NEWS IN STATE GOVERNMENT
Governor Abbott Appoints Hughs As Texas Secretary Of State: Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Ruth Ruggero Hughs as the Texas Secretary of State. The Secretary serves as Chief Election Officer for Texas, assisting county election officials and ensuring the uniform application and interpretation of election laws throughout Texas. Click here to read more.
Governor Abbott Names Daniel Chair And Appoints Demerson To Texas Workforce Commission: Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Aaron Demerson to the Texas Workforce Commission for a term set to expire February 1, 2021. Additionally, the Governor named Bryan Daniel chair. Click here to read more.
Governor Abbott to Hold Ceremonial Bill Signing Establishing College of Medicine at University of Houston: Governor Greg Abbott ceremonially signed into law House Bill 826 (Zerwas/Huffman), establishing the College of Medicine at the University of Houston. Click here to read more.
Governor Abbott Sets Special Election for Texas House District 148: Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation announcing Tuesday, November 5, 2019 as the special election date to fill the Texas House of Representatives District 148 seat recently vacated by former Representative Jessica Farrar. Click here to read more.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Vietnam Medal of Honor Recipient Remembrance Ceremony: On August 24, 2019, Vietnam Veterans of the 3rd Recon Battalion will gather at the Richard A. Anderson Texas State Veterans Home to commemorate the valor of the home’s namesake and the man who saved their lives, Lance Corporal Richard A. Anderson. Click here to read more.
Unaccompanied Veteran Burial Held at the Coastal Bend Texas State Veterans Cemetery: Texas Veterans Land Board Chairman George P. Bush on Wednesday, August 21 at 2:00 p.m. conducted an Unaccompanied Veteran burial for Private First Class William Conely Carroll Jr. Born on April 27, 1952, PFC Carroll served in the United States Army from April of 1970 to March of 1972. Click here to read more about this honor.
Fiscal Notes: Texas and the 1115 Medicaid Waiver: In the August edition of Fiscal Notes, released today, the Comptroller’s office examines the state’s Medicaid waiver for its Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement program, commonly called the 1115 Medicaid waiver. Click here to read more.
RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $1.2 Million in Penalties: The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,264,033 in fines involving 439 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference this week. Click here to read more.
Oil and Gas Discharge Delegation Stakeholder Meeting: You are invited to a stakeholder meeting to discuss TCEQ’s activities and schedule for implementing House Bill 2771 (86th Legislature, 2019). Click here to read more.
Public Invited to Informational Sessions on Water Quality in Portions of Neches River, Hillebrandt Bayou: TCEQ and the Texas Water Resources Institute invite the public to one of two informational meetings that will address water quality impairments in the Neches River tidal and the upstream portion of Hillebrandt Bayou. Click here to read more.
Parks and Wildlife:
Digital Licenses and Regulation Changes: Beginning Sept.1, a digital image of your hunting license can be used as proof of a license while you’re hunting game that doesn’t require a tag, like dove. Click here to read more.
Public Utility Commission:
Public Utility Commission Renews Call for Electricity Conservation: As high temperatures maintain their grip on Texas and electricity demand remains elevated, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) renewed its call for Texans to conserve electricity this afternoon. Click here to read more.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: ‘I Had a Ticking Time Bomb in My Chest.’: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he had no idea “I had a ticking time bomb in my chest” before a trip to the emergency room likely saved his life. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Dustin Burrows Resigns as Texas House GOP Caucus Chairman Amid Allegations of Targeting Republicans: State Rep. Dustin Burrows of Lubbock has resigned as chair of the Texas House GOP Caucus amid allegations that he and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen planned to politically target members from their own party in the 2020 primaries. Although he is still seeking re-election. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.Update Thursday, August 22: Burrows opens up on The Chad Hasty Show. Click here to listen.
Vistra Energy Announces Agreement to Acquire Ambit Energy, Enhancing Vistra’s Position as the Leading Residential Retail Electric Provider in Texas: Vistra Energy (NYSE: VST) announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Ambit Energy for $475 million plus net working capital in an all-cash transaction. Click here to read the full Cision PR Newswire article.
Coal Production Falls Sharply in Texas: Coal production fell sharply last year as coal-fired power plants closed and natural gas provided a cheaper and cleaner alternative for electricity generators. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Texas Water Development Board Urged to Support Funding Local Flood Projects:Stakeholders support an even mix between the loans and grants and the use of state funds to offer buyouts; about half said the need for rehabilitation of existing infrastructure was as important as new mitigation measures. Click here to read the full Quorum Report article.
Texas Raises the Legal Smoking Age, Exempting Members of the Military: Senate Bill 21, authored by Sen. Joan Huffman, a Republican from Houston, made Texas the 16th state to raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Walmart Won’t be Selling Liquor in Texas After All, Appeals Court Rules: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week reversed an earlier federal court ruling in favor of Walmart, which challenged the constitutionality of a law that prevented it from selling liquor in Texas. Click here to read the full NBCDFW article.
Plumbers Ask Board to Reverse Course on Rule Changes: A state agency decision to strike a high school diploma from the requirements to be a plumber has not been well received by the industry, as the board of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examinerslearned at their meeting earlier this month. Click here to read the full Quorum Report article.
Millions of Texans Vulnerable to Surprise Medical Bills Despite Legislative Efforts:Millions of Texans will remain unprotected from surprise medical bills despite state lawmakers this year passing one of the nation’s most aggressive pieces of legislation to curb such bills. Click here to read the full Statesman article.
Wind Developers, Once Keen on Mexico, Losing Heart as Energy Reforms Stall:Mannti Cummins, a Corpus Christi wind developer, has spent the last 17 years building wind energy projects in the Rio Grande Valley, from Brownsville to Baffin Bay. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Where’s the Beef in NAFTA 2.0?: Trump’s new trade deal would encourage multinational meat packers to abandon America’s family ranchers. Click here to read former TX Department of Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower’s OpEd.
Health Insurers Set to Expand Offerings Under the ACA: Insurers are expanding their Affordable Care Act plan offerings for next year, with the once-troubled business now generating profits, even as the overall individual-insurance market has shrunk. Click here to read the full Wall Street Journal article.
What Real ID Act Means for Your Travel Plans: Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. Click here to read more on the Real ID Act.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Dates to Note:
Date That Bills Without Specific Effective Dates Become Law
other than bills with immediate effect
August 26, 2019
South Texas Roundup - TXOGA
Aug 27, 2019
Representative Paddie Fishing Trip
September 9, 2019
September 28, 2019
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.