Tribpedia: Joe Straus

Texas Republicans fear federal oversight as voter ID overhaul stalls

Attorney General Ken Paxton and Solicitor General Scott Keller after oral arguments on the voter ID case before the U.S. 5th Circuit of Appeals in New Orleans on May 24, 2016.
Attorney General Ken Paxton and Solicitor General Scott Keller after oral arguments on the voter ID case before the U.S. 5th Circuit of Appeals in New Orleans on May 24, 2016.

Republicans fear a failure to overhaul strict Texas voter ID rules could torpedo the state's position in litigation over whether lawmakers discriminated against minority voters. And time is running short as the regular legislative session enters its final week.

At a May 17, 2017, news conference, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told reporters that the House had to pass two items — property tax reform and the "bathroom bill" — or he'd look to force a special session.
<p><span>At a May 17, 2017, news conference, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told reporters that the House had to pass two items &mdash; property tax reform and the "bathroom bill" &mdash; or he'd look to force a special session.</span></p>

Analysis: Property tax relief doesn’t equal extra money in your pocket

There's a simple test to tell you whether the promise of a tax cut is really a tax cut: Is there money in your hand?

At a May 17, 2017 press conference at the Capitol, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warns he'll seek a special session if the House doesn't pass certain legislation.&nbsp;
<p>At a May 17, 2017 press conference at the Capitol, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warns he'll seek a special session if the House doesn't pass certain legislation.&nbsp;</p>

Analysis: Patrick takes hostages — and control of legislative session

Amid rumors of a special session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick put out a short list of bills he wants the House to pass if he's going to let the Senate advance must-pass legislation. And he appears to have the upper hand in the last days of the session.

House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at a Texas Legislative Budget Board meeting on December 1, 2016.
House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at a Texas Legislative Budget Board meeting on December 1, 2016.

Analysis: The eyes of Texas reveal a legislative opening for social conservatives

In a legislative process where so many issues die quietly in committees and parliamentary actions, making politicians attach their names to their positions can be a powerful thing. The "sanctuary cities" bill tested that theory. 

Gov. Greg Abbott prays with event organizer Evelyn Davison at the 66th annual Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 1, 2017. Davison has organized the event for the last 43 years.&nbsp;
<p>Gov. Greg Abbott prays with event organizer Evelyn Davison at the 66th annual Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 1, 2017. Davison has organized the event for the last 43 years.&nbsp;</p>

Abbott: I urged pastors to pressure Texas House over "bathroom bills"

Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed Tuesday in a radio interview that he has urged pastors to pressure the Texas House to advance the so-called bathroom bills that have languished there for weeks. 

University of Houston President Renu Khator (center) and Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan were among those who testified during a May 10, 2016, House Higher Education Committee hearing.
<p>University of Houston President Renu Khator (center) and Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan were among those who testified during a May 10, 2016, House Higher Education Committee hearing.</p>

Will Texas universities face perfect storm of cuts?

The top three sources of revenue for Texas public universities are all being targeted for reductions or freezes by federal or state government leaders. 

House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at a Texas Legislative Budget Board meeting on December 1, 2016.
House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at a Texas Legislative Budget Board meeting on December 1, 2016.

Analysis: The party in power in Texas acts more like two parties at war

The leadership battles in the Texas Legislature are often attributed to personalities — or to traditional House-Senate rivalries. But there's another factor: The Republicans in power are from different factions of their party.

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a rally at the Capitol for school choice January 24, 2017. Both Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick spoke in favor of expanding school choice options. Students, educators, activists and parents marched on the south lawn to show their support for expanding school choice options during National School Choice Week.
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a rally at the Capitol for school choice January 24, 2017. Both Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick spoke in favor of expanding school choice options. Students, educators, activists and parents marched on the south lawn to show their support for expanding school choice options during National School Choice Week.

Analysis: Texas leaders posturing in public for legislative advantage

Texas state leaders are debating several important issues in a very public way, delivering their messages to one another through rallies, press conferences, trade association meetings and the media. Get your popcorn ready.