculum and testing mandated by the Legislature and SBOE.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson makes clear that the recent “drama” surrounding whether to spend some of the Rainy Day Fund was done for political cover, better known as The Show.

This week, McBlogger takes a look at two crazy people who are, unbelievably, elected officials.

refinish69 is disgusted and dismayed at the stupidity that is the Texas Ledge. Nothing like a Clean Crapper Bill or protecting the ignorant to make the State of Texas proud.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme suspects that Republican hate against Muslims resulted in fires at a Houston Mosque. Republicans have sliced and diced the American public every which way – women, people of color, gays, teachers, nurses, Jews, Muslims and who knows what else. Wisconsin has woken up. Lets hope the rest of America soon follows.

At TexasKaos, lightseeker is Shocked! Shocked! at the new “edited” video that has hit the web. Check out The Media Fail Us Again- of NPR and Edited Videos.

Neil at Texas Liberal came across an example of extreme government direction of our lives.

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Local Farms Day Flier

This Monday the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) will be hosting an education day at the Texas Capitol about farming and local foods.

Understanding how our food is grown and distributed is crucial to our health and mental well-being.  FARFA urges the public to investigate the implications of big Agribusiness’ practices upon our health as well as that of plants and animals.

I personally altered my own diet in the past year after considering how GMOed foods, pesticides, agricultural runoff, food additives, and meat and dairy industry practices affect both my body and our Earth.  I feel a lot better already!

Although not instantly apparent, Public Citizen and FARFA promote some similar ideas.   Contributing to local economies reduces carbon emissions by reducing the physical distance a product must travel to get to a consumer.  Large Agribusinesses pollute local water supplies with higher concentrations of chemical and animal waste runoff.  Interestingly, cattle emit nearly as much carbon as cars do.

This day is important to all of us because when it comes down to it,  food, shelter and water are the only basic human necessities and local farmers have invaluable knowledge about how to supply quality food and water to our communities.

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If you want to watch the hearing on streaming video, click here.  The hearing is being held at the Texas Capitol, hearing room E1.036 (scroll down to Video Broadcast #8).

The Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) is working with numerous concerned citizens who have come in from all over the state – Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Victoria, Abilene, El Paso and other smaller communities – to testify on improvements they think need to be made at the Railroad Commission and the TCEQ. 

Thank you to these everyday citizens who have taken time out of their lives to ask the state to do a better job of protecting all Texans from pollution.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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Join us next Thursday, December 10th to help stop Texas from becoming the nation’s radioactive waste dump!

Please Come:

Texas Compact Commission Stakeholder Meeting
Thursday, December 10th at 9am
Texas Capitol, Extension Auditorium, E1.004

You are invited to attend the press conference as well, held by the SEED Coalition, Public Citizen, and Sierra Club, on stopping Texas from becoming the nation’s radioactive waste dump, the inadequacies of the west Texas dump site and the corruption surrounding the permitting process.

Thursday, Dec. 10th at 12:30 pm – Texas Capitol, Speaker’s Committee Room, 2W.6.

* Show your presence and that the public interest matters.

* Tell the Compact Commission not to allow import of radioactive waste into Texas from the rest of the country!

All of the State TCEQ scientists who worked on the permit for the West Texas dump site, owned by Waste Control Specialists (WCS), determined the site to be inadequate because of the possible radioactive contamination of our aquifers and groundwater. Corruption and politics led to the permitting of the site anyways, ignoring the entire TCEQ technical team’s recommendation against issuing the permit. 3 TCEQ employees quit over the decision.

Now the Compact Commission is putting rules in place, to let nuclear power waste from across the country into Texas, making this site the nation’s radioactive waste dumping ground. The Texas Compact Commission, appointed by Governor Perry, and responsible for managing so-called “low-level” radioactive waste generated within its boundaries, is developing rules for importation of radioactive waste from outside the compact (TX and Vermont), AGAINST the original intent of the law, which was for only the 3 states of the compact to be able to dump there.

The Commission is taking comments from stakeholders on the development of the import rule. We want to let them know that the generators of nuclear waste and the dump company that is profiting from taking the waste are not the only stakeholders in this process. Please come help make the voices of the public, Texas taxpayers, and water drinkers heard LOUD and CLEAR.

Learn more at:


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, cleaner cars, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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government_uncle_sam_go_greenThe House has been moving very slowly in an effort to kill a Voter ID bill, but it appears the logjam has been broken. Now we have to pass our key solar and clean air bills before midnight Tuesday, May 26, which is the deadline for the House to pass any bills from the Senate.

We need YOU to pick up the phone and call your representative to say that you support solar energy and clean air.

Click here to find out who represents you, then call their office at the Capitol. Tell them:

I support SB 545, which would give homeowners incentives to put solar on their rooftops and create new green jobs.

I also support SB 541, which would support more large scale solar projects and repeat the success of our wind industry.

I also support SB 16, which would improve air quality through reducing auto emissions, better building codes, more energy efficiency, and plug-in hybrids. **If Texas does not adopt these 2009 IECC building codes, we could miss out on hundreds of millions in federal stimulus funds for weatherization.

Please support these bills in order to create tens of thousands of new green jobs in Texas and ensure a cleaner, cheaper, cooler energy future.

There are dozens of dirty energy lobbyists working to try to kill these bills as we speak. Will you stand up to them? Will you make your voice heard?

Call your Representative now!

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Sponsored by ReEnergize Texas, the event will feature speeches by leaders in the student climate change movement, as well as a diverse group of Texas Representatives and Senators.

fund_future_rallyWhen: Monday, March 30th
Rally: 9:30am-10:30am
Lobby Appointments: 10:30am-2:30pm
Where: Texas Capitol (north of 11th and Congress)

Register at ReEnergizeTexas.org

Hundreds of youth from all over Texas will converge at a rally and a lobby day at the State Capitol for clean energy and climate justice! We will lobby for:

* Increasing distributed solar to 2,000MW of generation
* Stopping all new coal-fired power plants
* Creating programs that help disadvantaged youth stay on track to complete high school while improving energy efficiency in low-income homes

This promises to be a powerful moment in Texas grassroots politics. Join us 9:30am-10:30am for great speakers from the movement and the State Legislature including Senator Rodney Ellis, Representative Tara Rios Ybarra, and Public Citizen Director Tom “Smitty” Smith.

Lobby Day training will happen on Sunday, March 29th, 3:45pm-6:00pm. This training is crucial for those who want to play speaking roles during lobby visits. We will have materials, Q&A, and role play exercises.

The Texas Legislature only meets every 2 years. If we want a clean and just energy future for Texas, we have to go to the Capitol and make our voices heard. Join us!

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2_18_09-001Bright and early yesterday morning, US Representative Lloyd Doggett, State Senator Rodney Ellis, State Representative Mark Strama, and environmental and civil rights advocate Van Jones stood together to tout the Alliance for a Clean Texas’ Texas Energy Future: Clean Jobs, Green Power Conference.

Rodney Ellis opened up the press conference, stating that this year’s legislative session looks to be a very green session.  He also mentioned, as he has before, that the legislature is at a crucial moment in terms of climate change action. If the legislature doesn’t act this year, the federal government will likely pass and begin implementing comprehensive global warming legislation before the state legislature will have a chance to meet again.  If Texas is not prepared for this kind of drastic policy change, we may not have a chance to address these issues again until 2011.

Senator Ellis then gave the mic over to the group he termed the “Dapper Three” (swoon!).

Continue Reading and watch video of Van Jones after the jump! (more…)

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