Columns/Opinions

Thu
13
Jun

Southwest founder “Democraticized the skies”

Texas History

After three years of courtroom battles, Southwest Airlines finally got off the ground on Jun. 18, 1971 with a trio of Boeing 737’s flying passengers between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Co-founder Herb Kelleher was there to meet the inaugural flight at its destination. For the rest of his days, he relived the magical moment with anyone who would listen: “I walked up to it and I kissed that baby on the lips and I cried.”

Everyone that ever knew the rule-breaking maverick, who passed away in January at age 87, has his favorite Kelleher story. For business writer Bill Taylor it was the first time he heard him talk at one of those conferences where it is hard to stay awake.

 

 

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Thu
13
Jun

Governor signs school safety, mental health bill

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 signed three bills into law to improve school safety and expand access to mental health resources.

“After the horrific shooting (at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018) and the subsequent school safety roundtables, I made school safety an emergency item to help prevent a tragedy like this from happening again,” Abbott said. “Today, I am proud to sign legislation to make Texas schools safer for students and teachers. I thank members from both chambers, as well as the many stakeholders, who worked tirelessly to get these bills through the Legislature and to my desk today.”

 

 

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Thu
06
Jun

Legislature passes property tax, school finance reform

AUSTIN — While the Memorial Day holiday was observed across Texas, lawmakers stayed busy at the state Capitol, voting on key bills in the final three days of the 86th Texas Legislature’s 140-day regular session.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt.Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen did what they jointly set out to do at the beginning of the session in January. They exercised their leadership skills well enough for the Senate and House to pass property tax reform (Senate Bill 2) and school finance reform (House Bill 3), and to pass a state budget for fiscal years 2020-2021 (House Bill 1).

Thu
30
May

President houston outfoxes dangerous rabblerouser

By the end of May 1837, the demobilized majority of the Texas Army was either headed for home or looking for work in the Lone Star Republic, much to the dismay of a reckless general who wanted to fight another round with Mexico.

The swift victory at San Jacinto robbed hundreds of American volunteers of their share of the glory. They had not come all the way to Texas to toast other heroes and stubbornly stuck around in the hope of getting in a few licks of their own.

In the fervent belief that an army was a terrible thing to waste, Felix Huston lobbied loud and long for taking the war to the Mexicans. Since his bellicose rhetoric was music to the ears of the disappointed latecomers, the ambitious adventurer became their unofficial spokesman.

 

 

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Thu
30
May

Top officials say state’s top issues are resolved

AUSTIN — With the governor’s mansion as their backdrop, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on May 23 announced their agreement on the Texas Legislature’s state budget, property tax reform and school finance reform bills.

Standing behind the state’s top three elected officials in the press conference were members of three House and Senate conference committees tasked with smoothing out the sticking points in House Bill 1, the state budget; Senate Bill 2, property tax reform; and House Bill 3, school finance reform.

Abbott spoke first, saying the assertion that he, Patrick and Bonnen made in January at the beginning of the legislation session — that together they would decrease property taxes and improve public school finance — is now accomplished. “I’m proud to tell you, today, we are announcing that we’ve done exactly that,” Abbott said.

 

 

Thu
23
May

Much remains on table as Legislature begins final week

AUSTIN — As the Texas Legislature entered the final week of its 140-day 86th regular session, Texans continued to wait for lawmakers to wrap up priority issues: the 2020-2021 state budget, property tax reform and school finance reform.

Of the more than 7,000 bills Senate and House members have filed proposing to create, amend or repeal a law, only 56 had passed and been forwarded to the governor’s desk for final approval as of Sunday, May 19. This is a low number of bills to have survived the threshing floors at both ends of the Capitol at this point in the session. Lawmakers with bones to pick with each other have used and may continue to use parliamentary maneuvers to speed or slow the movement of bills between now and May 27, the last day of the session.

 

 

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Thu
23
May

Five things happening at your capitol this week

My Five Cents…

The next time you hear from me, the 86th Legislative Session will have come to an end. On average only about 1 in 5 bills will make it successfully through a legislative session. At the writing of this column, approximately nine percent of the 7,324 bills, filed in the Senate and House, have been passed and sent to the Governor. This number will continue to rise. In 2017, 18 percent passed and in 2015, it was 21 percent. .

Here are five things happening at your Capitol this week:

1. Free Speech on

College Campuses

Thu
16
May

Five things happening at your capitol this week

My Five Cents…

By Senator Robert Nichols

While session is five months long, 80 percent of the work is done in 20 percent of the time.

At the writing of this column, we have 11 days left in the Session, and much of the work is left to be done.

Here are five things happening at your Capitol this week:

1. Telemarketer Bill

Thu
16
May

Lawmakers remain on threshold of passing major legislation

AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers have yet to cast final votes on the marquee issues of the 86th regular session of the Legislature: the state budget, school finance reform and property tax relief.

Conference committees named by House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lt.Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, must complete their work on the state budget and the other top issues hastily in order to meet deadlines and deliver the finished products to their respective chambers. While little time remains for the bodies to address other issues, many measures can make it through both houses if Bonnen and Patrick want.

The largely ceremonial last day of the session will be Monday, May 27 — Memorial Day.

 

 

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Thu
09
May

Farm boy pitched his way to forgotten fame

Texas History

The long baseball career of Fred “Firpo” Marberry, the major league’s first relief pitcher, ended on May 9, 1941 with his unconditional release by the Fort Worth Cats of the Texas League.

Even though Fred Marberry was the tenth child born to a Mississippi couple, who resettled in north central Texas, there were only four siblings waiting to welcome him in 1898. The other five were already dead and gone.

Growing up on a farm near Streetman south of Dallas, Fred had no time for extracurricular activities. After school, weekends and in the summer, there were always plenty of chores to do. Except for an occasional game with the local amateur team, he played very little baseball in his teens.

 

 

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