Texas Legislature

The city of Denton put a bulls eye on the friction between local control and the oil and gas industry when the city banned hydraulic fracturing last fall, Now, lawmakers are weighing in, and it looks like local control is headed for a beating report Jim Malewitz for The Texas Tribune.

Texas State lawmakers are hearing testimony this week on a controversial bill aimed at limiting the type of ordinances and rules that city councils can pass.

gunwatch.blogspot.com

There are several bills allowing Texans to openly carry handguns facing the legislature this session.  But, they have some challenges reports the Amarillo Globe News

State Rep. John Smithee is the senior lawmaker in the Texas Panhandle delegation.  He says, “There’s two issues:  one is how strict your licensing is, and two is where you could take your open carry and what restrictions would be placed upon it.”

The Amarillo Republican says he hasn’t take a formal position on the matter yet.

Smithee doesn’t expect lawmakers to debate the proposed bills until March. 

texaschllicense.com

In Texas this session will be unremarkable.  All the new people at the top will get along, and those wringing their hands about change are manufacturing drama reports the Texas Tribune.

Of course, there is the other side where the mix of new personalities, the split in the Republican party, and a Legislature easily stampeded by noisy outside partisans will provide drama to keep the worriers busy.

Elise Hu / texastribune.org

Texas lawmakers filed 365 bills on the first day of pre-filing.  Panhandle representatives made a number of contributions.  

The Amarillo Globe News reported State Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, filed proposals to fund 64 construction and renovation projects at public universities, and address high-stakes testing at high schools.  State Representative Four Price filed three bills.  One requiring public colleges and universities to post mental health information on their website. 

texastribune.org

Mark P. Jones, chairman of Rice University’s political science department, updated his rankings of Texas state representatives based on their votes during this years sessions.  The Texas Tribune recently featured Jones and his results.