Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright will resign at the end of the month to join law firm Bracewell & Giuliani’s Austin office. Wainwright joined the Court in January of 2003. Gov. Rick Perry will appoint a replacement for Wainwright. Since it is too close to the November election to name a replacement in time to get on this year’s ballot, the new justice will serve until the 2014 election.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to have Texas’ current maps for congressional districts thrown out for the November election. The League for United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) had appealed to the Court in an effort to block Texas from using the interim redistricting map that was drawn so the state could hold congressional elections this November.
The U.S. Supreme Court also denied an emergency request by Project Vote, a voter registration group, to block Texas from enforcing new election laws governing voter registration drives. The current law will apply to the November election.
The Legislative Budget Board (LBB) is working on various initiatives to make the state budget process more transparent. LBB Acting Director Ursula Parks told the Senate Finance Committee that the agency intends to launch a revamped website on November 1st. The website will be designed to make a better use of current web technologies and will incorporate a notification feature. Additionally, the LBB will roll out a series of one page issue briefs intended to give background information on common topics before the Legislature. The goal is to publish close to 100 briefs on a variety of issues.