Commentary

Fri
08
Jan

Letter to the Editor...

Dear Editor,

Money for nothing. To me that means taking a job but not doing the work.

The other day, I went to the justice of the peace office to set a date for my upcoming marriage. To my dismay, the judge had a jury trial going on so no date could be set. I casually inquired as to other justices of the peace and heard that this judge or that judge stopped doing marriages. I heard the phrase “and you know why!’’ To wit I replied “of course I do, but if they're going to take the money, then they should perform the duty.”

I was wrong. Marriage is not a duty for a justice of the peace, but rather a power granted by the Texas Constitution and to which he or she are not obligated to perform.

Wed
17
Jun

Federal court of appeals rules on abortion law

By Ed Sterling
AUSTIN — A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on June 9 upheld the constitutionality of House Bill 2, the state abortion law revised by the Texas Legislature in a July 2013 special session. HB 2 and its provisions may be applied throughout Texas, the panel stated in a 56-page ruling, but drew two narrow exceptions: (1) a health clinic that performs abortions in McAllen may continue to function without upgrading its facilities to comply with standards set for ambulatory surgical centers; and (2) the law’s admitting privileges requirement does not apply to a certain medical doctor when he is working at the McAllen facility. Elsewhere, a physician performing an abortion must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the location where the abortion is performed in accordance with the 2013 law.

Wed
17
Jun

Why run for political office?

by Lee Hamilton
This is a young generation that is famously leery of politics. Every year, the Harvard Institute of Politics surveys young Americans about their attitudes. In their most recent survey, only 21 percent of respondents considered themselves politically engaged. Last year, only a third counted running for office “an honorable thing to do” — compared to 70 percent who considered community service honorable. A lot of young people are repelled by politics; they’ve lost faith in the system just as many other Americans have. And I fully understand that elected office is not for everybody. You can make wonderful contributions to our communities and to our society as a whole without holding office.

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Wed
17
Jun

Governor signs clergy bill

Gov. Abbott on June 11 signed SB 2065, the Pastor Protection Act, which he said would “ensure that clergy in Texas cannot be forced to violate their religious beliefs.” Religious leaders in the State of Texasmust be absolutely secure in the knowledge that religious freedom is beyond the reach of government or coercion by the courts,” Abbott said in signing the legislation by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, and Rep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney.

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Wed
17
Jun

Federal court of appeals rules on abortion law

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuiton June 9 upheld the constitutionality of House Bill 2, the state abortion law revised by the Texas Legislaturein a July 2013 special session. HB 2 and its provisions may be applied throughout Texas, the panel stated in a 56-page ruling, but drew two narrow exceptions: (1) a health clinic that performs abortions in McAllen may continue to function without upgrading its facilities to comply with standards set for ambulatory surgical centers; and (2) the law’s admitting privileges requirement does not apply to a certain medical doctor when he is working at the McAllen facility. Elsewhere, a physician performing an abortion must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the location where the abortion is performed in accordance with the 2013 law

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Wed
10
Jun

Governor decides fates of bills passed by Legislature

Governor Greg Abbott has until June 21 to give bills recently passed by the Texas Legislature his final consideration before signing them, etting them take effect without his signature or vetoing them. By June 1, the last day of the Legislature’s 84th regular session, some 819 House bills and 504 Senate bills earned final passage, plus two House Joint Resolutions and five Senate Joint Resolutions. Unlike bills, which are subject to gubernatorial veto, the voters of Texas will find the seven joint resolutions appearing as proposed constitutional amendments on the Nov. 3 statewide ballot. By June 4, Abbott had signed 340 bills into law and vetoed two: HB 25, relating to the prescription and dispensation of “opioid antagonist” drugs; and SB 359, relating to the mergency detention of a person with mental illness. Here are 10 examples of signed, approved bills:

Wed
10
Jun

Governor decides fates of bills passed by Legislature

Governor Greg Abbott has until June 21 to give bills recently passed by the Texas Legislature his final consideration before signing them, etting them take effect without his signature or vetoing them. By June 1, the last day of the Legislature’s 84th regular session, some 819 House bills and 504 Senate bills earned final passage, plus two House Joint Resolutions and five Senate Joint Resolutions. Unlike bills, which are subject to gubernatorial veto, the voters of Texas will find the seven joint resolutions appearing as proposed constitutional amendments on the Nov. 3 statewide ballot. By June 4, Abbott had signed 340 bills into law and vetoed two: HB 25, relating to the prescription and dispensation of “opioid antagonist” drugs; and SB 359, relating to the mergency detention of a person with mental illness. Here are 10 examples of signed, approved bills:

Wed
03
Jun

Legislature passes budget as session wraps up

by Ed Sterling
Four days before the June 1 end of the 84th regular session of the Texas Legislature, both houses finally agreed after months of deliberation on a state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. A 10-member conference committee worked out differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget. The House vote on final adoption of House Bill 1 was 115 ayes to 33 nays; the Senate vote was 30-1. HB 1 awaits approval by Gov. Greg Abbott.

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Wed
27
May

Abbott, Patrick, Straus announce tax relief compromise

BY Ed Sterling

There were three reported tornados, the rains were heavy and virtually every low-water crossing in the county was fl ooded – but, the bottom line is, Burnet County got lucky over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

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Wed
20
May

Agreement on state budget evades House, Senate

by Ed Sterling

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