NEWS IN STATE GOVERNMENT
Governor Abbott Appoints Daniel To Texas Workforce Commission: Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Bryan Daniel to the Texas Workforce Commission for a term set to expire on February 1, 2025. Click here to read more about this and other gubernatorial-appointments made this week such as Sawyer To Commission on State Emergency Communications.
AG Paxton Congratulates Deputy First Assistant AG Brantley Starr on Senate Confirmation to Federal Bench in Dallas: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton congratulated Deputy First Assistant Attorney General Brantley Starr, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas. President Trump nominated Starr to the federal bench in March. Click here to read the full press release.
Texas Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 9-11: Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is reminding shoppers they can save money on those and other items during the state’s sales tax holiday on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9-11. Click here to read more.
TCEQ Dispatches Emergency Staff to ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant fire: On Wednesday TCEQ dispatched emergency staff at approximately 11:30 a.m. to the ExxonMobil fire in Baytown. Click here for updates.
TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $664,395: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today approved penalties totaling $542,052 against 29 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations. Click here to read more.
Speaker Bonnen in Spotlight After Political Non-Profit Leader Says he has Damning Audio: Wednesday, the leader of the conservative non-profit Empower Texans, Michael Quinn Sullivan, said he has an audio recording of Bonnen breaking a pledge to protect Republican incumbents during a controversial meeting. …. Bonnen responds: “Mr. Sullivan, release your recording. Release it in its entirety.” Click here to read the full KXAN news story.
Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd to Retire from Congress After Holding on to a District Democrats are Desperate to Flip: The U.S. House’s last black Republican member, Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes, announced Thursday that he is retiring from Congress. The President’s racist comments about elected officials weighed heavily on Hurd, who has often spoken out against the rhetoric. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
On Heels of Retirement Announcement, Rep. John Zerwas is Announced as New UT System Health Administrator: Rep. John Zerwas, the head of a powerful budget-writing committee in the Texas House, announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of September. On Thursday he was announced as the executive vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Texas System. Click here to read the full Dallas Morning News article.
Shavano Heights Neighborhood Using License Plate Reader to Crack Down on Crime: Technology once used exclusively by law enforcement agencies is now used by property owners to track down drivers through license plates. Click here to read the full KSAT news story.
TABC Union Pushback Led to Board Members’ Firings, Lawyer Says: Five former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers plan to sue the state agency over their terminations, accusing state officials of retaliating against them and firing them without cause. Click here to read the full Statesman article.
Explosion, Fire Injures 37 at Exxon Mobil Refinery in Texas: The city of Baytown issued a shelter in place for residents living west of the plant shortly after the fire. It remained in place for about three hours before being lifted Wednesday afternoon. Click here to read the full USA Today article.
As Earnings Season Gets into Full Swing, Energy Companies Face Difficult Landscape: Analysts expect leading oil and gas companies to report modest profits this week, but their earnings are unlikely to ease rising fears of a global oil glut or pressure from Wall Street to cut spending and lift returns. Click here to read the full San Antonio Express News article.
TxDOT to Commit $600 Million to Reducing Roadway Deaths: Roughly two-thirds of a $600 million down payment aimed at decreasing deaths along Texas highways will go to straightening roads, improving lighting and adding guardrails, under a plan being considered by state transportation officials. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
**State of Texas: Session Sees Wins for Texas Medical Association, One Big Loss:Lawmakers ended this year’s session with their biggest goals checked off. But while legislative priorities made headlines, the funding put forward to bolster medical programs and address the state’s growing health problems seemed to fly under the radar. [Click here to read the full KXAN news story**](https://www.kxan.com/top-stories/state-of-texas-session-sees-wins-for-texas-medical-association-one-big-loss/).
Meet John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Trump’s New Intelligence Nominee with Not a Lot of Intelligence Experience: The president announced on Twitter Sunday afternoon that he wanted the 53-year-old Republican Congressman for the job recently vacated by Dan Coats. Click here to read the full Vice News article.
Oil Drops Nearly 8% After President Trump Says He’ll Impose New China Tariffs: Oil plunged almost 8% for the steepest one-day drop in more than four years after U.S. President Donald Trump escalated the trade war with China with a new tariff threat, heightening concerns about an economic slowdown that would be a drag on energy demand. Click here to read the full Dallas Morning News article.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Dates to Note:
NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) Legislative Summit
August 5 - 8, 2019
TIPRO Summer Conference
(Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association)
August 7 - 8, 2019
August 14 - 16, 2019
TCCRI 13th Annual Legislative Conference Dinner
August 15, 2019
September 16, 2019 to September 20, 2019
September 26 - 28, 2019
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
The Belmont, Austin, TX
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.