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April 12, 2024      2:25 PM

People on the Move

Staffer moves, lobby hires, and a significant retirement all top POTM this week

Things are beginning to pick up again as the runoff elections play out across the state. More nasty TV ads are running against Speaker Dade Phelan and the other Republican incumbents in their districts as some of their colleagues rally support for members like Rep. John Kuempel down in Seguin.

A few challengers are getting way ahead of themselves by signing onto a proposed set of restrictions for how the Texas House speaker is elected. It looks like only 5 members signed, followed by some folks who won their party nominations followed by some who are in runoffs. We’ll see how they do.

Meantime, there are a few significant career moves to pass along to you this week. You can always let the entire Texas Capitol community know what’s up by sending the scoop to ksbraddock@gmail.com. Please use POTM in the subject line. Thank you so much.

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

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By Scott Braddock

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April 12, 2024      2:17 PM

Police say a stolen 18 wheeler was intentionally crashed into a DPS office in Brenham

Several were injured; one man is under arrest

Here’s the breaking news via KPRC TV in Houston.

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April 11, 2024      10:01 PM

Trump reportedly considering Commissioner Miller to head up USDA

From Politico tonight.

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April 11, 2024      12:15 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick releases interim charges for the Texas Senate

They are here.

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April 11, 2024      12:00 PM

Dutton: Going to the Senate

In this op-ed, Rep. Harold Dutton argues a proposal to change the way the Speaker is elected would transfer the House’s power to Lt. Gov. Patrick and Gov. Abbott

According to the Texas Constitution, the Legislature's purpose is consideration of proposed laws and appropriation of all state and federal funds for the operation of government. Well, that purpose would be changed if the recent plan first offered by thirteen Republican House members and candidates to restrict the way the Speaker of the Texas House is elected becomes law.

Those thirteen, joined by a few others in the last couple days, would limit the Legislature's consideration to only "Republican" proposed laws and appropriation of state funds for the operation of only a "Republican" government.

Given today's political climate, the 2025 Session of the Texas Legislature is almost certain to be noted for either getting little to nothing done or outright chaos. While many are betting on the latter, the thirteen Republican disciples have simply decided to control the expected legislative fire by applying gasoline.

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By Rep. Harold Dutton, Jr.

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April 11, 2024      11:41 AM

Mary Pearson passed away

She was married to former Rep. GP Pearson, her son is Gary Pearson, and her son in law is John Pitts

Here’s the obituary for Mary Pearson.

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April 10, 2024      1:22 PM

Some Texas lawmakers and business leaders urge the Biden administration to authorize work permits for migrants

It all coincides with the legal challenges around Senate Bill 4; Rep. Anchia said “to decrease illegal immigration, we must increase legal immigration”

Elected officials, students, and immigration reform activists joined Woody Hunt, Senior Chairman of Hunt Companies of El Paso and a Republican megadonor, in urging the Biden administration to on expand work authorization for immigrants.

A news conference on the issue unfolded Tuesday as the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals considered the constitutionality of SB4 allowing state and local law enforcement in Texas to arrest and initiate deportation proceedings against people they suspect of “unlawful presence” in the United States.

Yolanda Batz, a Dreamer and University of Houston student, wants to be a nurse but she can’t without a work permit.

The law already pushed her further into the shadows, she said, adding that she is “petrified” over the idea that SB4 could be enforced.

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By James Russell

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April 9, 2024      4:21 PM

Paxton to face off in court with Harris County leadership over program to put public funds in the hands of individuals

Paxton says a “guaranteed income” program is “plainly unconstitutional”; in Houston, County Attorney Christian Menefee fires back “Republican leaders in Austin should be finding ways to improve the lives of all Texans, instead of blocking local government from helping people”

Citing the portion of the Texas Constitution prohibiting tax dollars from flowing to individuals, Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday announced his office is suing Harris County leaders over their plan to offer “guaranteed income” for some Houston area families.

Under the program unveiled by County Judge Lina Hidalgo last year, the county would randomly pick roughly 2,000 families to receive cash payments of $500 per month for nearly 2 years. That money would come from the more than $20 million in federal funds received by the county as part of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in response to the pandemic.

Earlier this year Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, sent this letter asking Paxton's office whether the program was constitutional.

In social media posts and elsewhere, Sen. Bettencourt called the proposal “lottery socialism.”

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By Scott Braddock

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April 8, 2024      1:11 PM

23 members and candidates release their plan for restricting the way the Speaker of the Texas House is elected

They're calling it a "Contract with Texas"

Saying the last session was “marked by obstruction, dysfunction, and a lack of fundamental fairness in application of the House’s rules,” a baker’s dozen House members and candidates on Monday released their plan for restricting the way the speaker is chosen.

The group headed up by Rep. Brian Harrison and others said “the future of our state is on the line” and argued that “the message of last month’s primaries was self-evident and sent a clear message that business as usual is not acceptable.”

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