breaking news

AISD board approves raise, contract extension for Superintendent Cruz

After testy exchange, Senate adopts 2017 rules


The Texas Senate on Wednesday approved its rules for the 2017 session after Republicans turned aside an attempt to change a rule that diminished the power of Democrats.

As introduced by Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, the resolution made only minor changes to rules adopted early in the 2015 session – but kept intact a provision requiring support from 19 senators before a bill can get a vote on the Senate floor, down from a 21-vote rule that had been in place for decades.

Republicans hold a 20-11 advantage in the Senate, unchanged from 2015.

Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, proposed an amendment reinstating the 21-vote rule, engaging Hancock in a sometimes testy exchange that received a bang of the gavel and an admonition from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick not to talk over each other.

The rules change reduced the power of every senator to have meaningful input on every bill, not just Democrats, West argued.

Hancock, however, said the change allowed only 28 bills to be voted on with support from less than 21 senators in the previous session. Those bills were written by senators from both parties, he said.

“That knife cuts both ways,” Hancock said.

West’s amendment was defeated 20-11 on a party-line vote, and the rules contained in Senate Resolution 3 were approved 29-2.

The resolution, which also expanded the Criminal Justice Committee from seven to nine members, was the only piece of business taken up by the Senate, which adjourned until 11 a.m. Tuesday.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Texas Digest: Boy’s body found on beach

GULF COAST Police seek help to identify dead boy on beach Police are asking the public to help identify a young boy whose body was found on a beach in Southeast Texas. Galveston police said that the boy, age 3 to 5 years, was found Friday evening and that no one has reported a child missing. Authorities have been unable to find a child matching his...
Former Austin Republican state Rep. Bob Richardson dies at 72
Former Austin Republican state Rep. Bob Richardson dies at 72

Former state Rep. Bob Richardson, R-Austin, died Monday of complications from surgery to treat a hip fracture, attorney Don Cotton of the Bob Richardson Law Firm, told the American-Statesman. He was 72. Richardson unseated Democratic state Rep. Russ Tidwell and served in the Texas House for three terms — 1985 to 1991. Before running, Richardson...
Prosecutors drop all remaining charges against Rep. Dawnna Dukes
Prosecutors drop all remaining charges against Rep. Dawnna Dukes

Travis County prosecutors dropped all of the remaining charges against longtime state Rep. Dawnna Dukes on Monday, bringing an end to a legal soap opera that could have put the lawmaker behind bars. Instead, the saga concluded with a jubilant Dukes announcing on a Facebook post that she would seek reelection next year. “I am looking forward to...
CANCHOLA TRIAL: Murder charge tossed after medical examiner’s flip-flop
CANCHOLA TRIAL: Murder charge tossed after medical examiner’s flip-flop

A man who is suspected of beating his boyfriend to death no longer faces several felony charges, including a murder charge, after a Travis County judge tossed out the bulk of a medical examiner’s controversial testimony on Monday. State district Judge David Wahlberg reversed his ruling from last week, announcing statements given from the witness...
Man offered $25k to kill ex-girlfriend, sheriff’s office says

TRAVIS COUNTY Officials: Man offered $25k to kill ex-girlfriend Travis County sheriff’s deputies on Monday arrested a man accused of trying to hire an acquaintance to kill his ex-girlfriend. Keith James Cote has been charged with criminal solicitation (to commit capital murder), according to the sheriff’s office. Cote offered someone $10...
More Stories