This Week in Texas: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Posted May 6, 2015 in The Mignon Memo

Bills, Bans, and Ballyhoo

  • A fracking bill is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk after being approved by the House and Senate. The bill would override local efforts to regulate oil and gas activities. The bill is largely considered to be a response to Denton’s ban on hydraulic fracking within its city limits.
  • A“Double-Dipping” ban has passed the House, but don’t worry about your chips and queso. The bill actually closes a loophole that allowed former Governor Rick Perry to collect a pension before leaving office.
  • Testimony was heard in the Senate State Affairs committee over a bill that would allow clergy to refuse to marry same-sex couples. Critics argued that the bill should only apply to religious marriage ceremonies, and not to secular marriage licenses.
  • SJR 5, a constitutional amendment that would address transportation funding by dedicating certain funds to the state highway fund, has been passed by the House and Senate. Both chambers agree funding is necessary, but differ on how to achieve this goal. Conferees have been named and will work out an agreement to present to both chambers for majority approval before heading to the Governor’s desk. Transportation is one of Gov. Abbott’s emergency items.

Senate Conferees:

  • Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), Chair of Senate Transportation
  • Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)
  • John Whitmire (D-Houston)
  • Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler)
  • Bob Hall (R-Edgewood)

House Conferees:

  • Joe Pickett (R-El Paso), Chair of House Transportation
  • John Otto (R-Dayton)
  • Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas)
  • Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton)
  • Patricia Harless (R-Spring)
  • The budget battle continues between the House and Senate as both chambers fight to forward their respective tax cut plans. Lt.Gov. Dan Patrick’s battle plan calls for no retreat or surrender. Patrick said the Senate is doubling down on property tax relief with no plans to compromise or bargain with the House.
  • Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Jim Wright, passed away this morning. Wright began his political career as a congressman from Ft. Worth, and was re-elected to the U.S. Congress 17 times. He is best known for his exemplary representation of the DFW area and the state of Texas.

Only in Austin…


If you’re looking to treat mom to a special Mother’s Day, look no further than Chez Zee. This American style bistro has been serving Austinites southern classics and award-winning desserts since 1988 and this Sunday, Chez Zee is extending its hours to serve up an extra special Mother’s Day. Nothing says “I love you mom” like Crème Brulee French Toast and bottomless mimosas. So this Sunday, treat mom to brunch (unless you think your $2 Hallmark card will suffice).

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