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

Posts Tagged ‘Straus

NPT Capitol: state budget passes the House 142-2

The state budget just passed the House as amended by the Senate.

According to the Speaker’s office, it includes a $1.9bn increase in public education funding, $1.2bn increase in Higher Education funding, $264m to boost HE financial aid and an increase in $208m for community service operations benefiting “our most vulnerable disabled populations.”

It also includes $2bn in new bonds for more highways and around $12bn in federal stimulus funds.

A few El Paso specific items after the jump

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm

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NPT Capitol: Straus on Voter ID, special session and being speaker again

House Speaker Joe Straus held an impromptu press conference this afternoon, the same day he filed the necessary paperwork in order to be Speaker next session.

So far no one else has filed for Speaker. Straus said he filed early out of “an abundance of caution” in light of the fact that it had become a conversation topic among House members. He said that he fully expected to be speaker next session.

Straus also spoke about the possibility of a special session. He said he didn’t mind one way or the other. (Gov. Perry warned the legislature last week that if bills on windstorm insurance didn’t pass, he would immediately call a special session.)

On Voter ID, Straus said it had fell victim to a “hard deadline” that needed to be respected by members. NPT asked him if there were other vehicles Voter ID could be tacked onto, to which he replied, “not to my knowledge.” (Speculation around the Capitol earlier today suggested that there were a few possibilities out there.)

Finally, Straus, reflecting on the last five days of parliamentary gridlock, maintained the session was about passing the budget first and foremost – something he was confident would happen.

“Everything else is gravy,” Straus said.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm

NPT Capitol: Straus happy with the budget

StrausA press release from House Speaker Joe Straus. The Texas House passed their version of the budget 149-0 early Saturday Morning.

Texas House Adopts 2010-2011 State Budget
House Trims $4 Billion Off Senate Budget

Austin— Today Texas House Speaker Joe Straus praised the House of Representatives for adopting the state’s 2010-2011 biennial budget.

“I appreciate the outstanding work of Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, Vice Chair Richard Raymond, and all Members of the House of Representatives for passing a sound budget which is fiscally responsible and funds essential government services,” stated Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. “I am proud of the entire House for working together to produce a balanced budget, control state expenditures, and make wise spending decisions. Today’s approved budget makes prudent investments in critical areas and includes funding increases in education and health care.”
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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 18, 2009 at 9:41 am

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NPT Capitol: A double shot of Haggerty

Former El Paso state Rep Pat Haggerty has been making the news lately. He features in Gardner Selby’s excavation of Joe Straus’ political philosophy and Christy Hoppe’s piece on legislators that become lobbyists.

Despite losing his seat in the Texas House, Haggerty is still a force at the Capitol. The El Paso man is busy lobbying on behalf of several interests, is seen as close to Speaker Straus and even told NPT a couple of weeks ago that he would “never say never” to running for office again.

From the Austin American Statesmen: “The candidate was Haggerty. “Twenty-six years later, this guy is a colleague of mine in the Texas House and party leaders try to knock him out and did,” Straus said. “That’s just not the (right) way. I was part of the effort to build the party, not the one to rip it apart.” [link]

From the Dallas Morning News: “Two days after Pat Haggerty relinquished the El Paso legislative seat he’d held for 20 years, he was back to work at the Capitol, this time for the tobacco firm Reynolds American. [link]

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

NPT Capitol: Anyone can be a Miner — even Speaker Straus

UTEP has been criticized in the past for its loose admission standards. Tuesday night, all House Speaker Joe Straus, R-Alamo Heights, had to do to become a UTEP Miner was show up to El Paso’s Margarita Madness party and speak for 30 seconds or so (ok, so we’re just having some fun with the event — seriously, Straus would make a great Miner). Watch the video for more.

Sito Negron (Video: Ben Wright)


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 18, 2009 at 11:39 am

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