Capital Highlights

Week of Feb. 20-26, 2017

Paxton files brief in support of president’s immigration order 
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a legal brief supporting President Trump’s executive order for an immigration crackdown.
In his Feb. 15 brief with a San Francisco federal appeals court, Paxton defends President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

Week of Feb. 13-19, 2017

Legislation banning sanctuary city policies clears hurdle
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 8 praised the Texas Senate’s approval of legislation to ban sanctuary cities, an item on his priority list for the current legislative session.
Senate Bill 4 by Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, passed after 16 hours of floor debate on a 20-10 party-line vote, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats in opposition.

Week of Feb. 6-12, 2017

Governor raises four issues to emergency status
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his second biennial “State of the State” address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 31. 
In exercising his prerogative as governor, Abbott presented a short list of emergency items for lawmakers to enact during the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature: 
- Improvements to Child Protective Services;
- A ban on sanctuary cities;
- Ethics reforms; and 
- Approve a resolution calling for a convention of states. 

Week of Jan. 30 - Feb. 5, 2017

Abbott tells sheriff to reverse sanctuary policy or lose funding
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott has stepped up the pressure on Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez to participate in immigration enforcement, warning that she could lose state funding if she refuses.
In a Jan. 23 letter, Abbott urged the sheriff to reverse her policy directive “forbidding Travis County Sheriff’s Office employees from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.” 

Week of Jan. 23-29, 2017

Marches come one day after inauguration of new president
AUSTIN — Thousands of Texans were on hand to witness the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20 in Washington.
President Trump closed his 16-minute inaugural address by saying: “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.”

Week of Jan. 16-22, 2017

Texas Legislature convenes in 85th regular session
AUSTIN — Lawmakers gathered at the state Capitol in their respective houses on Jan. 10, opening day for the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature. The 140-day session will conclude on May 29. 

Week of Jan. 9-15, 2017

Legislation proposes to regulate access to restrooms, locker rooms
AUSTIN — Texas now has a “bathroom bill.”
The Lone Star State has joined Alabama, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington as states where legislation has been filed in an effort to restrict access to restrooms, locker rooms and other sex-segregated facilities on the basis of sex or gender.

EARLY DELIVERY, Week of Jan. 2-8, 2017

Patrick applauds action preserving North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’
AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has applauded the North Carolina legislature’s refusal to repeal a law banning individuals from using public bathrooms designated for the opposite sex.
Patrick, who has made the passage of similar legislation in Texas one of his priorities, said in a Dec. 22 statement: “Legislation like this is essential to protect the safety and privacy of women and girls, and is simple common sense and common decency.

EARLY DELIVERY, week of Dec. 26, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017

Attorney General intervenes in ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ lawsuit
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Dec. 15 intervened in a lawsuit filed on behalf of nurse’s aide Dedra Shannon against the Killeen Independent School District over its decision to take down Shannon’s Christmas decoration.

Week of Dec. 19-25, 2016

Abbott reacts to Trump’s choice of Perry as energy secretary
AUSTIN — President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Rick Perry as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy prompted this reaction by Gov. Greg Abbott: