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

Archive for May 28th, 2009

NPT Capitol: Transportation conference? Not so fast, Sen. Shapleigh

NPT reported yesterday, that state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh was going to be part of the TxDoT conference committee, bar any last minute changes.

But in a surprise move, state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, was named to the five-member Senate team instead. Surprise? As an example, the Austin American-Statesman reported that Hinojosa “is not on the transportation committee and hasn’t been visibly involved in the issue this session.”

The presence of Shapleigh, who knows his stuff when it comes to transportation, would have been an interesting counterpoint to state Rep. Joe Pickett, chair of the House Transportation Committee and instumental in crafting the House version of the TxDOT bill.

So why no Shapleigh? Here’s NPT’s take:

The House and Senate versions of the TxDOT bill are radically different, which has caused some tension between the two chambers. If Shapleigh went to conference, Senate author, Glenn Hegar, R-Katy would be the only conferee from a predominantly rural district. Taking Shapleigh, rather than a fellow rural senator perhaps reflected the fact that Hegar (whose version of the bill is more conservative) thought he needed someone to keep Pickett busy. (And who better to get under Pickett’s skin than Shapleigh?) However, as NPT reported here, the main players in the House and Senate (Hegar, Carona, Isett, Pickett) have been getting on better the last week. Maybe Hegar decided he didn’t need a pit bull after all.

–Sito Negron and Ben Wright

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Marquez, Chavez feud “a long standing El Paso tradition”

The fall out from the latest round of feuding between El Paso state Reps Norma Chavez and Marisa Marquez is causing a mini-stir this morning at the Capitol.

One state Rep told NPT they are “sick and tired of it” and called it a “public embarrassment.”

The state Rep, who wished to remain anonymous, added that it was “a long standing El Paso tradition” which made the delegation hard to work with.

Another said that delegations need to have “their own house in order” before trying to get things done in Austin. They added that the delegation they were part of worked hard look united in public even though they didn’t agree on everything.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Border: Judge halts border fence in Brownsville

News release sent Wednesday afternoon from the office of state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh:

Federal judge delays construction of border wall in Brownsville, says U.S. Government must define property rights

Case may have implications for future construction of border wall

“This Brownsville case has enormous implications for all border wall construction. In America, property owners do have rights, even on the border.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 28, 2009 at 10:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized