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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Karl Lynch's blog

Bill Tracker: SB 1564 – 3 Year Ban for Allegations

Our procedure for getting a license to sell alcohol is very thorough. Our state is unique in the sense that in addition to a standard statewide procedure, we also have home rule municipalities that dictate alcohol sales to a degree. One of the main questions that can affect the decisions within a municipality is, “Can we trust this license holder?”

Bill Tracker: HB 586 – Too Fast for Texas

For many of us, the posted speed limit is more of a “guideline,” to borrow a phrase from Pirates of the Caribbean. Over the course of a couple of years, we may find ourselves having an unwanted conversation with a DPS trooper. And we all know that if we properly time our bad driving behavior, we are rewarded with those two insurance-saving words, “defensive driving.”

Billl Tracker: HB 460 Identity Theft

This bill amends our current identity theft bill. HB 460 would create a third degree penalty if the crime were committed against a deceased natural person, including a stillborn infant or fetus. The bill also adds an additional element necessary to prosecute this offense. Under this bill, a person commits the offense if the person does so with the intent to harm or defraud another.

Bill Tracker: HB 418 Taser equals Deadly Force

Over the years, police officers have been given a wide variety of non-lethal weapons to use in their regular duties. The baton, pepper spray, canine units, and good old-fashioned tackling are all examples of acceptable police practices. With all good practices come abuses. We have all heard stories about strangulation deaths due to night sticks, pepper spray incidents for seemingly no legitimate police purposes, etc.

Bill Tracker: HB 231 - Renewable Energy Trumps Home Owners Associations

We have all heard of extreme examples of homeowners associations filing lawsuits to prevent homeowners from building walls, painting their house the wrong color, or parking a RV outside the home year round. We have seen pictures of Santa Fe, New Mexico where almost all the architecture is the same. Imagine if the guy next door decided to go green and put in a big solar array in his front yard to capture the energy of the sun.

Bill Tracker: HB 116 - Dropping College Classes

This bill prevents college students from dropping more than three classes at any one particular college. The section of the Education Code applies if the student was able to drop the course without receiving a grade or incurring an academic penalty and the student's transcript indicates or will indicate that the student was enrolled in the course. The only two exceptions to the rule are for severe illness of the student or if the student is taking care of a sick person.

Bill Tracker: HB 515 - "No-Call" List for Campaigns

Robocalls have become an integral part of GOTV efforts for both parties. They are becoming an increasingly popular and effective way to accomplish two distinct objectives. First, they are helpful in getting your base to the polls. Second and more controversial, nefarious "push poll" calls successfully repress voter turnout. Several companies advertise that they can set up and make millions of calls for campaigns.

Bill Tracker: HB 307 - Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Is Texas ready for a move to the left on social policy? We may find the answer this session with HB 307. This bill seeks to make discrimination against a person's sexual identity a prohibited practice. The bill also alters the sovereign immunity protection of public servants if they discriminate against employees based on sexual identity.

Bill Tracker: Red Light Cameras

SB 195 attempts to repeal Section 542.202 (b)(3) of the Transportation Code. The 78th Legislature passed Section 542.202 (b)(3) to allow municipalities and the State to ticket motorists for red light violations without the need for personal service of the ticket because the ticket was a civil rather than a criminal violation.

Bill Tracker: Defibrillators at Sporting Events

There are three bills before the Legislature, HB 214, SB 87, and SB 82, making it mandatory for school districts to have automated external defibrillators (AED) at athletic competitions.

The bills differ in the scope of training and certification required, but the important part of the bill is that an AED will make it to the fields and courts of our schools.

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