The Week In Texas Politics: HERO’s Failure, House Priorities

Hear how Houston’s equal rights ordinance was defeated, and the issues House Speaker Joe Strauss has put forward.

By Emily DonahueNovember 6, 2015 4:59 pm,

It’s fair to say that the week’s biggest political story was not the easy passage of seven constitutional amendments on Tuesday, but instead the crushing defeat of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, known as HERO. Some are calling it a judgment on Houston Mayor Anise Parker’s tenure –but the fighting had been going on a long time.

Emily Ramshaw, editor of the Texas Tribune, explains this week’s developments with the Standard. The bill died, in part, because of the consistent messaging from the HERO’s opposition.

“There was a pretty large Republican turn-out,” Ramshaw says. “It seemed largely like a scare tactic that worked and drove people to the polls.

Also this week House Speaker Joe Strauss put out his interim charges, a list of topics he wants House committees to work on before next session.

“There’s a lot of really funny stuff on these lists if you’re willing to parse through,” Ramshaw says. “A lot of times they’re these pet issues for individual lawmakers on there that these top brass aren’t necessarily sure they want to bring up in the next session but they’ll say, You know what, I’ll throw you a bone.”

What you’ll hear in this segment: 

-Why Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) captured attention across the country

-House Speaker Joe Strauss’ list of committee priorities, including a study of federal environmental regulations

-What might happen to the expected $10.7 billion dollars lawmakers will start 2017 with in the Rainy Day Fund