News Roundup: Harris County Reaches Tentative Agreement On Bail System Overhaul

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJuly 29, 2019 2:34 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The most populous county in Texas has reached a tentative settlement in a landmark lawsuit over its bail system, which was first ruled unconstitutional in 2017. 

A federal judge said the Harris County system violated equal protection rights that protect against wealth-based discrimination for misdemeanor defendants. This meant poor defendants would often remain jailed for low-level charges, while those who were able to post bail could go free. 

The Houston Chronicle reports the proposed agreement would ensure most misdemeanor defendants are released quickly, and increase their access to public defense services. Defendants would also receive text messages about upcoming court dates. 

The Harris County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the settlement Tuesday. It will then need approval from the judge in the case.

Religious leaders from around the country are gathering in El Paso to protest conditions for migrants who are being held in detention facilities or forced to wait out their asylum cases in Mexico. They held a mass meeting in the border city Sunday night. 

From KERA North Texas, Mallory Falk was there.

Hundreds gathered in a local church as Christian,Jewish and Muslim leaders spoke out against practices like child detention and family separation.

Imam Omar Suleiman traveled to the border from Dallas, to meet with migrants.

“It is not the humanity of these people that’s on trial, it’s our humanity. And if we’re going to put children in a position where they have to make a case why they should not be in cages then it is us who need to make a case that we have lost our minds,” Suleiman said.

The trip is part of the Moral Monday campaign, launched by the civil rights leader and reverend William Barber. The group plans to hold a non-violent protest later Monday.

That protest is set to begin at 10 a.m. mountain time Monday,

The Republican Party of Texas says it’s stepping up its game ahead of the 2020 elections — as Democrats hope to flip more GOP controlled seats. 


James Dickey is chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. 

He told WFAA’s “Inside Texas Politics” Sunday that the party is increasing the number of paid staff it has to get the party’s message out. 

“Last election we had 8-paid Republican Party of Texas staffers on the field around the state, and this election, the plan is by the middle of the general election — we’ll have 150,” Dickey says.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already made clear that it is going after six U.S. House seats in Texas next year. During the 2018 midterms, Democrats managed to flip two Congressional districts.

A Texas Democrat running for the U.S. Senate will be able to use campaign funds to cover the costs of childcare for her two kids. MJ Hegar got approval from the Federal Election Commission last week, according to The Atlantic. Just last year, the FEC approved the same request from a congressional candidate in New York.