Vol 33, Issue 23 Print Issue

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

As Donald Trump hosts rallies Thursday and Friday in Dallas and Houston, as many as 10,000 staunch anti-Trump Democrats are expected to gather in San Antonio for the state party's three-day convention.

Donald Trump is coming to Texas. And unlike most Republican presidential nominees, Trump is not dropping in simply to collect campaign cash, with rallies planned in Houston and Dallas.

Three days after the state had to scrap scores from this year's standardized testing of school kids, a special panel studying testing says it won't recommend getting rid of STAAR tests.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick drew outrage Sunday morning for pre-scheduled social media posts that said "man reaps what he sows" hours after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. The posts had both been removed as of 11 a.m. Sunday. 

A group of Democratic state lawmakers from along the Texas-Mexico border is applying pressure to a bank whose CEO is helping raise money for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. 

Republican state Rep. Jason Isaac has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Austin's rules for ride-hailing companies, raising concerns that the city's "burdensome regulations" are anti-competitive.

Texas on Thursday lost its fight against the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state, ending a monthslong battle during which refugees from the war-torn country continued to arrive. Since the state went to court, 229 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Texas — 21 arrived in December 2015 and the rest arrived this year. In a short statement, Paxton said on Thursday his office was "considering our options moving forward."

Former Baylor University head football coach Art Briles is fighting back against his sudden dismissal, arguing that he was wrongfully terminated and is being used as a scapegoat for the sexual assault scandal that has shamed the school.

Political People and their Moves

Gov. Greg Abbott has named seven people to the Texas Radiation Advisory Board: Mark Harvey, Neal Leavell, Gerald Powell, Missy Shorey, Simon Trubek, Karen Newton and Kenneth Krieger. Krieger already serves on the board.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has appointed four state senators to Texas advisory groups. State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, will join the Texas Rural Health and Economic Development Advisory Council, while state Sens. Charles Perry, Craig Estes and Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa are new members of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas Advisory Committee, which works with the Texas Water Development Board.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has tapped state Medicaid director Gary Jessee to lead its new Medical and Social Services division. The new division of the Health and Human Services system, set to open Sept. 1, will oversee programs run by the Office of Social Services—including food stamps and TANF cash assistance—as well as Medicaid and community services.

Crystal Ford, the chief of staff for state Rep. Carol Alvarado, is moving to the lobbying arm of the law firm Locke Lord on July 1. Ford will work as a public policy adviser in Locke Lord's Public Law Practice Group. Yuniedth Midence Steen, a government affairs consultant at Locke Lord, also retired on May 31, according to a firm press release.

The Texas Association of Business' political action committee has awarded U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, with its Bob Bolen Champion of Free Enterprise lifetime achievement award.

Judge John J. Specia is joining the lobbying firm the Texas Star Alliance. Specia most recently served as the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services after he was appointed by former Gov. Rick Perry in 2012.

Common Cause Texas has hired Anthony Gutierrez as its new executive director. The Democratic political consultant has worked on campaigns for state Rep. Joe Heflin and U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez and has also worked for U.S. Reps. Marc Veasey and Pete Gallego. He’s also worked on a Latino advocacy program for the nonpartisan Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.

Disclosure: The Texas Association of Business has been a financial sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.