Jim Henson

Video of the Entire Conversation with Comptroller Glenn Hegar at UT Austin

October 16, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson

We've now posted the entire conversation from Glenn Hegar's appearance in the Texas Politics Speaker Series on October 12.  Topics include: the biennial revenue estimate' the breakfasts he attended last session with the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Speaker of the House; state and local government; taxes and revenue; room in the budget for tax cutting; Medicaid; the 2016 presidential race; and more.  Also included are his responses in the Q & A portion of the event,

Comptroller Hegar Talks Sorting State and Local Government, the Presidential Election

October 13, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson

The Texas Politics Project hosted Comptroller Glenn Hegar as part of the Texas Politics Speaker Series at the University of Texas at Austin yesterday.  We'll publish the whole interview soon, but in the meantime here are two brief excerpts.  The first clip, about the 2016 election, came in response to a question from the Austin American Statesman's Sean Walsh, who wrote about Hegar's response. The second clip finds the Comptroller channeling his legislative experience in response a question about the ongoing discussions about the balance of power between state and local governments.  Not to put words in his mouth, but it seems fair to paraphrase his response as "same ole, same ole." 

The Emerging Agenda for the 85th Legislature: Notes from Two Panels at Trib Fest

October 6, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson

It’s not lost on participants in the legislative process, from members to their staffs, from the lobby to the state agencies, that the maneuvering to shape the agenda of the 85th Texas Legislature is well underway.  While the 2016 presidential election dominates political coverage even more than usual, outside the spotlight the pace and volume of efforts to get issues on the state legislature's agenda increase daily. The Texas Tribune’s annual festival at UT Austin weekend before last generated lots of clues about what issues might rise to the surface --  and glimpses of how the friction between the chambers, as well as within and between the parties, is  shaping the jockeying for position in Austin.

Texas Polling Data for the Texas Tribune Festival

September 23, 2016
By: 
Joshua Blank
Jim Henson

The Texas Tribune Festival runs this weekend right here at The University of Texas at Austin, with a bunch of panels featuring a bunch of people talking about a bunch of political things.

Impulse to conserve the Constitution could block Texas' call for a convention

September 23, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

Comparatively higher levels of support among liberals for a constitutional convention might well reinforce conservative impulses to defend the status quo — the threat of liberal change could outweigh the promise of changes justified in the call.

Amended Endorsements & Endorsed Amendments: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics – September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

In a week that found Governor Abbott a little more committed to Donald Trump, the legislature continued to hold hearings that provide glimpses at possible agenda items as the universe around the state capitol comes to terms with the fact that Legislature will be back in session in less than four months. Two issues were on display this week that defy conventional coalition politics – a familiar one of finding a way to subsidize private schools with public funds, and the more esoteric subject of holding a Constitutional Convention to consider changes to the U.S. Constitution. Ted Cruz also made his way back into the news this week by being nice to some of his GOP colleagues and being not so nice to the Obama Administration. A new statewide poll grabbed headlines by finding Trump leading Clinton in the first major poll to switch over to focusing on likely voters.

A Taco Truck Too Far? Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics – September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson
Joshua Blank

As the Labor Day weekend and the symbolic start of the Fall election campaign season nears, some comments and data on voting, the return of sanctuary cities, and, of course, immigration and border security, including Donald Trumps Wonderful Wednesday.

What do you have to lose? Texas Data Points for the Week in Politics, August 25, 2016

August 26, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson

We close the week out with a final nod to Donald Trump’s visit to Austin and its intersection with politics and public opinion in Texas.  Next week, we’ll return to at least some non-Trump related observations.  Probably.

Donald Trump Visits a Lukewarm Texas

August 22, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson

Donald Trump visits Austin Tuesday for a fundraising event hosted by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and a public rally in the Luedecke Arena at the Travis County Expo Center.  Trump’s pending visit elicited a range of responses upon its announcement, from Democratic claims that Trump’s unlikely visit to Texas is a sign of weakness to Republican efforts to both laud the visit as an honor even as many GOP leaders dodge an appearance with Trump. Aside from Austin being an unlikely landing place for Trump -- the city isn't that weird, after all -- Trump's visit and the response of political class, especially among Republicans, illustrates just how mixed Trump's reception has been in Texas, where Trump finished behind favorite son Ted Cruz in the March primary. This isn’t to say that Texas is about to turn you-know-what-color in 2016 -- the combination of patterns of party identification and Republican antipathy to Hillary Clinton can be counted on the carry the day for Trump in the absence of a serious Trump meltdown. But conservatives and Republicans in Texas clearly have reservations about Trump that are evident in multiple results in the June 2016 University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll.

Rick Perry Redux: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, August 19, 2016

August 19, 2016
By: 
Jim Henson

State politics continued to stir this week as the Texas Senate took a look at pre-k even as schools and advocates grumbled about inadequate funding - something that came up during legislative debate, one might recall. National politics continued to knock on the door of state politics, as Rick Perry tried to help Donald Trump and a national polling firm stirred the pot in Texas in what was probably the best marketing move of the week. A vivid piece in The New Yorker written by a Texas doctor illustrated what Texas' rock-bottom Medicaid spending actually looks like to a real person, while some Republican legislators tied to prevent an execution by the state of Texas.

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