Four Lege Stories, None Great

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The Legislature is pretty close to banning texting statewide again, but Governor Abbott will likely veto it. It’s Republican Tom Craddick’s old bill, something so common sensical that Texas is now one of just a small handful of states without a ban. Like his predecessor who vetoed the bill in 2011, Abbott has stated his opposition to a statewide ban on people looking at little screens in their hands instead of at the road. Freedom from common sense safety measures! Should we allow people not to wear seatbelts either?

Governor Abbott has made it possible for Texas high schoolers to graduate with only three freshman-level exams under their belt. They’ll have to apply to a special graduation committee to bypass the other two exams. The opposition to this school-easing bill include, oddly enough, Texas Association of Business president Bill Hammond. He argues it will “effectively eliminate any substantive requirement for juniors and seniors to prove they are college- or career-ready when they graduate.”

The Legislature can’t decide which taxes to cut this session, and House sponsor Dennis Bonnen (R) said he’ll happily cut the business tax in place of the sales tax. He provided no economic rationale, and no evidence, for his non-concession concession.

Republicans are so-far-successfully pushing anti-same-sex marriage bills. On Monday, the Senate moved to defend pastors refusing to preside over a same-sex ceremony, and today the House is debating whether to make it illegal for county clerks to administer same-sex marriage licenses. Yes, even if that means defying federal law.

 

 

 

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About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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