This Week in Texas: December 22, 2010

Posted December 22, 2010 in The Mignon Memo

We wish you Happy Holidays and hope you celebrate the end of 2010 in style. The Mignon Memo will take a short break next week and return on January 5th, 2011.

Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) has been advocating for the Republican Caucus in the Texas House to meet and chose a speaker candidate. On Tuesday, Chisum announced that he will provide Caucus Chairman Larry Taylor with a letter on December 29, signed by ten caucus members, requesting a meeting and caucus vote on the speaker’s race. His hope is for a January 5th meeting in Austin to give members time to plan to attend.

2010 census data released Tuesday indicates that Texas will gain four new congressional districts for a total of 36 districts.

Republican Dan Neil, who ran against Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) in House District 48 and lost by 12 votes, has filed a contest with the Texas Secretary of State to have a Texas House-appointed special master determine if irregularities changed the outcome of the election. The appointee will gather evidence, and a special House committee will convene to consider the evidence. Ultimately, the members of the House would decide the matter by declaring a clear winner or sending the issue back to the voters of the district.

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) announced the formation of the Tea Party Caucus of Texas with 48 fellow legislators joining him. Members must agree to uphold the fundamental Tea Party principles of limited government, lower taxes, defend the U.S Constitution as written by our founders, and defend the sovereignty of Texas. Members must also agree to sign and support the Texas Conservative Coalition Pledge with Texas.

Texas gave notice to IBM this week that it will terminate their $863 million data center consolidation contract. The process could take up to two years as the Department of Information Resources finds companies to finish the job of completing the merger of 28 state agency data centers. In the meantime, the existing contract requires IBM to provide “termination assistance” by maintaining staffing and providing the necessary information to ease the transition.