House Speaker Joe Straus sent a shout-out to soon-to-be-former Texas Gov. Rick Perry last week.
On the first day of the session, he thanked several Texans for their leadership of the state, particularly noting that Texans owe “a great deal of gratitude” to Perry for his three decades of service.
“And if there are any coyotes wandering around Iowa or New Hampshire, I would suggest you stay out of his way and find a good place to hide,” he said.
Perry drew nationwide attention in 2010 for shooting a coyote that was threatening his dog while jogging in a rural area of Austin.
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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is weighing a presidential run but he’s already being called “Mr. President” in the Senate chamber. That’s because Cruz, a junior member of the chamber elected in 2012, started his stint Jan. 13 as the presiding officer for one hour a week when the Senate is in session.
Members speaking on the floor use the honorific title of “president” to whoever is in the chair — a member of the majority who enforces rules and adheres to procedures. Cruz drew the duty now because the GOP has control of the chamber. The job is always performed by new members except when there is a close vote and the vice president presides as the President of the Senate.
Cruz will be “Mr. President” on Tuesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., according to his press secretary Catherine Frazier.
And what does Cruz think about his new role? “I think he’s excited to be in the majority and to play his part,” she said.
State of Union guest
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, will be bringing a guest to Tuesday’s State of the Union address — Yolonde Rocio, a Gulf War veteran.
Rocio is one of more than 3,000 veterans who served in the Gulf War and now live in the 33rd Congressional District, which Veasey represents.
Rocio, who had a hard time transitioning to civilian life after leaving the service, now works with other female veterans to help prepare them for the same lifestyle shift.
It’s official: Cookies and cupcakes are allowed at school parties.
Even though the sweet goodies and other sugary treats have been a constant at school parties, the Texas Agriculture Department put a nutritional policy in place more than a decade ago that restricted the snacks parents could give to students at public schools.
The rule since has been changed to let districts, not the state, determine what snacks are allowed.
Newly elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller officially declared amnesty for cupcakes last week, during his first week on the job.
“We want families, teachers and school districts in Texas to know the Texas Department of Agriculture has abolished all rules and guidelines that would stop a parent from bringing cupcakes to school,” he said. “This act is about providing local control to our communities.”
Maria Recio, 202-383-6103
Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610