Joe Straus

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, announces at a Capitol press conference that he's accumulated enough votes to be elected speaker of the Texas House in January.Credit Bob Daemmrich / The Texas TribuneEdit | Remove

Pi Ying Huang / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

A blast of retirements and a grim political climate for the GOP could dramatically reshape the future of the Texas Republican delegation.

WASHINGTON – For those closely watching the Texas delegation in Congress, Tuesday night provided lots to chew on.

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The 2018 election season has officially begun in Texas. This weekend marked the neginning of the filing period for all Lone Star candidates who plan to run for public office.

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Two more powerful Texas Republican lawmakers announced their retirements last week, reports The Texas Tribune.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, the influential chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, announced he will not run for re-election, sparking a flurry of conjecture over who will run for Lamar’s central Texas seat. Lamar has been in Congress for over 30 years.

Bob Daemmerich / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election. He did not rule out running for higher office.

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The Texas Legislature’s controversial “bathroom bill” generated a strong backlash among the business community this year. The proposal was ultimately stopped, largely due to the moderate leadership of House Speaker Joe Straus.

Now, as The Texas Tribune reports, Straus is putting together a committee to make sure Texas is smart about attracting new companies going forward.

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There are more than 180 monuments to the Confederacy in the state of Texas. A dozen of those are on the grounds of the State Capitol in Austin.

Now, as The Texas Tribune reports, some state lawmakers are doing their best to have those public symbols removed. Efforts to eradicate the Capitol grounds of confederate memorials sharply increased after a woman was killed during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last month.

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Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has been drawing fire all year from far-right lawmakers, including members of the so-called “Texas Freedom Caucus” in the State House of Representatives, who have called for Straus’s job.

But, as The Texas Tribune reports, Straus is taking the calls for his ouster in stride. Brushing aside complaints that he’s too moderate, Straus welcomed all challengers.

“I don’t own this job,” he said.

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Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has asked the State Preservation Board to remove a plaque in the State Capitol that honors the Confederacy, reports The Austin American-Statesman. Straus and other critics have charged that the plaque distorts history in order to glorify the Confederacy.

Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

The differences between the state's top legislative leaders will inform the coming Republican primaries, because Dan Patrick and Joe Straus reflect different wings of the Texas GOP.

The guns of August are blazing.

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In the state of Texas, while the Governor is the most prominent statewide officeholder, the Lt. Governor is generally said to be the most powerful. But recently, House Speaker Joe Straus has proven himself to be the most dominant politician in the Lone Star State.

As WFAA reports, Straus, a moderate Republican, was the most authoritative force throughout the recent special legislative session.

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The national media was consumed this weekend by news of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent. The news hit close to home in Texas, which holds more hate groups than any other state.

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The Texas legislature this year has been defined by a contentious battle between the far-right Tea Party conservatives led by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and the more moderate business-minded conservatives of House Speaker Joe Straus.

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According to a recent poll, Gov. Greg Abbott remains the most popular politician in Texas.

The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll shows Abbott with a 45 percent approval rating, while 38 percent of the electorate disapproves of the job he’s been doing. However, Abbott’s disapproval rating has risen five points from 33 percent since the last poll, which was taken in February.

Laura Skelding / Texas Tribune

Earlier this week we reported on how Dan Patrick, the Texas Lt. Gov., was threatening to send the state Legislature into a special session if the state House of Representatives didn’t approve the so-called “bathroom” bill, as well as a measure that would make it difficult for communities to raise property taxes.

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In the waning days of the Texas Legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is playing hardball to get his agenda passed.

As The Texas Tribune reports, Patrick has put out a list of bills he expects the House to pass. If the lower chamber doesn’t comply with his wishes, Patrick says he will direct his Senate to let so-called “must-pass” legislation falter.

This imperative legislation includes the state budget.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Tensions in the Texas Legislature have been simmering this session, as the moderate leadership in the state House of Representatives has clashed with more conservative factions within their own rank and file, as well as the staunchly right-wing Senate of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

After weeks of momentum, Texas “school choice” was handed a serious setback last week, in what The Dallas Morning News called “a serious, perhaps lethal blow” to the movement.

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The Texas Legislature reconvened for the new session this week, amid speeches and plenty of pomp. But, as The Austin American-Statesman reports, the ceremony belied simmering tensions in the Lone Star State’s governing body.

During the recess strains began to build over hot button issues like transgender bathrooms, abortion, immigration, school policy, and religious practices.

Laura Skelding / Houston Chronicle

Reports have come out over the past few months that Texas is denying services to public school students with special needs.

Office of the Governor/Texas Tribune

Texas officials have asked all state agencies to scale back their costs by four percent, in an effort to curb spending. The cuts will affect agency budgets for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, reports The Texas Tribune. The request was announced in a letter from Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov.