Also on Lege TV: Speaker Joe Straus Takes the Oath of Office

Visit for video from the Capitol and special features

Click here to see Joe Straus take the oath of office.

Texas Impact brings you footage from the House floor of Joseph Straus' unanimous approval and swearing in as Speaker of the House for the 2009 legislative session.. Stay tuned throughout the session for clips from hearings, key floor speeches and more special features.

Lege TV: Straus' Acceptance Speech

Visit for video from the Capitol and special features

Click here to watch Speaker Joe Straus' acceptance speech.

Texas Impact brings you footage from the House floor of Joseph Straus' acceptance speech for Speaker of the House in the 2009 legislative session. Stay tuned throughout the session for clips from hearings, key floor speeches and more special features.

Patrice Schexnayder: It's Time to Couple Fossil Fuel Energy Issues with Health Issues

We hear a lot about gasoline prices nowadays, and about America’s dependence on foreign oil. We also hear about coal-powered electricity-generation, and of the devastating mountain top removal practices associated with the extraction of coal from the earth. We know already that we need to free ourselves from these energy sources.

Oil and coal are most often discussed as economic issues, ignoring the health problems that result from use of the fossil fuels. “Gotta have energy,” say defenders of twentieth century technologies, talking as though they spoke a singular truth. But what about life itself? Don’t we “gotta have life?” Shouldn’t the fossil fuel energy issues be discussed in the context of health?

Patrice Schexnayder: The Brown and Yellow States Map Thirty Years Later

Patrice Schexnayder is a member of Texas Impact's board of directors and a well-known peace and justice advocate.

In the early Seventies, there was an American map that was colored with brown states and yellow states, otherwise known as the Rust Belt and the Sun Belt. That widely circulated image was an icon into which one could look and see our future, and those who did look, saw that America’s industrial infrastructure was undergoing an irreversible change.

PUC Gives Green Light for Wind Transmission

On Thursday, July 17, the Texas Public Utility Commission approved a plan to install new transmission lines to bring wind power from West Texas to the metro areas in the eastern half of the state. Texas Impact members were among more than 5,000 Texans to sign an online petition started by Representative Mike Villareal of San Antonio urging the PUC to "go big" on wind.




An Ideal Legislative Visit!

The ladies with Rep. RoseOn Friday, June 20th, a group of five United Methodist Women from Lockhart UMC visited with Representative Patrick Rose and staff from Senator Glenn Hegar's office. Mary Fay Barnes, Betty Bowers, Doris Dorris, Doris Warner, and her granddaughter Tamra Warner all met with their representatives and expressed their interest in various issues affecting Texas, including the juvenile justice system and public education.

Sworn Testimony

Hey Guys, my name is Leighton Copley and I am a new Intern here at Texas Impact. I just started about 3 weeks ago, and since then I have been working on sworn testimony and its importance in the committee process.


Currently any person wishing to speak before a committee in either the Senate or House are only required to fill out a testimonial card with basic information provided on it. Persons testifying are not sworn

Great Work on Precinct Resolutions!

I am so proud of all of you who have written and called to say that you sponsored Texas Impact's resolutions at your precinct caucuses on March 4! Hundreds of people downloaded the resolutions from our website in the 3 days before the caucuses, and we have had reports from all over the state about what a great experience it's been participating in the caucuses. I was extra-tickled that the first person to report passing the resolutions was Vicki Baggett from Nacogdoches, where I was born.


Farm Bill Wrap Up--For Now...

In mid-December the Senate passed its version of the farm bill. This legislation must now be reconciled with the House version through a conference. Bread for the World will continue to campaign for reform as the House, Senate and administration negotiate the final version of the farm bill next year.

On December 14, the Senate passed a problematic farm bill that:

• fails to make farm support programs fairer
• proposes increases in trade-distorting commodity programs

These programs have a negative impact on prices and earning opportunities for poor farmers in the developing world. Savings from much-needed reforms to these programs could be better used to fund nutrition and conservation programs and help U.S. farm and rural families of modest means.

UPDATE: Senators Strip Out Renewables, Pass Energy Bill

After a months of successes and stalls, it seems like Congress has finally compromised its way to an Energy Bill that the President will sign before Christmas.

After the first failed attempt to bring the bill up yesterday, bill proponents removed the tax incentives and mandates for renewable energy and secured continued tax breaks for big oil corporations, making the bill more palatable to opponents. What's left is an Energy Bill that not about our use of energy in the broad sense, but is more specifically about transportation fuels.

Senate Energy Bill Stalled Again

This just in from the New York Times.

WASHINGTON — Republicans were able to stall a broad energy bill in the Senate on Thursday morning, prompting Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, to excise controversial parts of the measure in hopes of moving the legislation forward quickly.

The unsuccessful move to advance the bill failed by one vote. Supporters managed to get 59 “yes” votes, but 60 were needed to invoke cloture, or move to consideration of the bill itself. Forty senators voted “no.”

San Antonio's Reverend Robert Woody Weighs in on the Energy Bill

Reverend Robert Woody, parish priest at the Episcopal Church of Reconciliation in San Antonio calls on people of faith to support a strong Energy Bill. Read his comments printed in the San Antonio Express News Monday.

Comment: Don't stay silent on global warming

Web Posted: 12/11/2007 06:40 PM CST

Rev. Robert Woody

People of faith, across Texas and around the world, are increasingly of one mind about global warming.

No matter the faith, we each heed the call to be stewards of God's creation and to protect the poor and weak among us. We recognize the moral and spiritual implications of global warming and cannot stay silent.

Breaking News: Farm Bill Votes tomorrow--Call TODAY!

After many delays and false starts, the full Senate is likely to begin voting on specific amendments to the farm bill on Tuesday, December 11. Even if you've called before, please take the time to call again.

Religious Coalitions Call Global Warming Bill “A Significant Step” in Addressing Global Warming

In a joint letter to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D - Calif), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, four major religious coalitions, representing millions of Americans, welcomed the work of lawmakers to highlight the urgency of global warming and take immediate action to address it. The National Council of Churches, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals and Jewish Council For Public Affairs/ Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), emphasized some of the bill's key provisions regarding international security and climate change adaptation strategies. The letter describes the bill as "a significant step" toward protecting the "voiceless and the vulnerable."

Senate Committee Approves Landmark Global Warming Legislation

The first global warming bill taken up by Congress in more than 20 years passed out of committee yesterday with a vote of 11 to eight. Bill authors John Warner (R-VA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) staved off attempts by opponents to weaken the historic legislation during a committee mark up session Wednesday. More than 150 amendments were offered in an effort to protect both the environment and the economy.

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