Texas Lunch Links: Fracking Permits, Enterprise Fund Controversy, and Voter Suppression

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We do our best, but we can't cover everything. To fill in the gaps, please enjoy Texas Lunch Links: a lunchtime buffet of links to Texas-related news and views.

FRACKING: The Statesman Editorial Board calls a bill by Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) that would make it clear local groundwater district can require permits from fracking operators pumping from their aquifers a “small, reasonable step toward protecting groundwater sources,” as hydraulic fracturing strains some groundwater supplies.

CESAR CHAVEZ MEMORIAL FREEEWAY: Two bills that would rename a stretch of Interstate 35W, “Cesar Chavez Memorial Freeway” look unlikely to pass.

CASINOS: Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) says, “we're very, very close” to winning approval at the legislature for a proposed constitutional amendment to expand gambling in Texas.

REGENTS: University of Texas System regents will meet on Thursday to reconsider their request for permission to Attorney General Greg Abbott to withhold records sought by members of the Texas Legislature.

VOTER SUPPRESSION: A proposal to shorten the early voting period from 12 days to seven, derided by former Austin state representative, Glen Maxey during Monday's House Elections Committee testimony as a “voter suppression bill,” looks dead.

EQUALITY: A bill by Senator John Whitmire, D-Houston, would expand legal protection from prosecution to gay teenage couples who are sexually active. Says Whitmire, “I think there's a recognition nationally that we could do better [in]how we treat people that have same-sex relationships.”

LEMON LAWS: A proposed, “lemon law” for homes, which would require builders to buy back their homes at full price if major, unfixable problems are reported within 10 years of the original purchase, is getting a hearing on Tuesday in the House Business Industry Committee. But, the bill would only protect veterans.

TEXAS ENTERPRISE FUND: Texas Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and Rep. Joe Straus have collected more than $3.6 million in contributions from donors affiliated with companies that received money from the Texas Enterprise Fund.

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