Archive for March 30th, 2021

Gov. Greg Abbott has been a most inept governor.  Don’t even try to argue with me on this.  He has bungled the response to the pandemic. He showed anemic leadership during the Big Freeze.  The ERCOT mess.  His Public Utility Commissioners are an embarrassment.  Why in the heck would we want him, or any future Texas governor involved in how the proposed Ike Dike is run and governed?

GOP State Sen. Larry Taylor has a bill that does that.  Here is from today’s Chron:

A bill has been introduced in the Texas Legislature to create a regional district that could levy taxes and issue bonds to build and maintain a proposed $26 billion storm surge barrier on the southeast Texas coast.

The measure, SB1160, is sponsored by state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, with a companion bill in the state House filed by Rep. Dennis Paul, R-Houston. The legislation would establish the Gulf Coast Protection District, an entity composed of members from Harris, Galveston, Chambers, Jefferson and Orange counties.

The proposal marks the first time that lawmakers have outlined a clear local funding and management mechanism for the long-discussed coastal barrier, once known as the “Ike Dike,” the majority of which would be funded by the federal government. In addition to taxing authority, the local protection district could use eminent domain to seize property or land “for the exercise of the district’s functions,” according to the bill’s text.

And this:

The Gulf Coast Protection District would be governed by a board of 11 directors appointed by the governor in consultation with the respective commissioners courts from each county. Each of the five counties would have one representative except for Harris County, which, because of its larger population, would have two. The district would also include one representative each for the regional ports, the environmental sector. the regional industrial complex, and for all of the cities within the five counties.

Here is the entire Chron read:  How do you build and maintain $26 billion ‘Ike Dike’? Bonds, taxes, eminent domain, says senate bill (houstonchronicle.com).

The last thing folks in the H-Town area need is Abbott’s or any future Texas governor’s involvement.  The Ike Dike is too important to our area to have the governor’s office involved. I hope Sen. Taylor’s bill is scuttled.  Running the Ike Dike needs to stay local. 

Look what TxDOT is doing to H-Town on I-45. Keep the Ike Dike local.

The Harris County District Clerk is proposing to pay jurors more.  Here is from the Chron:

The rate of $6 for the first day and $40 for subsequent days, Harris County District Clerk Marilyn Burgess said, is a major reason why more than 70 percent of residents ignore jury summonses.

Burgess has asked Commissioners Court to boost juror pay to $50 for the first day and $80 for any after, plus free parking at the county garage at 1401 Congress.

And this:

Burgess said appearance rates for jurors have varied greatly by race and ethnicity. Currently, 55 percent of whites come when requested, compared to 29 percent for Latinos.

A survey the District Clerk’s Office conducted found that 82 percent of Latino respondents and 74 percent of African Americans said they would be more inclined to show up for service if first-day juror pay were increased.

Here is the entire Chron read on juror pay:  District Clerk Marilyn Burgess recommends tenfold increase in Harris County juror pay (houstonchronicle.com).

Who would be opposed to better juror pay?

Former Astro Jake Marisnick is 30 today.

Alex Bregman is 27 today.

Happy Birthday Bregman and Marisnick!

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