NEWS IN STATE GOVERNMENT
Governor Abbott Appoints Stodghill to Public Safety Commission: Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Steve Stodghill to the Public Safety Commission for a term set to expire on January 1, 2024. Click here to read more about this and other gubernatorial-appointments made this week.
Governor Abbott Statement on Passing of T. Boone Pickens: Governor Greg Abbott today issued the following statement on the passing of entrepreneur and philanthropist, T. Boone Pickens: “Although born in Oklahoma, Texas has always considered T. Boone Pickens to be one of our own. Click here to read the full statement.
Attorney General Paxton Leads 50 Attorneys General in Google Multistate Bipartisan Antitrust Investigation: Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that Texas is leading 50 attorneys general in a multistate, bipartisan investigation of tech giant Google’s business practices in accordance with state and federal antitrust laws. Click here to read the full news release.
Comptroller Glenn Hegar Distributes $802 Million in Monthly Sales Tax Revenue to Local Governments: Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced today he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $801.5 million in local sales tax allocations for September, 8.5 percent more than in September 2018. Click here to read the full news release.
Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for August 2019: The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 960 original drilling permits in August 2019 compared 1,110 in August 2018. Click here to read the full news release.
TCEQ approves fines totaling $547,710: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today approved penalties totaling $425,432 against 18 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations. Click here to read the full news release.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn May Draw challenge from Tea Party Republican from North Texas: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s seat is clearly a key target for Texas Democrats in 2020.
Monday night, state Sen. Pat Fallon, R-Prosper, announced he is forming an exploratory committee to help determine whether he will challenge Cornyn for the post. Click here to read the full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article.
Texas Sues Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson Over Its Fentanyl Marketing: The Texas Attorney General is suing pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson for Medicaid fraud, alleging it made misrepresentations about one of its opioid medications. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Drilling Down: Denver Saltwater Disposal Well Operator Makes Permian Basin Push: Water remains a big issue in the arid Permian Basin of West Texas where for every barrel of oil produced, another four to 10 barrels of saltwater — the remnants of an ancient inland sea — come out of the ground. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Ken Paxton is Leading a Probe Against Google with Almost Every Other Attorney General in the U.S: The investigation will look into whether Google is monopolizing the online advertising market. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and NRA Feud Over Gun Background Checks: The frequent allies traded jabs in the wake of two mass shootings in Texas. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Why Does Texas Lead the Nation in the Number of People Without Health Insurance?: Despite a booming Texas economy, more Texans lost or dropped their insurance coverage from 2017 to 2018, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Click here to read the full Dallas Morning News article.
Landgraf Won’t Seek Conaway’s Seat: Speculation that the popular Landgraf, R-Odessa, would seek the District 11 seat left up for grabs with the announced retirement of U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway has been ongoing since July when Conaway said he would not seek the seat he has held since 2004. Click here to read the full Odessa American article.
Texas Environmental Commission Denies Waste Permit After Residents Rally Against New Facility: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality denied a permit request by a company seeking to open a hazardous waste processing facility near the Colorado River, citing concerns of contamination to both surface and ground water in the region. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Can State’s Grid Manager be Held Accountable for its Errors?: Panda Power built three power plants earlier in this decade, investing billions of dollars based on projections from the state’s grid manager that Texas desperately needed more generation to meet growing electricity demand. But those projections turned out to be wildly wrong — Texas, in fact, had plenty of power — and Panda ended up losing billions of dollars and putting one of the plants into bankruptcy, unable to sell electricity at prices sufficient to cover debts. Click here to read the Houston Chronicle article.
Julián Castro Goes After Joe Biden During Debate: The showdown early in the debate came after Biden criticized the Medicare-for-all health care plan touted by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees: California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a year’s long debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. Although Uber says it is not subject to California gig-worker law. Click here to read the full New York Times article.
Democrats Step on Shaky Political Ground with Fracking Bans: Several Democratic presidential candidates are running on a promise to ban fracking — and stepping on unstable political ground as they do so. Click here to read the full (Denver) AP article.
USDA to Provide $150 Million to Help Rural Communities Affected by Natural Disasters: The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide $150 million in grants to rural communities affected by natural disasters, including those in Hidalgo County. Click here to read the full USDA news release.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Dates to Note:
September 16, 2019 to September 20, 2019
September 26 - 28, 2019
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
The Belmont, Austin, TX
Senator Watson’s Concert Under the Stars
October 3, 2019
MALC Annual Golf and Spa Day
October 7- 8, 2019
Texas House Republican Caucus Fall Golf Tournament
October 17 - 18, 2019
Texas Energy Summit at the Capitol
November 12 - 14, 2019
Click here for House of Representatives Capitol Events Calendar.
Click here for Texas Senate Capitol Events Calendar.