Texas GOP opposition to bill on changing 'Negro' place names raises sparks
AUSTIN, Texas — With attention focused on a Texas House hearing about competing bills — one to remove Confederate monuments from the Capitol and two to prohibit historical monuments from removal — it was Republican opposition to a relatively low-key bill that drew sparks Monday. Democratic state Sen. Borris Miles of Houston presented a resolution pressing federal officials to finally take action on a bill passed 30 years ago to rename areas of Texas containing the word "Negro" — many changed from the N-word in a futile bid to cleanse the sites of racial offense. No senators on the State Affair...
Corporations ask Legislature to drop bills targeting LGBTQ Texans
Raising concerns about legislation targeting LGBTQ people, a group of leading corporations on Monday urged Texas lawmakers to focus instead on urgent issues involving the pandemic, electric grid and education. "We are concerned to see a resurgence of efforts to exclude transgender youth from full participation in their communities, to criminalize or ban best-practice medical care that is proven to save lives, or to exclude LGBTQ people in a variety of other settings," the corporations said in a statement. "Such legislation would send a message that is at odds with the Texas we know, and with o...
Permitless gun carry in Texas lacks Senate support, lieutenant governor says
AUSTIN, Texas — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Monday said a bill that would let people carry handguns in public without a license does not have the votes to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate, just days after the measure received House approval. Patrick, a Republican who presides over the Senate, has not had an appetite for the bill in previous sessions, although he said Monday that he would meet with representatives of law enforcement groups that oppose no-permit carry and groups such as the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America that support it. "If we have the votes to pass a permitl...
Mike Bianchi: Why are Florida politicians trying to ban transgender athletes who aren’t even a problem?
ORLANDO, Fla. — Leave it to our pandering politicians in Tallahassee to find a solution when there is no problem. Thanks, guys, for creating division and polarization where absolutely none existed before. I’m talking about the Florida House’s vote earlier this week to ban transgender girls and women from playing girls’ sports at state high schools and women’s sports at state colleges. Supporters of the bill say transgender girls and women — those who do not identify with the male sex assigned to them at birth — are a threat to the integrity of female-only competition. Detractors say the legisl...
Hawley, who voted to overturn election, claims court bill seeks to overturn elections
WASHINGTON — A little more than three months after he led the effort to overturn the 2020 election, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley accused Democrats Thursday of seeking to retroactively overturn the 2016 election. Hawley, a former clerk for Chief Justice John Roberts, panned a Democratic proposal to expand the U.S. Supreme Court from nine justices to 13 by arguing that it was an attempt to dilute the impact of three justices appointed to the court by former President Donald Trump during his one term in office. “It’s a terrible idea,” Hawley told the Senate press pool. “It is a deliberate...
The Kansas City Star
After Fla. Senate Republicans pass anti-riot bill, Democrats call on GOP donors to protest
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In what marked one of the most emotional moments of Florida’s 2021 legislative session, Senate Democrats on Thursday called on major Republican political donors to pressure Gov. Ron DeSantis to stop “anti-mob” legislation they deem racist, unconstitutional and partisan. “Don’t sit on the sidelines, do something. Take a position,” Sen. Perry Thurston, a Democrat, said in a call to grocery store chains, theme parks and utility companies, many of whom are big contributors to Florida Republicans. Many of them also contribute to Democrats. The call to action came after nearly th...
'The bill should be called common sense carry': Texas House backs no-permit gun carry legislation
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House on Thursday gave initial approval to a measure that would allow carrying a handgun in Texas without a permit, a multiyear effort that never before had gotten a vote in the lower chamber. The 84-56 vote was largely along party lines. The debate dragged on for more than five hours, with Democrats attempting to tweak the bill through more than a dozen failed amendments and using parliamentary maneuvers sometimes used to kill a bill. At one point, gun control activists, overlooking lawmakers from the House gallery, were escorted out by law enforcement as they prayed...
NY Democrats among US House group to propose adding 4 Supreme Court seats
A pair of New York congressmen are among a group of Democrats who plan to introduce a bill that would add four seats to the Supreme Court — the opening salvo in what promises to be a brutal legislative fight with conservatives over the high bench’s political balance. Rep. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Mondaire Jones will announce the bill at a press conference outside the Supreme Court on Thursday, according to their offices. Nadler and Jones will be joined by Georgia Rep. Hank Jones, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s subpanel on courts, and ...
New York Daily News
Is California ready to open health care to undocumented adults? Latino leaders say yes
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus announced this week they are prioritizing two health care bills that would expand Medi-Cal coverage for nearly 1 million undocumented adults. The Democratic lawmakers have carried similar bills in the past only to see them fail, largely over concerns about costs. This time, they're optimistic because of the state's rosy budget outlook — tax revenue is coming in billions of dollars over Gov. Gavin Newsom's January estimates — and because the coronavirus pandemic highlighted inequities in the state's health care system. Rec...
The Sacramento Bee
SC House passes bill that could dramatically expand state's gun laws
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina House passed its second expansion of the right to carry firearms this year, this time in a measure that would allow people to carry handguns openly regardless of whether they have a permit. The 69-47 vote on the chamber's so-called "constitutional carry" bill came Wednesday over objections by some of the state's top voices in the law enforcement community and also Republican House members, who, in one case, argued the legislation would make South Carolina unsafe and put the state's friendly attitude toward families and businesses moving to the state at risk....
The State (Columbia, S.C.)