Week of Jan. 9-15, 2017

Legislation proposes to regulate access to restrooms, locker rooms
AUSTIN — Texas now has a “bathroom bill.”
The Lone Star State has joined Alabama, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington as states where legislation has been filed in an effort to restrict access to restrooms, locker rooms and other sex-segregated facilities on the basis of sex or gender.

EARLY DELIVERY, Week of Jan. 2-8, 2017

Patrick applauds action preserving North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’
AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has applauded the North Carolina legislature’s refusal to repeal a law banning individuals from using public bathrooms designated for the opposite sex.
Patrick, who has made the passage of similar legislation in Texas one of his priorities, said in a Dec. 22 statement: “Legislation like this is essential to protect the safety and privacy of women and girls, and is simple common sense and common decency.

EARLY DELIVERY, week of Dec. 26, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017

Attorney General intervenes in ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ lawsuit
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Dec. 15 intervened in a lawsuit filed on behalf of nurse’s aide Dedra Shannon against the Killeen Independent School District over its decision to take down Shannon’s Christmas decoration.

Week of Dec. 19-25, 2016

Abbott reacts to Trump’s choice of Perry as energy secretary
AUSTIN — President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Rick Perry as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy prompted this reaction by Gov. Greg Abbott:

Week of Dec. 12-18, 2016

Abbott nominates Racing Commission chair as secretary of state
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Rolando Pablos of El Paso to succeed Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, effective Jan. 5. 

Week of Dec. 5-11, 2016

Board sets state funding limit for next 2-year budget
AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers will have just under $100 billion to use for the non-constitutional spending portion of state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019.

Week of Nov. 28 - Dec. 4, 2016

Texas African American History Memorial unveiled at Capitol
AUSTIN — A crowd of citizens and dignitaries gathered on the south lawn of the state Capitol on Nov. 19 to witness the unveiling of the Texas African American History Memorial. 
The 32-foot-wide, 27-foot-tall bronze monument by sculptor Ed Dwight depicts images of African-Americans in Texas from modern times going back nearly 500 years.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a former long-time member of the Texas House of Representatives, spoke at the event.

Week of Nov. 21-27, 2016 (early delivery, Thanksgiving holiday week, posted 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17)

Bill filers jump to early start as legislative session nears
AUSTIN — Just a few of Texas’ 31 Senate members and 150 House members filed a total of 523 pieces of legislation on Nov. 14, the first day lawmakers could submit legislation for the coming session.
The 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature is scheduled to convene on the second Tuesday in January, that is, Jan. 10, at noon. Final adjournment — 140 days later — is set for the last Monday in May, that is, May 29.

Week of Nov. 14-20, 2016

Trump victory turns eyes to possible cabinet nominees
AUSTIN — Republican Donald J. Trump, on his way to winning the presidential election on Nov. 8, won the vote in Texas with 4,651,955 votes, or 52.39 percent of the 8,878,152 votes cast. 
Some 2,842,553 votes, or 43 percent, were cast by Texans for former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, in the race for the White House.

Week of Nov. 7-13, 2016

States, lawmakers file briefs in support of Texas’ voter ID law
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sept. 23 filed a petition on behalf of the State of Texas, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the Texas voter ID law.
On Oct. 31, Paxton announced that a coalition of states and members of Congress had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court, in support of Texas’ voter identification law that passed in 2011 as Senate Bill 14.