Capital Highlights

Week of Nov. 16-22, 2015

5th Circuit rules immigration policy unconstitutional

AUSTIN — A three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 9 affirmed a Brownsville federal district judge’s Feb. 15, 2015, order forbidding the Obama administration’s implementation of DAPA, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Residents Program. 

Against the wishes of Congress, the White House sent out a memorandum in November 2014 extending the reach of the policy include to more people.

Week of Nov. 9-15, 2015

Governor conditions issuance of state grants on compliance with ICE
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas sheriffs won’t receive grant funds from his Criminal Justice Division unless they comply with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement notification and detention requests. 

Week of Nov. 2-8, 2015

Governor rails against Dallas sheriff’s detention policy
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Oct. 26 wrote to Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, saying her “case-by-case immigrant detention plan will no longer be tolerated in Texas.” 
Under the sheriff’s current policy, an undocumented person who committed minor offenses is not held past their release date an extra 48 hours for federal immigration authorities. 

Week of Oct. 26 - Nov. 1, 2015

State says funding to Planned Parenthood will be cut

AUSTIN — The state Health and Human Services Commission notified Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas on Oct. 19 that state funding they have been receiving through the Medicaid program would be cut.

Week of Oct. 19-25, 2015

Revenue estimate reflects slowdown in energy sector

AUSTIN — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Oct. 14 announced the release of his office’s Certification Revenue Estimate.

The “CRE” is an update to the Biennial Revenue Estimate, a document that gives state lawmakers a good idea of how much revenue will be available for general-purpose spending in 2016-2017, the next two-year state budget period. 

Week of Oct. 12-18, 2015

BP settles with five states, federal government

AUSTIN — BP, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, has settled with the federal government and the states of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida over claims related to the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Week of Oct. 5-11, 2015

Governor requests border help from Washington

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 30 wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, requesting immediate action to address “the significant increase of illegal border crossings.”

Nearly 10,000 immigrant families and unaccompanied children were detained after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in August, an increase of more than 50 percent over August 2014, Abbott said, quoting official reports.

Week of Sept. 28 - Oct. 4, 2015

Lawmakers get input on jails, suicide prevention
AUSTIN — The July 13, 2015, death of Sandra Bland, a woman arrested and jailed after a traffic stop in Waller County, has prompted meetings of Texas House and Senate committees. Bland, whose body was discovered in her jail cell three days after she was put in custody, was ruled a suicide.