News and Articles

The Surreal State of the 2015-16 Election Cycle

The 84th Regular Legislative Session is just a few months in our rearview mirror and only one presidential primary debate has been held (well two if you count the undercard) yet this election cycle has already taken a number of surreal twists both nationally and here in Texas. I’m not sure which is more unbelievable Donald Trump’s standing in the polls or Battleground Texas’s standing with contributors. Since all politics is local, let’s start with Battleground Texas’s fundraising.

Battleground Texas formed in 2013 to reshape the electoral map in Texas – turn it purple. Founded by one of Obama’s top operatives […]

By |August 20th, 2015|Categories: 2015-16 Election Cycle|Comments Off on The Surreal State of the 2015-16 Election Cycle

Right Foot Forward, Pension Security Left Back

The 84th Legislature should be commended for their efforts to ensure the long-term financial security of state pension plans. H.B. 9 extended the actuarial soundness of state pension plans another 30 years, although some would disagree with this assessment. This was a major step forward, but more work needs to be done.

Texas faces a pension crisis. One that we may not have to pay for, but one that will be left to our children to suffer. Both state and local pension plans for government workers are severely underfunded. Prior to the 84th Legislative Session, Texas lawmakers were put on notice […]

By |July 31st, 2015|Categories: Texas Legislature|Comments Off on Right Foot Forward, Pension Security Left Back

Uber Facing Another Setback As Texas Passes on Ridesharing Law

Uber Technologies Inc.’s attempt to replace a patchwork of local rules in Texas with a state law regulating its car-booking business is headed for defeat because lawmakers have yet to act on a key measure with only days remaining in the legislative session.

Barring a last-minute change of course in the Capitol in Austin, the company will walk away empty-handed in the second- most-populous U.S. state as it seeks to expand after reports this month said a new round of funding would boost its valuation to an estimated $50 billion.
Uber has been unable to garner enough support to bring the measure […]

By |May 29th, 2015|Categories: Texas Uber Legislation|Comments Off on Uber Facing Another Setback As Texas Passes on Ridesharing Law

From the Trib: Votes Count, but the Rules Can Count More

In the last days of a legislative session, the lawmakers who know what they’re doing are often more successful than the lawmakers who are merely part of a majority.

Votes count, of course. But at the end, rules can count more.

Rules are why the Texas House never voted on a high-profile abortion bill on Tuesday night. The Democrats — and some Republicans who didn’t want to be outed as opponents— didn’t want to vote on it. Magically, it never came up.

Rules are why the Senate never voted on an amendment that would have hindered same-sex couples trying to adopt or to become […]

By |May 28th, 2015|Categories: Texas Legislature|Comments Off on From the Trib: Votes Count, but the Rules Can Count More

Representative Rick Galindo Scores Huge Win for Veterans and their Families.

Rick Galindo (R – HD 117, San Antonio) scored a huge win for veterans and their families yesterday. The House was debating SB 1735, which would have limited access to college tuition assistance to the spouses and children of deceased, disabled, and MIA veterans. After vigorous debate and multiple amendments to try and ensure the state keeps the promises made to veterans in the Hazlewood Act, things looked dire.

Fortunately for veterans and their families, Representative Galindo came to the rescue. The freshman Representative raised a point of order against further consideration of the bill alleging violations of the House Rules […]

By |May 25th, 2015|Categories: Texas Legislature|Comments Off on Representative Rick Galindo Scores Huge Win for Veterans and their Families.

Oh the Germanity!

Oh the Germanity!

Bills that had life just weeks, if not days, ago are withering on the vine. Their futures all but sealed, their champions seek out one last lifeline for soon to be dead legislation. Every bill with some life remaining is looked at as a lifeline. Sadly, for these failed bills, few are.

The Texas Constitution, House Rules, and Senate Rules prohibit bills offered on multiple subjects. What defines a subject depends on when, where, and what.

An easy way to consider this is to consider the differences between commercial motor vehicles and passenger motor vehicles. Both are motor vehicles. However, different statutory requirements apply to […]

By |May 24th, 2015|Categories: Texas Legislature|Comments Off on Oh the Germanity!

Uber-Lyft legislation runs out of gas in Texas House

Uber and Lyft’s expensive trip through the Texas Legislature ended well short of its intended destination.

House Bill 2440, which would have made regulation of so-called “transportation network companies” a statewide matter with rules amenable to the two industry leaders, died Thursday along with hundreds of other bills when a deadline expired for initial approval of legislation on the House floor.

The bill, carried by state Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, and pushed by several dozen lobbyists paid by the companies, was approved 10-2 in the House Transportation Committee April 22 but was never scheduled for consideration on the House floor.

The Texas Senate […]

By |May 18th, 2015|Categories: Texas Uber Legislation|Comments Off on Uber-Lyft legislation runs out of gas in Texas House

Time Running Out for HB 2440

Time might have run out for the ride-sharing app Uber and its ilk to get statewide regulation this session.

The deadline for putting together a calendar for the bill, and thereby putting a bill on the House floor, expired Tuesday.

Uber has had ads pushing for House Bill 2440 from state Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, which would have cut down on different cities’ “patchwork of regulation,” according to a state analysis of the bill. Uber would get statewide requirements to be a “transportation network company” as opposed to a service such as a taxicab or driver for hire.

Companies like Uber and Lyft […]

By |May 14th, 2015|Categories: Texas Uber Legislation|Comments Off on Time Running Out for HB 2440

Ride for Hire Wire – March 2015 Issue 5

View the “Ride for Hire” News headlines.
Content compiled by the Mach 1 Group.

By |May 6th, 2015|Categories: Texas Uber Legislation, Transportation News|Comments Off on Ride for Hire Wire – March 2015 Issue 5

Letter from Dallas Leaders to Joe Straus Regarding Uber Bill

The Honorable Joe Straus
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
Capitol Building, Room 2W.13
Austin, Texas 78711

Dear Speaker Straus:

We are writing to convey our concerns with H.B. 2440 (the “Uber bill”), particularly the negative effect a $115,000 annual transportation network company (TNC) fee would have on small or would be start-up TNC companies. We are also writing to express our support for a statewide legislative answer to the TNC regulatory question the City of Dallas struggled with the most – the appropriate liability insurance requirement for TNCs.

As you may know, Dallas recently undertook a year-long review and redrafting of our transportation-for-hire (TFH) […]

By |May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Texas Uber Legislation|Comments Off on Letter from Dallas Leaders to Joe Straus Regarding Uber Bill