More Columns

How Democrats can stop a bad special session

During the regular session, Patrick proved that you can win in Texas politics and pass extreme legislation by being cynical, ruthless and ready to exercise power. Democrats have a choice: help pass the Republican agenda or pack their bags for someplace out of state.

Texans deserve better than the Better Care Reconciliation Act

The revised BCRA is basically the same harmful bill with financial incentives for states like Alaska. Simply capping the amount the Feds pay into Medicaid doesn’t solve the problem — it just dumps costs on the states and on county taxpayers. And the amendment proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is an awkward mixture of proposals that either can’t work or don’t help.

The conservative drift of the Texas Senate: 2011-2017

Between 2011 and 2017 an already conservative Texas Senate shifted even further to the right. The total number of Republican senators increased by only one during this period (from 19 to 20), explaining very little of this shift. However, 14 Republican senators were replaced by fellow Republicans, and each Republican successor was more conservative than his/her predecessor — most, significantly so.

In defense of trees, shade and local control

Over 50 municipalities in Texas, large and small, have decided tree preservation is an important goal that justifies the minor loss to individual property rights. Revoking ordinances would not only reflect Big State Government trampling the wishes of citizens; it would also be catastrophic to many city budgets and to their quality of life.

Paris Agreement passes crucial global and local test

While at first it seemed the lack of U.S. federal support could threaten global solidarity on climate change, the opposite happened. G20 leaders sent a clear message: The rest of the world is still in. America’s cities, states, universities, businesses and investors have matched the ambition of global leaders, making clear they are still in, too.

Texans deserve better than Obamacare

Health care is a deeply personal issue, and the passion reflected by that is evident on all sides of the debate. But one thing is clear: doing nothing to stop Obamacare from continuing to hurt millions of families in Texas and around the country is simply not an option.

We are failing our immigrant children

As Texans, we are failing our immigrant children. Senate Bill 4, the anti-sanctuary cities bill signed into law this past session, places a burden on law enforcement officers to act as immigration agents. Similar to show-me-your-papers bills that were passed in Arizona and Alabama, SB 4 jeopardizes the trust between law enforcement and community members, instills fear and anxiety in children and their families, and is likely to have detrimental effects on the economic prosperity of our state.

Casting Call for Houston's Creative Economy

Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, has been ranked the most diverse metropolitan area in the nation, supplanting both New York and Los Angeles in the number, variety and size of ethnic communities that call it home. It hosts not only world-class companies in all of the performing arts, but has more Fortune 500 headquarters than any city other than New York.

Teen dads need support, too

Silent disregard for teen dads trickles down to a lack of programming and parental support for them. Traditionally relegated only to the role of financial child support, teen fathers actually play an active role in caring for their child, despite assumptions to the contrary.

Preserving Texas and American culture, one vote at a time

From the San Antonio Missions to the natural wonders of Big Bend, Texas is blessed with rich lands and historic sites protected by the Antiquities Act — not to mention the innumerable parks and monuments across the country Texas families visit every year. Whether it’s connecting with nature, going on a class field trip or being dragged along as your dad attempts to visit every natural park, these spaces are fundamental to the American experience.

House/Senate compromise could be a win-win for taxpayers

While the Legislature imposes a number of taxes — sales, franchise, severance, etc. — the property tax isn’t one of them. The multitude of local governments that levy the property tax include school districts, cities, counties and a plethora of special districts such as junior colleges, hospitals, roads and water and wastewater districts. However, the Legislature can have a tremendous impact on your tax bill because it writes the laws that control how local entities set their property taxes.

It's time for Democrats to win again

Next year, Democrats need a successful entrepreneur running for governor to lead the ticket and carry a message that the lifelong government employees seeking statewide office on the Republican ticket don't have the ability or vision to lead Texas into the future.

Healthcare continues to be small business priority

In yearly surveys, members of the National Federation of Independent Business say their number one priority is healthcare, but the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has made things more difficult for them. Its onerous taxes and mandates have increased costs and reduced choices.

Texas taking the ‘standard’ out of standardized testing

As this year’s group of high school students looked at their test scores and learned whether or not they would be graduating, their teachers noticed something a little... odd. The students who took the paper version of the English 2 STAAR test passed with a raw score of 41. The students who took the online version? The special education and dyslexic students? They needed a 42 to pass.

Federal healthcare legislation needs more work — from both parties

Over the last several months, our national health system leaders have talked with members of Congress and their staffs to communicate these three principles and to encourage them to craft legislation that achieves them. Unfortunately, the discussion draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) released by Senate leaders last week falls short.

The new United States of America

An alliance of states was announced to follow the Paris agreement’s terms and it became clear that the states had begun to reassert themselves. California has reached an accord with Quebec. The Canadian government is in talks with Texas, Florida, and other states. They are ready to take on responsibilities abandoned many years ago.

  • Page 1 of 54