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Capital Highlights
Secretary Of State Sets Record Straight On May 10 Ballot
Wednesday, May 7, 2008 • Posted May 6, 2008

AUSTIN - Secretary of State Phil Wilson said he received in recent days many inquiries about a statewide proposition to provide school tax relief to elderly or disabled taxpayers.

Voters will find no such proposition on their May 10 ballot.

“Information being circulated across the state regarding a constitutional amendment election to provide school property tax relief is inaccurate,” said Wilson, the state’s chief elections officer.

“Texans are heading to the polls to cast votes for many important initiatives and races, but there will not be a statewide proposition on the ballot.”

Early voting for the May 10 elections began April 28 and ended May 6.

Senators hear report on YFZ

Carey Cockerell, director of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, testified before a state Senate committee about the agency’s ongoing investigation of the polygamist YFZ Ranch near Eldorado.

On April 30, Cockerell told the Senate Health and Human Service Committee that state investigators are still checking for evidence of various forms of child abuse that may have been committed at the 1,700-acre compound.

The focus had been on minor girls, but the agency turned some of its attention to minor boys.

The number of ranch children in state custody and placed in foster care increased to 464 when one of the girls delivered a healthy baby boy at a hospital in San Marcos on April 29.

Custody hearings for ranch children are to be completed in early June, Cockerell said.

Lt. Gov. supports voter I.D. ruling

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on April 28 made public his support of the U.S. Supreme Court’s April 27 ruling in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, upholding Indiana’s voter identification law.

The Indiana law requires citizens voting in person to present government-issued photo identification at the poll. The main stated purpose of the law is to detect and deter voter fraud.

The ruling, Dewhurst said, “is a victory for democracy in our nation and I’m pleased that the court agreed with the vast majority of Texans who want to protect the sacred American principle of ‘one person, one vote.’

“With this legal challenge now behind us, I look forward to passing a fair voter I.D. law in Texas next year that fully protects the voting rights of all U.S. citizens registered to vote in Texas.”

State lawmaker arrested for DUI

State Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Round Rock, was charged with drunken driving in north Austin on April 30.

Krusee, a House member since 1993, was booked into the Williamson County jail late in the evening and released on bail the next morning.

He is chairman of the House Transportation Committee and also is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Delisi named transportation chair

Gov. Rick Perry appointed his former chief of staff, 35-year-old Deirdre Delisi of Austin, as chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, the five-member board that oversees the Texas Department of Transportation.

Former chair Ric Williamson died in office in January. Hope Andrade of Boerne served as interim chair after Williamson’s death.

Perry also appointed William Meadows of Fort Worth to the commission. Meadows was vice chairman of the North Texas Tollway Authority.

Delisi and Meadows are subject to confirmation by the Texas Legislature. If confirmed, their terms will expire Feb. 1, 2013.

Early 1968 LBJ tapes are released

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library at the University of Texas at Austin announced on May 1 the release of a new batch of President Johnson’s recorded telephone calls from January through April 1968.

Among topics the president discussed in these 13 hours of recordings:

• Johnson’s decision not to seek re-election

• The Pueblo Incident

• The Tet Offensive

• U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy’s entry into the presidential race

• The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Correction

In the previous State Capital Highlights, the name of the chairman of the House Select Committee on Property Tax Relief and Appraisal Reform was incorrectly reported. The chair is Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton.

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