Capital Highlights

Week of June 13-19, 2016

Governors confer about containing spread of Zika
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 9 participated in a White House-hosted conference call for governors to discuss the Zika virus threat and what to do about it.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden led the call.
Frieden said no vaccine exists to prevent the Zika virus disease, and the way for individuals to prevent contracting the disease is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Week of June 6-12, 2016

Governor declares state of disaster in long list of counties
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 1 declared a state of disaster in 31 counties that have been hit repeatedly with severe weather and flooding in recent days.
The counties named in the declaration include: Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Coleman, Colorado, Erath, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Kleberg, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lubbock, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton.

(early delivery) Week of May 30 - June 5, 2016

10 states join Texas AG in lawsuit over school bathrooms
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 25 filed a lawsuit against the heads of the federal Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Equal Opportunity Commission and other entities for issuing directives that would require public schools to open up restrooms and locker rooms to both sexes. 

Week of May 23-29, 2016

3 states seek clarity on federal transgender guidelines
AUSTIN — Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas, Patrick Morrissey of West Virginia and Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma are seeking clarification of the federal government’s guidelines regarding bathroom access and other issues involving transgender students.

Week of May 16-22, 2016

High court rules school finance method is constitutional
AUSTIN — The current method devised by the Texas Legislature in 2011 to fund public education does not violate the state constitution, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 13.

Week of May 9-15, 2016

Cruz ends campaign, Perry endorses Trump for president
AUSTIN — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suspended his presidential campaign May 3 after losing Indiana’s GOP presidential primary to frontrunner Donald Trump of New York. 
The Indiana loss mathematically eliminated Cruz from achieving the necessary delegate count to gain the nomination at the Republican Party National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18-21.

Week of May 2-8, 2016

Supreme Court sends Voter ID case back to Fifth Circuit
AUSTIN — Texas’ voter identification law will remain in effect for now, but the U.S. Supreme Court has instructed a lower court to rule on its constitutionality before November’s election.
On April 29 the Supreme Court temporarily upheld a stay granted by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 14. The stay has allowed the Texas law to remain in effect.

Week of April 25-May 1, 2016

Abbott proclaims flooding disaster, adds more counties
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on April 18 declared a state of disaster for Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton counties.
Those counties were hit with severe storms and flooding beginning April 17, requiring the aid of emergency responders over many days.

Week of April 18-24, 2016

SEC files charges naming Paxton in Servergy case 
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing civil fraud charges filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Paxton was named in charges filed April 11 against Servergy Inc., a McKinney-based technology company incorporated in Nevada, and its founder and former chief executive officer William E. Mapp III. 

Week of April 11-17, 2016

Supreme Court rules in ‘one person, one vote’ case 
AUSTIN — On a unanimous vote of 8-0, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 4 affirmed that states may continue to draw legislative districts based on total population.
In the Texas case, Evenwel v. Abbott, the question presented to the high court on appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas was whether the one-person, one-vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment creates a “judicially enforceable right ensuring that the districting process does not deny voters an equal vote.”