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February 3, 2023      8:45 AM

Rep. Geren files constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling

HJR 97 appears to be the one Sands is supporting this session

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February 3, 2023      8:27 AM

Capitol Cafe opens at 1005 Congress

Former Chair Huberty’s daughter, Brianna, is running the business. Huberty is joined by other investors including Buck Gilcrease, former Chair Keffer, and Ed Simmons

Former Chair Huberty conceptualized the Capitol Café as a place for Texas legislators, policy advocates and press corps members to gather. He and his daughter, Brianna, worked together to launch the shop just in time for the 88th Texas Legislative Session.

“The Capitol Café team is eager to welcome visitors. From the specially crafted furniture to portraits of legislators taken over more than a decade by 19 different Capitol photographers, we invested our hearts into incorporating the Capitol into every inch of the café,” said Brianna Huberty, operating partner and general manager of the Capitol Café.

The full news release is here.

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February 2, 2023      8:04 PM

With new members seated, Texas State Board of Education drops opposition to school vouchers

The board voted 8 to 5 to remove language opposing vouchers from the panel's legislative priorities. A vote to formalize that is set for Friday

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February 1, 2023      9:18 AM

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to headline Harris County GOP and Dallas County GOP Reagan Dinners in March

He'll be in Houston March 3 then Dallas on March 4

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January 31, 2023      11:22 AM

Paxton enters into settlement talks with whistleblowers over retaliation suit

The latest from Dallas Morning News reporter Lauren McGaughy:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is in settlement negotiations with a group of whistleblowers who sued the state’s top lawyer for allegedly retaliating against them after they accused him of serious crimes. In a joint filing last week, Paxton’s lawyers and three of four whistleblowers asked the Texas Supreme Court to put the high-profile case on hold as they hash out details. According to the filing, they “are actively engaged in settlement discussions, with mediation tentatively planned for February 1, 2023.”

A fourth whistleblower, James “Blake” Brickman, opposed the motion and is not engaged in settlement negotiations or mediation, according to a separate court filing.

The lawsuit is more than two years old. It was filed by four of Paxton’s former top aides who were fired after going to law enforcement with allegations that their boss committed bribery and abuse of office to help a campaign donor.

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January 31, 2023      8:31 AM

Citing winter weather, Ag Commissioner Miller demands a 30-day extension for Texans filing property taxes

If any taxing entity in affected areas doesn’t do this, Miller calls on Abbott to make it an emergency item

As winter weather moved across much of Texas Tuesday morning, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller called for a 30-day extension for those who were planning to file their property taxes to meet the deadline.

"Many Texans plan to pay their 2022 property taxes today to meet the deadline and avoid any late penalties and interest, beginning on February 1st. But the winter storm impacting most of Texas will make it difficult, if not dangerous, for those who need to travel to pay their property taxes – especially our rural residents,” Miller said.

"I am calling on all property tax collecting entities to waive any such penalties and interest for an additional 30 days for any property taxpayer who cannot meet today's deadline,” he said. “Should any such taxing entity refuse to waive such penalties and fees, I will ask our Governor to add this as an emergency item to the legislative call, so this can be considered immediately, and this relief can be mandated through legislative action."

"Texans have much to worry about today due to the winter storm; meeting the property tax payment deadline should not be one of them,” Miller said.

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January 30, 2023      3:09 PM

Winter weather affects legislative schedule at the Texas Capitol

As wintry weather began to move into Austin and other parts of Texas Monday afternoon, GOP leadership began to let staff and others know that legislative business would be affected.

Texas Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman, R-Houston, was first to announce that staff in both the House and Senate would be sent home at 2pm this afternoon out of safety concerns. She said to watch the Finance postings closely because the committee's schedule would be updated as the weather situation unfolds. It’s possible that the committee will have to meet on Saturday as the panel makes its way through the base budget, she said.

Later in the day, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan’s office announced that the members will meet “very briefly” Tuesday and adjourn until 10am on Friday. “Members and staff should not travel until weather and road conditions allow you to travel safely,” the Officer of the Speaker advised in a memo. Members who were planning to recognize community leaders and others in the gallery this week should reschedule that now, the memo said.

Developing…

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January 27, 2023      2:48 PM

Despite strident opposition from RPT Chair Rinaldi, Ronna McDaniel cruises to victory for a fourth term as Chair of the Republican National Committee

McDaniel received 111 votes, Rinaldi's candidate got 51, and the My Pillow Guy got 4

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January 27, 2023      2:16 PM

People on the Move

Assignments on the move a.k.a. staffing changes, promotions, bigtime hires, and more

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Great to see so many members and lobby here in the Rio Grande Valley for the weekend. Apparently, the tour for members organized and promoted by the RGV Partnership received more RSVPs from our VIPs than ever before. Yes, I know how exhausting that sentence was. And remember members, the RGV is quite spread out so your bus ride from place to place might take longer than you had imagined.

It’s worth it.

Meantime some power players are on the move back in Austin and certain key roles are coming into focus for the session. When it comes to sharing career news, no move around the Capitol is too big or too small to appear in the pages of Quorum Report. Let us know what’s up by sending the news to ksbraddock@gmail.com. Please use POTM in the subject line. Thanks so much.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

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January 27, 2023      10:20 AM

Speaker Phelan announces Deputy Chief Jay Dyer will also be Special Advisor to the Speaker and General Counsel Margo Cardwell is now Policy Director as well

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