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

Archive for May 31st, 2009

NPT Capitol: Will Truitt kill TxDoT sunset in the House?

NPT just tried to get state Rep Truitt to talk to us about HB 300, the TxDoT sunset bill. NPT asked her if she planned to speak on the bill tonight. She answered, “yes.”

That is important because the bill is not eligible for consideration until 11:40 tonight. As such, it would only need to be talked about for twenty minutes – two speeches, – for it be chubbed to death.

Truitt is upset, along with Sen John Carona, because local option language has been left out of the bill. Carona has said he will kill the bill in the Senate. If one more person spoke about the bill in addition to Truitt it would effectively die, one state Rep said.

When NPT tried to further question Truitt she declined to comment, saying that she had to prepare for to lay out a bill.

In order to insulate the bill from death-by-chub, Isett and Pickett would need to suspend the rules to bring it up out of order. It has been done for several bills today already. But HB 300 has been “tagged” meaning that someone has said they would object to it being brought up out of order. Getting around the tag would require one hundred votes. One state Rep said the votes aren’t there. (Though, the bill would probably pass easily on a straight vote.)

Pickett said the other possibility is for the House to concur with the Senate amendments (an earlier version of the bill with local option language) – that would be call Carona’s hand – does he have the 81 votes in the House he said he did earlier in the day? Or will his bluff be called?

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 31, 2009 at 9:43 pm

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NPT Capitol: Hegar: Proud of the work, disappointed in the attacks

State Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, issued a statement in response to the threat of state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, to filibuster HB 300, the TxDOT sunset bill. Read Carona’s commentary here:

Statement of Senator Glenn Hegar concerning Senator John Carona’s threatened filibuster

Austin, Texas—Today, State Senator Glenn Hegar issued the following statement:

“I am extremely proud of the work of the conference committee on HB 300—the Texas Department of Transportation Sunset legislation—and I am very disappointed by the unfair attacks made by Senator Carona against the committee, the process that we employed to seek a committee report that would pass both the Texas House and Senate and his extremely unfair and harsh attacks against me personally. Senator Carona’s distortions sadden me because not only are they patently false, but because he is also attempting to reinvent history.

Throughout the entire sunset process, I have strived to make the process open and fully transparent and I am proud of the comments that have been made by my colleagues when I presented a new committee substitute to HB 300 on Monday, May 18 before the Senate Transportation Committee and then again on Monday, May 25 when the bill was presented on the Senate floor. I was specifically proud that Senators Nichols, Watson, Shapleigh, and Carona all played a very large role in crafted a strong senate version of the bill. My proudest moment in four sessions as a State legislator was during this hearing when Senators Carona, Nichols, Watson and Shapleigh all took turns complementing my efforts to have a very transparent, open, and deliberative process among the Senate members. One Senator even noted that the process was the most impressive in all of his years of the legislature.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 31, 2009 at 9:05 pm

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NPT Capitol: Marquez passes bill targetting colonia building codes

From the office of St Rep. Marisa Marquez:

“Today, all of Texas wins. Border counties finally get some authority to regulate building and the rest of the state avoids the problems we have lived with in El Paso,” said Marquez.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 31, 2009 at 8:58 pm

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NPT UPDATED: Pickett picks local option tax out of TxDoT bill. But will it pass?

Update: Carona claimed in an email today he will filibuster the TxDoT sunset bill. [link]

HB 300, the TxDoT sunset bill, is set for a final vote today. The final version of the bill stripped out language that wold have authorized County commissioners to call elections asking the public to tax themselves to pay for local transportation projects. Compromises were made in other areas of the bill – the number of TxDoT commissioners and formula funding (which aims to give localities more clout in statewide transportation policy).

The defeat of local option taxes language is much to the chagrin of Sen. John Carona who has threatened to kill the bill in retaliation. Along with state Rep Vicky Truitt and many Senators including El Paso’s Eliot Shapleigh, Carona led a fierce push since Friday to keep the language in the final version of the bill.

Pickett has said that keeping the local option language in the bill would make it D.O.A in the House. Carona has said that without the language, the bill is D.O.A. is in the Senate.

We’ll know by the end of today…

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 31, 2009 at 10:38 am

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NPT Capitol: Marquez grabs a “best freshman” award

State Rep Marisa Marquez has been awarded the with the Best Freshman Award by the Texas
Criminal Justice Coalition.

The TCJC states its mission on its website as being”committed to identifying and working towards real solutions to the problems facing Texas’ juvenile and criminal justice systems.” Marquez sits on the House corrections committee and managed to pass a number of bills this session relating to criminal justice issues.

“It brings me great pride that I could, in any small way, contribute to the humane rehabilitation of inmates in our criminal justice system. I am honored and humbled to accept this award,” stated Marquez in a press release.

Read the full press release after the jump.

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 31, 2009 at 10:26 am

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NPT Capitol: Quintanilla passes bill for “massive industrial park” in East El Paso

State Rep Chente Quintanilla had a bill sent to the governor over the weekend which would create a “massive industrial park” in far east El Paso County near Tornillo near the U.S. Mexico border.

“This is a very important project that will create substantial job growth with a great potential for economic prosperity. The purpose of this management district is to manage and develop the Tornillo Business Park,” Quintanilla said in a press release. “With the natural opportunity for other business growth, Tornillo should see new restaurants and retail stores opening during the next decade.”

Read the full press release after the jump

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 31, 2009 at 10:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized