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May 19, 2019      7:44 PM

Updated: SB29 to be narrowed in the Texas House to bar only cities and counties from hiring lobbyists

Just after 7pm, an amendment was pre-filed by Rep. Middleton to bar those governments from hiring lobbyists, the amendment also includes increased reporting requirements

Here is the amendment pre-filed by Rep. Mayes Middleton, R-“Chambers County”, who’s sponsoring the bill.

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May 19, 2019      7:34 PM

SB 9, voter restrictions, not set for House debate this week

Controversial bill assailed by critics as "voter suppression" not set for debate even after Abbott said it "should be supported"

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May 19, 2019      5:53 PM

Gossip on Senate floor: GOP leadership will try to confirm embattled Secretary of State Whitley this evening

So far, all Dems have been present and holding the line against Abbott priority while the governor leans on Patrick to get it done

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May 17, 2019      3:32 PM

Lt. Gov Patrick says the Senate will stand at ease allowing House bills to die if the House is going to delay

Patrick said from the dais that his new policy will be for the Senate to stand at ease. Says he understands the House is going to chub for the next 4 or 5 hours. Sen. Whitmire thanks Patrick for his "leadership." Developing...

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May 17, 2019      3:31 PM

Former Rep. Rodney Anderson to run for Dallas County GOP Chair

"I believe my service in the Texas Legislature makes me uniquely qualified to lead the Republican Party of Dallas County into the 2020 elections," he said on Facebook today

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May 17, 2019      3:00 PM

Texas Senate passes ban on red light cameras, 23 to 8

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May 17, 2019      10:24 AM

Texas House leadership anticipates convening at 10am Saturday for 3rd readings

The speaker's office says "We hope to move as quickly as possible"

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May 17, 2019      9:45 AM

People on the Move

Agency news, appointments, staffer moves, juicy chicken tenders and more puppies coming to the building

Good morning, y’all.

POTM is coming out a little early because, well, it’s a busy day at the Texas Capitol with folks freaked out, on guard, and working diligently to pass, kill, or “fix” proposals that seem to have new life with final deadlines looming. Not sure about you, but I love working until 1am or so every day.

Even though the Chik-fil-A franchises across the state are under constant threat of closure, there is hope. Though, honestly, the tenders at Lucy’s and Gus’s are crispier, juicer, and the sauces are more creative. Don’t’ take my word for it. Go try ‘em so you know what some of your options are just in case Chik-fil-A goes out of business.

Saw Jim Arnold in the hallways yesterday and he promises there will be more puppies on hand for the second puppy day next week. Those dogs are in demand, Jim.

As we stare down the end of the legislative session, be sure to let us know if you’re leaving your gig and where you’re headed. It’s just not possible to keep track of it all without your help. Send career news anytime to ksbraddock@gmail.com and be sure to use POTM in the subject line. Thanks so much.

Here’s this week’s edition of People on the Move:

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By Scott Braddock

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May 17, 2019      9:13 AM

SB29, the narrowed ban on government lobbyists, recommitted to committee this morning

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May 16, 2019      12:28 PM

Updated: House Elections Committee postpones vote on upping penalties for alleged ballot fraud

A meeting had been called for 9:45 this morning, a quorum was not present. Now we are told Rep. Swanson is out sick and Democrats are also on guard to deny permission for the committee to meet while the House is in session. If there's objection to that it takes 2/3rds support

In one of the more heated debates of the closing weeks of the legislative session, a new version of SB 9 brought out hundreds of witnesses to the House Elections Committee Wednesday as the chair cut short registration for testimony and delayed a vote.

The vast majority of those who registered before 8:30am, when registration ended at Chair Stephanie Klick’s direction, were in opposition to the bill which has been labeled by Democrats as an attack on access to the polls and an attempt to suppress voter turnout.

Conservative supporters like Sen. Bryan Hughes R-Mineola, say it’s aimed at stopping those who cheat in elections by making it a state jail felony to forge a ballot. Critics say that amounts to “criminalizing mistakes.”

The hearing started off confrontational as Chair Klick laid out the bill while seeming to anticipate several lines of criticism.

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By Andrew Turner

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May 15, 2019      6:57 PM

Ban on local governments hiring lobbyists set for Texas House floor debate on Friday

Vote to set SB 29 was 6-2, 3 were absent

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May 15, 2019      5:57 PM

Chair Leach backs down in fight over transferring more authority to AG in human trafficking cases

It appears Speaker Bonnen may have talked Leach out of a record vote on Moody amendment that Leach had argued would “gut” his legislation

After an extended debate, Texas House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff Leach, R-Allen, retreated in a battle over a key change to legislation dealing with how human trafficking cases are prosecuted in this state.

Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, called the bill as proposed by Chair Leach as a “sea change” in the way human trafficking cases are dealt with, shifting more power to the Office of the Attorney General, who under the bill would have been able to prosecute those cases even when local district attorneys decline to do so.

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By Scott Braddock

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May 15, 2019      5:04 PM

Texas Senate votes to end Driver Responsibility Program

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May 15, 2019      10:28 AM

Prop B in Houston ruled unconstitutional

The breaking news here via KTRK television:

Houston's Proposition B, the voter-approved pay parity plan for Houston firefighters, has been ruled unconstitutional by a state district court judge. The decision came down Wednesday morning. It's unclear what this means right now for firefighter raises or layoffs, but the firefighters' union has vowed to appeal.

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May 14, 2019      4:19 PM

Comptroller Hegar increases his revenue estimate by a half billion dollars

As budget negotiators and school finance conferees close in their final work product, Comptroller Glenn Hegar delivered the news Tuesday afternoon that there is more money on the table.

A half billion dollars more.

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By Scott Braddock

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May 14, 2019      1:30 PM

With protections for nondiscrimination ordinances added, House State Affairs votes to advance three employment bills by Sen. Creighton

The bills including a ban on government-mandated paid sick leave now include what chambers of commerce have demanded: Specific protections for nondiscrimination ordinances. Sen. Creigton has argued the bills would not affect NDOs anyway

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May 13, 2019      5:04 PM

Chair Zerwas pledges quick progress on the budget

While some in the lobby chatter that the budget is basically done, negotiators unveil some of their latest work including nixing of an anti-highspeed rail rider

Conferees finished up four of the smaller articles in the state budget this afternoon, with Appropriations Committee Chairman John Zerwas, R-Richmond, promising lawmakers would not wait until the last minute to agree to the final details of the budget, as they have previously.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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May 13, 2019      4:15 PM

Video: After House version died on the floor last week, Texas Senate abruptly holds hearing on "Save Chick-Fil-A" bill

Posting rule suspended; of course no one was on hand to testify on the contentious legislation because the hearing was held so abruptly. SB 1978 voted out 5 to 1. Could be on the floor by Wednesday, it appears

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May 12, 2019      9:12 PM

Updated: Voting rights fight could roil end of Texas legislative session

A committee sub is being circulated tonight and is slated for a hearing Wednesday; Sen. Hughes says a paper backup for electronic voting is key, others in the GOP say “we should make it easy to vote, hard to cheat.”

Editor’s note: Chair Klick says the bill will be heard Wednesday morning in her committee. For clarification, an earlier report suggested the bill might be heard on Monday but that is incorrect. A copy of the committee sub can be downloaded at the end of this story – SB

Just as Texas retreats from a voting rights fight in federal court in San Antonio over the way embattled Secretary of State David Whitley handled the rollout of a botched voter purge, Senate Bill 9 by Sen. Bryan Hughes, R- Mineola, has the potential to inflame the situation if it gains any traction in the House during the closing weeks of the session.

The bill would increase the criminal penalty of forging a ballot from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony, something that voting rights groups say would have a negative impact on turnout.

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By Andrew Turner

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