- The House of Gods – Rep. David Simpson
This week the House twice passed laws (HB 44 and HB 2779) that break contracts that Texans drew up and voluntarily agreed to keep. I respect the goals of these bills: to restore property and First Amendment rights that were voluntarily given up in joining homeowners associations. However, the Legislature should enforce contracts, not break them.
Freshman making few friends at Capitol – Tim Eaton, Austin American-Statesman
The Legislature can use a few…iconoclasts. Simpson was right to knock more government red tape (eg, “puppy mill bill”) off of the local calendar. We might not agree with all of Simpson’s stands, but sometimes having an agitator to slow things down produces better policy.
- Houston lawmakers short on clout – Richard Dunham, Houston Chronicle
Reminder: the Houston Chronicle led the fight to get Tom DeLay out of office. Hence Houston doesn’t have a space shuttle now…but many Chron journalists probably don’t care, since they aren’t even from Texas, much less Houston. But at least they have some Pulitzer Prizes to show for it? (Zero!)
- Texas teacher pension fund gave more in bonuses than all other state agencies combined, analysis shows – Ed Timms and Christy Hoppe, Dallas Morning News
Smart finance people get paid well. A 1% difference in return means billions, which Sen. Eltife should keep in mind. Get the incentives right — which might need tinkering — but don’t be stupid about it.
Kudos to Timms and Hoppe for identifying a liberal thinktank as liberal.
- Rick Perry’s Tenth Commandment – Kevin Williamson, National Review
NRO finally posts this story from the print edition (which provoked some discussion when it came out).
- Texas Public School Rankings – Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune
Check out the list of most-improved schools.
- Texas classrooms may average 22 students per teacher – Jennifer Lloyd, Houston Chronicle
At least one of us grew up with 29 students per teacher. What matters is the teacher’s effectiveness. An ineffective teacher can be 12 to 1, and it won’t matter.
- Perry getting pushback from Longhorn faithful – Ralph Haurwitz, Statesman
Their reaction to the one-sided reporting was pretty predictable.
- Tax break on yachts cast as helping economy – Peggy Fikac, San Antonio Express-News
Good, balanced article from Fikac.
- Commentary: Soft-drink tax idea gets sour reception – Patricia Kilday Hart, Houston Chronicle
Matt Bramanti highlights a number of errors in this editorial in the comments.
- Texas senators won’t agree to family planning cuts – Sommer Ingram, AP
There’s little doubt what Sommer Ingram feels about it.
- Data breach cost: $1.8 million – Ben Wermund, Austin American-Statesman
Will Susan Combs still be a statewide official in 2013? The damage might be overblown…but we wouldn’t necessarily bet on her return.
- Advisor's firing tension between Perry, UT leaders – AP
O’Donnell lost his $200,000-a-year job last week after angering some state lawmakers.
Pssst…. his replacement makes $240,000 per year.
- Is Lloyd Doggett in jeopardy? – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog
After the stunt he pulled with the Edujobs funding, damaging his home state, Doggett deserves to be defeated.
But maybe Republicans will keep him around to embarrass Democrats. Nothing helps Republicans like Democrats trying to screw Texas.
- Hardin County Goes Bright Red – Pondering Penguin
- Craft breweries could sell directly to customers under bill passed by Texas House – Mark Lisheron, Texas Watchdog
- Minorities gain ground in suburban Texas – Jay Root, AP
- Debate over Sanchez rages in Democratic circles – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog
Isn’t it time for Burka to learn how to hyperlink and blockquote?