On Friday, June 14, Governor Rick Perry announced that he was vetoing 24 bills as well as using his line item veto authority on related budget items. To see the specific bills affected and read Perry’s veto messages, follow this link: http://governor.state.tx.us/news/bills.
Now that the veto period has concluded, the fundraising period is well underway. State legislators as well as all statewide elected officials may raise funds for their campaigns regardless of whether the legislature is convened in special session.
With one week remaining in the First Called Special Session of the 83rd Legislature, all the issues on Governor Perry’s call are still in play. The Texas Senate has passed bills dealing with redistricting; the regulation of abortion procedures; transportation funding; and the punishment for a minor convicted of a capital felony. Action is expected on some or all of those bills in the Texas House in the next few days. Time is running out so committee meetings and floor sessions may be held this weekend.
State District Judge John Dietz announced that he will reopen the school finance trial involving the State of Texas in order to consider actions taken by the 83rd Legislature. The re-hearing is set to begin on January 6, 2014 and is expected to last six weeks. Dietz previously found that the state’s school finance system was unconstitutional due to inequity among districts.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has announced the promotion of two staff members in his office. Constance Allison will serve as Legislative Director and Jamie Dudensing will serve as Policy Director.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has created a website called “The Water Source.” The site combines drought information from various agencies and provides the basics of Texas water policy, including details on reservoir levels and statewide drought conditions. The Water Source can be found at http://www.texasagriculture.gov/Home/ProductionAgriculture/TheWaterSource.aspx.