The Mignon Memo

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Posted January 25, 2019 in The Mignon Memo

Committees are out!

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen have both announced committee appointments in their respective chambers. House assignments can be found here, and Senate assignments can be found here.  To read more…

Cornyn campaign gearing up for 2020.

Senator John Cornyn has hired John Jackson to lead his 2020 re-election campaign. Jackson most recently managed Governor Abbott’s successful bid for re-election. Prior to Abbott’s campaign, Jackson worked for the Republican National Committee as the Texas Victory director. To read more…

Opioid awareness campaign.

Yesterday Attorney General Ken Paxton launched a new website, Texas’ Dose of Reality, to provide information on the risks of prescription painkillers. This is a joint project with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).  To read more…

Only in Austin…

Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum is the creation of Chef Ling Qi Wu, the former dim sum chef of another Austin hot spot—Wu Chow. Chef Ling prides herself in using healthy, locally sourced ingredients in making authentic Chinese cuisine. Originally from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China, she now calls Austin home, and we are so glad she does! The Dim Sum Brunch is a must do.  To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Posted January 16, 2019 in The Mignon Memo

2019 Texas Inauguration.

Yesterday, Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick took the oath of office for their second terms. In their speeches, property tax and public education funding were highlighted. Oh, and Chuck Norris’ attendance too.  To read more…

New Chief Medical Officer for HHSC.

Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst, a San Antonio pediatrician, has been appointed chief medical officer for the Medicaid and CHIP programs at the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). He will begin his new role at HHSC at the end of February. To read more…

House and Senate Budgets are out.

Dueling budget proposals from both chambers have been published, focusing on public school funding and property tax reform. Neither chamber fully funded Medicaid leaving projected cost growth unfunded. These budget proposals are just a starting point for what the final details of the biennial budget will look like. To read more…

Only in Austin…

After 31 years, Eastside Café will close at the end of January. Chef Sam Hellman-Mass, owner of Suerte, has bought the property and will continue to use the location as a restaurant commited to local sourcing. We will keep you posted on what pops up at this treasured Austin spot. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Posted January 9, 2019 in The Mignon Memo

The Texas Legislature is in!

Yesterday, the 86th Legislative Session kicked off with the swearing in of members of the Texas House and Texas Senate. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) was also elected the new Speaker of the Texas House. To read more…

Special Election in San Antonio.

Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) has been appointed and sworn in as Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 2 upon the unexpected death of Commissioner Paul Elizondo. A special election will be held February 12th to fill the now vacant seat for Texas House District 125. To read more…

Hegar’s latest number crunching.

Monday Comptroller Hegar released an updated biennial revenue estimate for the state’s 2020-21 budget. His estimate is that the state will have $119.1 billion available when creating the budget. This is an increase of 8.1%. To read more…

Only in Austin…

Hank’s has quickly become a go-to restaurant in the Windsor Park area of Austin for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the all-important weekend brunch. Bread, pastas, and pastries are all made in-house. The food options are extensive and delicious—ranging from burgers and sandwiches to oysters and salmon. They also have the most comfortable booths and the best kids’ coloring pages in town! To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Posted January 2, 2019 in The Mignon Memo

Remembering Richard Overton, our oldest war veteran.

Richard Overton, America’s oldest man and oldest war veteran died shortly before the New Year. During his long life, he served in the Army during WWII, worked in the state treasurer’s office, traveled to the White House to meet President Obama and Vice President Biden, and had a street and day dedicated to him in Austin. We will miss seeing him on his East Austin porch. To read more…

Special Elections for the Texas House.

Governor Abbott has called a special election for January 29th for House District 145, vacated by now Senator Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), and for House District 79, being vacated by Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso). Candidates must file by 5pm tomorrow, January 3rd.  To read more…

Get ready…

This time next week, the 2019 Texas Legislative Session will be officially underway!

Only in Austin…

Austin truly lives up to its live music capitol of the world designation during this first week of the year with Free Week. For this entire week, hundreds of bands participate in music venues all over town like Stubb’s, The White Horse, Hotel Vegas, and the Empire Control Room & Garage.  And it’s all for free! To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Posted December 19, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

A retirement in the El Paso delegation.

Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) has announced that he is retiring effective January 4, 2019 to deal with health issues. Pickett has served in the Texas House since 1995. His resignation will trigger a special election to fill the seat for House District 79. To read more…

New SOS.

Governor Abbott has appointed David Whitley as the next Secretary of State. Whitley most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Abbott. Whitley’s appointment requires Senate confirmation. To read more…

Obamacare ruled unconstitutional.

For now. Friday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because there is no longer a tax penalty for not having insurance as required by the “individual mandate”. Because of this, Judge Reed ruled that the entire law is unconstitutional as well. The ACA is still law as this case makes its way through the appeals process. Governor Abbott has said Texas will work on an alternative to the ACA if it is ultimately struck down by the courts. To read more…

Only in Austin…

An Austin tradition is making a comeback with the 37th Street lights (37th Street and Guadalupe). The truly Austin-style holiday displays near West Campus had started to dwindle, but this year they are back brighter and weirder than ever. If you don’t want to fight the crowds at Zilker, this is the perfect “Keep Austin Weird” solution. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Posted December 12, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

 A new Senator in Houston.

Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) has narrowly avoided a runoff against Rep. Ana Hernandez (D-Houston) in the special election to fill the Senate District 6 seat left by Sylvia Garcia. Unofficial results have Alvarado as the winner of 50.4% of the vote, avoiding a runoff by 59 votes. A special election will need to be called to fill the House seat Alvarado is vacating. To read more…

Isaac to TPPF.

Former state representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) has taken a job at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) as senior manager and distinguished fellow on energy issues. Isaac recently left another conservative think tank, the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI). To read more…

Texas Secretary of State stepping down.

Secretary of State Rolando Pablos is stepping down effective December 15th. Pablos was appointed to the position in January 2017 and has served as the chief elections officer for the state and as advisor to Governor Abbott on border issues. Pablos is returning to private practice as an attorney. To read more…

Only in Austin…

The Trail of Lights, one of Austin’s most beloved traditions, is up and glowing. Since its initial gathering as “Yule Fest” in 1965, the Trail of Lights has expanded to more than 65 displays and over 2 million lights. Don’t miss your chance to see Zilker Park at its brightest. The Trail of Lights runs through December 23rd.   To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Posted December 5, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

A Day of Mourning.

Governor Abbott has declared today a day of mourning to honor President George H.W. Bush.  All state agencies, offices and departments are to be closed with skeleton crews running for crucial government operations. To read more…

Judge Emmett to teach at Rice University.

Outgoing Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, has announced he will begin teaching at Rice University in January as a professor and senior fellow of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. His first class will focus on policy and the Texas Legislature. To read more…

It’s coming….

34 days until the Texas Legislature convenes on January 8, 2019. Get pumped up!

Only in Austin…

Sunday the Texas Capitol Menorah Lighting Ceremony was held to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Posted November 28, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

SD 6 Special Election is underway.

Early voting has started in the special election to fill recently elected Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia’s (D-Houston) former Texas Senate seat. Four candidates are vying to be the next Senator to represent Senate District 6—Rep. Carol Alvarado (D), Martha Fierro (R), Rep. Ana Hernandez (D), and Mia Mundy (D). Election day is December 11th.  To read more…

Every vote counts.

This week after the final canvassing of counties within Congressional District 23, Will Hurd (R-Helotes) won by 926 votes over Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones. A recount for Texas House District 108 (includes the Park Cities and parts of East and downtown Dallas) also began yesterday. Unofficial results have incumbent Morgan Meyer (R-Highland Park) ahead of Democrat Joanna Cattanach by 440 votes, less than 1%. To read more…

Restore the rivalry.

Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) has filed legislation to resurrect the annual post-Thanksgiving football game between the University of Texas Austin and Texas A&M University. The two teams have not played since 2011 when A&M left the Big XII Conference. To read more…

Only in Austin…

The Texas House Christmas tree was delivered this week. Stay tuned for more pictures of a fully adorned Texas House chamber. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Posted November 14, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

109 appears to be the magic number…

In the race for the next Speaker of the Texas House. Monday, Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) announced he has enough pledges to become the next Speaker. This came shortly after four other Speaker candidates withdrew from the race. Members will vote on the first day of session, January 8, 2019.  To read more…

Paxton named RAGA Chair.

Attorney General Ken Paxton has been named Chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). RAGA’s mission is to elect Republicans to the Office of the State Attorney General across the country. To read more…

Bill filing has begun!

Pre-filing for the 2019 Legislative session is underway. As of this morning at 8am, over 500 bills have been filed ranging from full-day pre-K to pollinator health. To read more…

Only in Austin…

Chef Tyson Cole (Uchi) and pit master Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) have joined forces to create Loro, an Asian smokehouse. Wondering how Loro’s brisket stacks up against Franklin’s? You’ll have to head over to Loro after 5pm. Otherwise, try the smoked prime bavette, you won’t regret it. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Posted October 31, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Early voting continues.

Early voting continues through Friday, November 2nd. http://www.vote411.org is a great resource to find information on everything you will see on the ballot from congressional races to local propositions. Join the over 3 million Texans who have already voted early! To read more…

Who’s in and out of the Speaker’s race.

There have been some changes to the lineup of filed candidates for Speaker of the Texas House. Sunday, Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond) withdrew from the race. Tuesday, Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) officially filed to run. House members will vote on the next Speaker on the first day of session, January 8, 2019. To read more…

Moe’s Tavern in Austin.

This Halloween, Nickel City bar is celebrating by dressing up as Moe’s Tavern—made famous by The Simpsons. There is a Moe’s themed menu featuring Krusty burgers, Flaming Moes, and the Mmmm…Donuts shot. Trick or treat! To read more…

Only in Austin…

Austin is home to the YETI Flagship store, your one stop shop for coolers, drinkware, chairs and more. Not only is it a place to shop, it’s an experience complete with a live music stage, film screenings, and in-store events. On our last visit, we met this furry guy. To read more…