El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Archive for May 21st, 2009

NPT Capitol: After much speculation, Voter ID showdown set for Saturday

SB 362, the Voter ID bill, is first up on the House Calendar for Saturday. Check out the Calendar here. More information to follow.

–Ben Wright

Update: Letter from Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 21, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Pickett aks feds to “reconsider” re: TxDoT bill

pickettHouse Transportation Chair Joe Pickett, D-El Paso penned a quick response to a letter from the Feds raising concerns over the House version of the TxDoT sunset bill.

“I respectfully disagree with several of your conclusions, and at a minimum ask that you reconsider and clarify, or correct where necessary, your statements in light of the information presented below” reads the letter’s intro.

Read it after the jump

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Voter ID Saturday, both sides warming up

The word on the House floor is that Voter ID will come up Saturday. If the bill is the earthquake that will tear this place down, then the tremors are already beginning.

Yesterday, House Democrats engaged in something called “chubbing” whereby they slow the Calendar down by talking endlessly, asking questions, offering amendments and so on. It’s not quite filibustering as the intent was to slow things down, not kill bills.

Why slow things down? To say to the pro-voter ID folks that the Dems are willing to crawl out the rest of the session. Two major state bills got bumped yesterday because the House was on snail time. Those bills, dealing with unemployment insurance and the college top ten per cent rule, are being heard today – they are not proceeding quickly.

Ironically, its the Reps dragging their feet today. When a Legler sponsored amendment was successfully defanged by Mark Strama on a narrow vote, the Republicans called for a verification – which takes about ten minutes. They won the verification. Strama motioned to reconsider. He was successful, but only just. The Republicans called another verification. One journalist exclaimed “we’ve entered a never ending death spiral feedback loop!” (Strama succeeded, then won the reconsider vote.)

I just finished talking with a different Republican member and joked that his party had just given the Dems a game plan for defeating voter ID. “How?” he asked. Well, if it makes it out of committee that’s because it has the votes to pass – but only just – maybe 75-73. If so, the Dems can send up amendments, and amendments to amendments all day long. They will probably all be shot down, but as they will all be close votes, the Dems can call for vote verifications all day (and all night) long. “Oh yeah. Shoot,” replied my Republican friend.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 21, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: What the CRRMA is looking at in the Lege

Here’s a list of issues the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority is tracking in the Lege.

Item 9a – Legislative Update

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT DC: El Paso will get one of 5 new U.S. passport offices

Sorry folks, this one came in yesterday. Here it is:


Over $2 Million in Federal Funding Made Possible Through The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), today announced that the U.S. Department of State will allocate $2,150,000 to establish the full first Passport Agency in El Paso. This new facility will be the first full-service Passport Agency in El Paso, with the capacity to not only accept passport applications but also issue passport books and passport cards. Currently, only 21 such Passport Agencies exist in the United States and local residents who need expedited service are served out of the Passport Agency in Houston. Passport Agencies are separate from the over 9400 Passport Application Acceptance Facilities in the United States that accept passport applications but do not issue passports or passport cards. El Paso is one of only five cities in the U.S. receiving a new Passport Agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Perry appoints El Pasoan to Real Estate Commission

From the office of Gov. Rick Perry:

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry has appointed three members to the Texas Real Estate Commission for terms to expire Jan. 1, 2015. The commission regulates and licenses real estate brokers and salespeople in the state of Texas.

Dona Scurry of El Paso is president of Stockton Scurry and Smith PC. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, El Paso Estate Planning Council, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce Executive Board. She is also a member of the El Paso ProMusica Board and University of Texas El Paso College of Business Advisory Committee, a past member of the Texas Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Board of Directors, and treasurer of the University Medical Center Foundation and the El Paso Holocaust Museum. Scurry received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University. She replaces Bill Flores of Sugar Land.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 21, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT DC: Reyes on Obama and Guantanamo

From the office of U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes:

Reyes Statement on President Obama’s Speech at the National Archives

WASHINGTON, DC (May 21) – House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes issued the following statement on President Obama’s speech at the National Archives detailing his Administration’s plans to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay:

“Today before the Charters of Freedom, President Obama reaffirmed America’s commitment to the rule of law, and provided a sensible plan to facilitate the closure of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. This facility remains a sobering reminder of the previous abuses and mistreatment of detainees and, as the President indicated, has done greater harm to our national security by serving as a propaganda tool for terrorists abroad. I believe the President’s decision to move toward closure will strengthen our national security and restore America’s commitment to justice and due process.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized