Keyword: Texas House

Public Attitudes Fuel Sharp Partisan Conflict on Sanctuary Cities Bill

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Amidst a legislative session largely defined by intramural conflict among Republicans – which has muddled the progress of other causes near and dear to the hearts of the conservative activists in the party while remaining divisive among the broader ranks – sanctuary cities legislation is, for the most part, a chance for some good old-fashioned partisan politics between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans will hold advantages in both numbers in the legislature and, critically, the support of their base in fighting Democratic efforts to procedurally derail SB4 and to otherwise sabotage the bill using the amendment process.

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Texas data points of order for the week of April 7, 2017

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Most of this week's focus in state politics was on the budget bill coming to the floor in the House, and the debate was filled with the usual theater, hijinks, and even a few surprises (we're looking at you, Texas Enterprise Fund).  Meanwhile, the Trump administration got their man nominated to the Supreme Court and lobbed some cruise missiles at an isolated (and probably forewarned) airport, though many (especially the not-consulted U.S. Congress) wonder what the strategy in Syria is beyond some missile-based signaling.

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A Table With a First-Cut Comparison of House and Senate Budget Proposals for 2018-2019

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The House and Senate released their initial budget proposals this week, and with the help of the Legislative Budget Board, we've compiled a quick comparison of the starting point of negotiations.

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Let the Games Begin: Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics, January 20, 2017

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

As the week ends with a historically unique presidential succession, politics in Texas have a more familiar ring as set pieces of the legislative session play out safely removed from that nasty Washington, D.C. swamp. Kind of. The week saw attempted mobilization of interest groups in the continuing efforts to shape the agenda, budgetary politics between the two chambers of the Legislature, fuel for the never-ending speculation on the next election cycle in Texas, the unveiling of committee assignments in the Senate, and a ruling in the running court battle over Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid in Texas.

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Texas Data Points from the Week in Politics - January 15, 2016

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

The saga of sanctuary city politics continued in Texas this week, with the issue being used to attack candidates in at least three Republican primary races in the Texas House: the HD-8 contest between incumbent Byron Cook and challenger Thomas McNutt, and in the races in the districts of both Speaker Joe Straus and Rep. Charlie Geren. Friday afternoon, a story in the Texas Tribune suggested that Texas cities account for only a tiny share of undocumented arrestees not held in custody for deportation nationally. You’d never know it by these campaigns – or by looking at either the Texas Legislature or public attitudes on sanctuary cities, for that matter. Nationally, the president gave a State of the Union Address that was part victory lap and part attempt to shape the tone of the 2016 campaign season, with some taunting thrown in for sport (mainly his). And there was another GOP presidential debate, in which Ted Cruz and Donald Trump went at like they were scrapping for the One Ring. We’ll leave it to you to figure out who the other candidates were in that reference.

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Straus Still Flying Under the Radar

| By: Jim Henson, PhD

The favorability ratings of Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, were among the more important findings nestled in the first batch of results released from the February UT/Texas Tribune Poll.

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The Geography of Committee Assignments in the Texas Legislature

| By: Jim Henson, PhD and Joshua Blank, PhD

A map of the districts whose House members received committee chairs last week provides an interesting birds-eye view of influence in the chamber, especially within the Republican caucus.  

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Why they fight: The Texas GOP and the looming session

| By: Jim Henson, PhD and Joshua Blank, PhD

Given the relative harmony between mainline and Tea Party Republicans in the Texas electorate, why can't their elected officials in the Legislature seem to get along?

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