June 18, 2021      11:32 PM

Gov. Abbott line item budget veto message is now available

Subscribers can download it.

June 18, 2021      5:53 PM

Abbott vetoed the entirety of Article X, per his office

June 18, 2021      10:23 AM

People on the Move

Big appointments, new private sector gigs, a veteran coming back to Austin, and more

It is shaping up to be a long, hot, summer in Austin and this time around we may not even be able to keep air conditioners running. Gov. Greg Abbott is busy adding more potential items to the calls of multiple special sessions – a border wall, “critical race theory,” and more on the way.

Try to contain your excitement.

Meantime, some serious players are making moves in and around the Texas Capitol community. No new venture around here is too big or too small to mention in the pages of the Quorum Report. As one reader who sent us the news about their new job at the beginning of session said: “I only thought everyone knew until it was in QR. Then my phone blew up.”

You can brag on yourself or a friend about a new gig by sending the scoop anytime to ksbraddock@gmail.com. Use POTM in the subject line for faster service.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move:

By Scott Braddock

June 17, 2021      5:37 PM

Amid power grid concerns, PUC no longer a sleepy agency

The Public Utility Commission is in it for the long haul when it comes to unpacking problems following Winter Storm Uri, the two members acknowledged at this morning’s PUC meeting.

Anger and frustration dogged the commissioners during remote public comments that opened the PUC meeting: A man from an oilfield solutions company faced a $300,000 bill from Reliant. A small business owner had a $15,000 bill from MidAtlantic that was as much as he spent on electricity in an entire year. And the owner of the non-profit low-income apartment complex for the elderly who could find no one to put her on an affordable payment plan.

Commissioners were prepared to face that kind of backlash after voting to end the moratorium on non-payment of electric bills. As Commissioner Will McAdams explained last week, payments need to enter the pipeline to help providers prepare for summer heat extremes.

June 17, 2021      9:41 AM

US Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act in case led against it by Texas AG Paxton

7 to 2, the justices ruled the challengers to the ACA lacked standing

Here’s the news flash from The Hill.

June 16, 2021      5:39 PM

Abbott says banning critical race theory will be added to a special session agenda

In signing HB 3979, Abbott said it "is a strong move to abolish critical race theory in Texas, but more must be done. The issue will be added to a special session agenda."

June 15, 2021      6:23 PM

With an eye toward putting Texas back under DOJ preclearance, Democratic legislators take their fight from Austin to Washington

Texas Democratic lawmakers, fresh off killing a sweeping elections bill at the end of the session, took a victory lap in DC today and pressed Congress to do more to secure voting rights and put states with a history of discrimination – like this state – back under Department of Justice preclearance when making changes to voting laws.

Texas is one state among many that has passed or debated legislation this year intended to “promote election integrity.” As Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted in an afternoon news conference on the stairs of the US Capitol, multiple states have passed legislation to curtail voting rights.

By Kimberly Reeves

June 15, 2021      5:04 PM

Trump to tour the Texas-Mexico border with Gov. Abbott Wednesday, June 30

Trump says he accepted Abbott's invitation to tour the border because the "Biden Administration inherited from me the strongest, safest, and most secure border in U.S history and in mere weeks they turned it into the single worst border crisis in U.S history. It’s an unmitigated disaster zone."

June 15, 2021      4:44 PM

Keel and Wilson: After mass shooting, Abbott should consider putting Austin public safety on special session call

Former Representatives Terry Keel and Ron Wilson say the legislature needs to understand that anything short of exercising its authority to place both the management and budget of the Austin Police under DPS, the capital city is going to continue to deteriorate

A few blocks south of the capitol this past weekend, in a devolving, crime-ridden capital city, fourteen ordinary, no doubt bi-partisan citizen-revelers were shot. One of the victims has died, another is paralyzed. Criminals don’t care whether victims are a republican or a democrat.

The mass shooting overshadowed a young woman’s murder and other aggravated assaults in Austin the same weekend, destined to be mere footnotes in an upward violent crime trajectory where 2021 is portending to see a 100% increase in Austin homicides compared to recent years.

The chaos reflects a broken, dysfunctional local government.

In the legislative session that just ended, legislators took a couple of modest steps to try and fix Austin, notably de-incentivizing future defunding of police budgets and placing statewide restrictions on the City of Austin-created insane policy that incentivized homelessness through public camping. But the fixes aren’t going to work.

By Terry Keel and Ron Wilson

June 15, 2021      11:24 AM

Former RPT Executive Director Chad Wilbanks announces for Texas GOP Chairman

He joins former Rep. Matt Rinaldi and SREC member David Covey in the race for chair; Wilbanks served from '03 to '04, raised more than $1 million for state convention in 2004

June 14, 2021      12:53 PM

ERCOT issues conservation alert, asking Texans to safely reduce electric use

Lawmakers this hour receiving notice that ERCOT says grid conditions are tight due to a number of forced generation outages

June 14, 2021      11:02 AM

Rep. Toni Rose to chair the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee for the 2022 cycle

Democratic Caucus Chair Turner also appointed Representatives Alex Dominguez, Julie Johnson, and Armando Walle to serve on the organization’s board

June 14, 2021      8:37 AM

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman files for Attorney General

June 11, 2021      6:02 PM

Chairman James White will not seek reelection, per KFDM television in Beaumont

June 11, 2021      2:52 PM

Shuffling chairmanships, Patrick demotes Hancock from B&C, promotes Schwertner to Business and Commerce

Via the Office of the Lieutenant Governor as he formalized his retribution on a Friday afternoon:

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced today that he has selected new chairs for four Senate Committees, prior to the upcoming special session.

Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels - Nominations Committee

Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood - Administration Committee

Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills - Veterans & Border Security Committee

Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown - Business & Commerce Committee

The Lt. Governor also announced that he is expanding the scope of the Jurisprudence Committee, chaired by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, to include pension and insurance issues.

June 11, 2021      12:39 PM

People on the Move

New gigs now that session is over, looking for new opportunities, promotions, appointments, and more

Now that the legislative session has mercifully concluded, it is nice to hear that many of you are getting some much needed down time. With the pandemic abating and restrictions therefore lifting in much of the nation, folks in the Texas Capitol community have spread out across the country looking for rest and relaxation.

No one could blame you. When will the special session be called? Well, the consensus among those talking in Austin bars seems to be sometime after the July 4 holiday. It should for sure be after the governor makes his next announcement about the Texas border wall. That’s just one more thing that could be added to the special session call.

Some of you noted that toward the end of session, People on the Move updates slowed down for a bit. That is for two reasons. First, announcements of new ventures tend to get lost in the shuffle of the final month of the session. I wouldn’t want your career news to not get the attention it deserves. Second, at the end of session most people are mostly locked into their current role until Sine Die, then they start to move around again. This year has been no exception, although with guaranteed special sessions coming, many staffers are surely being asked to stay put for now.

In case anyone forgot how it works: If you get a promotion, a completely new job, or start a company of your own, everyone in the Capitol community wants to know about it. It’s okay to brag on yourself or a friend – or tattle on an adversary – by sending the scoop to ksbraddock@gmail.com. Use POTM in the subject line so I don’t lose track.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

By Scott Braddock