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Opinion

OPINION-State Capital Highlights: Special session on redistricting begins

AUSTIN—On May 27, the last day of the 140-day regular session of the 83rd Texas Legislature, Gov. Rick Perry called a special session to begin that very day.

Perry’s only stated purpose in keeping lawmakers in Austin is for the Legislature to pass legislation that “ratifies and adopts redistricting plans ordered by the federal district court as the permanent plans for districts used to elect members of the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate and United States House of Representatives.” In 2010 and 2011 various redistricting maps were in and out of federal courts over matters relating to preclearance, a requirement under Section 5 of the U.S. Voting Rights Act that subjects Texas to when new laws relating to voting are passed here, because of the state’s history of discrimination in conducting elections.

Read more: OPINION-State Capital Highlights: Special session on redistricting begins

   

OPINION-End comes to Legislature's regular session

AUSTIN—Texas lawmakers finally passed Senate Bill 1, a state budget for fiscal biennium 2014-2015, on May 26, the 139th day of the 140-day regular session of the 83rd Texas Legislature.

Next stop will be Gov. Rick Perry’s desk for the $197 billion budget – which came in at about $7 billion more than the estimated budget for the current fiscal biennium. Perry had asked lawmakers to make about $2 billion in tax reductions, but the budget he will be looking at brings in cuts totaling an estimated $1 billion.

Various other legislation also on the way to Perry, for example, changes student testing requirements, benefits charter schools, increases Medicaid funding, allows issuance of campus “carry” permits and much more. Among bills Perry already has vetoed was one that would have identified individual citizens who donate to so-called “dark money” organizations. The veto period will end June 16.

Read more: OPINION-End comes to Legislature's regular session

   

OPINON-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asks those targeted by IRS to contact his office

AUSTIN—Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recently issued the following statement concerning revelations that the IRS targeted conservative organizations for audits and investigations, causing these organizations to expend time and money defending themselves and responding to IRS questions.

Read more: OPINON-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asks those targeted by IRS to contact his office

   

OPINION-State Capital Highlights: Final hurdles on budget stand before lawmakers

AUSTIN, May 20, 2013 — With 10 days to go until the end of the 140-day 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature, a committee of House and Senate negotiators on May 17 agreed on a proposed state budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

Next step is for the 150-member House and the 31-member Senate to accept or reject the work of the negotiators in votes expected to take place May 20 or 21. Pressure is on to get the budget bill to Gov. Rick Perry as soon as possible, while lawmakers carrying hundreds of other bills hope to squeeze as many as possible through the process in the last few days of the session.

Read more: OPINION-State Capital Highlights: Final hurdles on budget stand before lawmakers

   

OPINION-Just tell us the truth, Mr. President

It's never comforting to have one's longstanding fears confirmed. Yet, that's exactly what's happened over the last week as Americans have been presented with a stunning array of facts that diminish faith in our government.

Whether it's on foreign policy, taxes, or the health-care system our lives depend on, members of the Obama Administration are making it harder to trust them to perform the most very basic functions of public service.

We deserve better. We deserve the truth.

Read more: OPINION-Just tell us the truth, Mr. President

   

OPINION-Is This America Or China?

Published in the National Review Online
 May 15, 2013

“Four American patriots are dead; U.S. citizens are being deliberately targeted and harassed by their government; journalists are understandably concerned about an intrusive Justice Department investigation; and a cabinet secretary is strong-arming the health industry to “voluntarily” fund a partisan, highly unpopular policy. Is this America or China?”

The events that have unfolded over the past week are showing big government at its worst. First we learned more details about the Obama administration’s coordinated attempt to misrepresent the September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, which claimed four American lives. Then a senior IRS official acknowledged that her agency had deliberately targeted conservative groups for harassment. Meanwhile, the administration was forced to admit that its top health regulator has been soliciting industry funds to help implement Obamacare. Finally, we discovered that the Justice Department has cast an extraordinarily wide net to capture the phone records of several journalists who work for the Associated Press.

Read more: OPINION-Is This America Or China?

   

OPINION-Administration has credibility gap

‘Unfortunately, so far the Obama Administration has valued its agenda more than its credibility.’

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently called on members of the Obama Administration to begin rebuilding the American people’s trust by focusing on their credibility, rather than their political agenda. Excerpts of his remarks are below.

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Our founders pointed out in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere that a concentration of powers in the hands of a few is the very definition of tyranny.

“And we've learned from hard experience over the course of our nation's history that when government thinks it knows best, particularly here in Washington in a country as big and diverse as ours is, that the natural tendency then in Washington is to try to suppress the voices of those who see things differently.

Read more: OPINION-Administration has credibility gap

   

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