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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Karl Lynch's blog

Bill Tracker: SB 154 & HB 201 - No Mobile Phones While Driving

These two bills seek to expand criminal conduct of motorists in Texas. SB 154 and HB 201 would make it illegal to use a hand held wireless communications device while operating a motor vehicle unless it's stopped. The bills, however, do allow drivers to use "hands-free devices." The bills carve out further emergency exceptions when it is okay to talk and drive.

Bill Tracker: SB 180 & HB 84 - Driver's License Renewal for the Elderly

How old is too old to drive? SB 180 and HB 84 attempt to limit the renewal of driver's licenses for the elderly. The cut off date in these bills is 90 years old. Anyone over 90 that still wants to drive would have to pass a vision test and demonstrate an ability to control a motor vehicle. The bill analysis for SB 180 states, "Insurance companies have reported that drivers of the age 80 and above are high risk drivers as their sight and responsiveness deteriorates."

Bill Tracker: HB 343 - Notifying Officials of Recent Deaths

(Part 5 of 5 in a symposium on election law)

To end the week on election bills, I thought we might take a lighthearted historical look at a few stories on Texas' electoral past with regards to dead people voting.

Bill Tracker: HBs 101 & 218 - Proving Who You Are

(Part 4 of 5 in a symposium on election law)

Bill Tracker: HB 243 - Lost and Found Polling Place

(Part 3 of 5 in a symposium on election law)

There was a television show that followed Donald Trump around on election day. The Donald walked in ready to cast his vote only to discover that he was not at his precinct in Manhattan. No problem. The Donald crossed town walked into another precinct and found he was still in the wrong place. I'm pretty sure somebody got fired that day.

Bill Tracker: Electronic Ballots with Paper Trails

(Part 2 of 5 in a symposium on election law)

We love technology. We love efficiency. We love new gadgets. But when it comes to the machinery of elections, we just don't trust each other. Not counting hanging chads is one thing, but paperless electronic voting is something we just don't quite accept. And we are not alone.

Bill Tracker: SB 134 - Eliminating Straight Party Voting

(Part 1 of 5 in a symposium on election law)

We often hear people say, "I vote straight ticket." What this means is that on election day, they opt to cast all of their votes for one political party in every race. Straight-Party Voting is quick and simple; however, surprisingly not the norm. Only 17 states allow straight ticket voting.
Even more surprising is that Missouri just eliminated straight ticket voting in 2006.

Bill Tracker: HJR 25 - Prohibiting Vouchers for Private Education

Recently, I wrote an article on financing public education detailing my objections to the voucher concept as a whole in Texas. I also mentioned the bills introduced this session to set up a voucher program in Texas. HJR 25, introduced by Richard Raymond, goes one step further.

Bill Tracker: SB 59 and HB 253 Sobriety Checkpoints

Traffic checkpoints are not allowed in Texas. If HB 253 and SB 59 are passed, sobriety checkpoints will become part of law enforcement efforts to stop drunk driving.

Bill Tracker: HB 722 - Global Warming Task Force

Representative Lon Burnam's bill sets up a global warming task force to focus on the economic opportunities available for Texas businesses. The task force will perform three distinct tasks:

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