Vol 31, Issue 25 Print Issue

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

Texas Democrats began to congregate in Dallas for their state convention, where they will nominate two women — Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte — for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. Party leaders are hoping to present a unified front and avoid open conflict among delegates of the sort seen at the GOP state convention earlier this month.

Davis and Van de Putte led a raucous gathering in Austin on Wednesday designed to mark the anniversary of Davis' filibuster against an abortion restriction bill. The two women used the occasion to expand their criticism of Republican leadership of the state beyond women's health and abortion.

The influx of unacommpanied migrant children into Texas hit a media coverage tipping point this week with state leaders touring detention facilities. Gov. Rick Perry and GOP gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott blamed the federal government for the problem, while Democratic nominee for governor Wendy Davis called for a special session on the crisis. Meanwhile, the state health department has sent 2,000 state-purchased flu vaccines to a federal shelter housing minors in South Texas.

The U.S. Supreme Court largely rejected Attorney General Greg Abbott’s challenge of federal climate rules Monday, deciding that the EPA is allowed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from most large industrial facilities.

Lawmakers considered a proposal to shutter six of Texas’ 13 state-supported living centers over two days of public hearings, renewing a long-simmering debate over the future of the state’s institutions for the disabled.

The discovery of a mass grave in Brooks County containing haphazardly buried remains of unidentified immigrants spurred calls by a couple of state lawmakers for an investigation into what happened.

Political People and their Moves

President Barack Obama has nominated Amos L. Mazzant III and Robert William Schroeder III to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and Robert Lee Pitman to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

State Rep. Angie Chen Button, R-Garland, will serve as chairwoman of the newly created House Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives, the creation of which was announced late last week by House Speaker Joe Straus. State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, will serve as vice chairman of the 13-member panel.

Alfonso Royal was named by the Texas Lottery Commission to be the new director of the Charitable Bingo Operations Division, effective July 7. Royal is a former budget and policy advisor to Gov. Rick Perry.

Susan Simpson Hull of Grand Prairie was named by Perry to the State Board for Educator Certification for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2017.

Dan Key of Friendswood and Ronald V. Larson of Horizon City were reappointed by Perry to the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System for terms to expire Sept. 1, 2019.

Judy Raab of Alvarado was appointed by Perry to the Texas Radiation Advisory Board for a term to expire April 16, 2019.

Perry has reappointed the following four presiding officers of regional mobility authories. Their terms all expire Feb. 1, 2016:

•    David Allex of Harlingen of the Cameron County RMA

•    John Clamp of San Antonio of the Alamo RMA

•    Will "Bill" Hubbard Jr. of Tioga of the Grayson County RMA

•    Linda Ryan Thomas of Longview of the North East Texas RMA