Lawmaker says political games are stalling plan to end abortion in Texas

More than 4,000 Catholics, including Fort Worth Catholic Diocese Bishop Michael Olson, recently headed to the Texas Capitol.
More than 4,000 Catholics, including Fort Worth Catholic Diocese Bishop Michael Olson, recently headed to the Texas Capitol. Star-Telegram archives

State Rep. Tony Tinderholt is tired of the political games he says are being played with his high-profile legislation.

The Arlington Republican said he’s ready for his bill, House Bill 948 — which is geared to once and for all end abortion in Texas — to get a hearing.

But Tinderholt said he received a letter from House State Affairs Committee Chair state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, asking Tinderholt to remove his request for a hearing.

“The letter claimed the Office of the Attorney General had stated the bill was unconstitutional,” Tinderholt wrote in an email to supporters. “The accusations have yet to be confirmed by the AG’s Office, and last I checked, Byron Cook does not speak for Ken Paxton or his office.”

Tinderholt said he wrote a letter in return, stating that Cook has the ability to call hearings on bills before his committee but he “continues to look for any excuse to kill pro-life legislation.”

“Games are being played in the Texas House with pro-life legislation, and quite frankly, I'm tired of it,” Tinderholt wrote in his email. “The unborn deserve better.”

Arts appointment

A Fort Worth man will lead the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Gov. Greg Abbott recently named Dale Brock, president and owner of Visiting Angels, a home care agency, to chair the commission designed to “advance our state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas.”

Brock, a board member of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., and the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, also serves on a variety of other boards and as president of the Fort Worth Downtown Neighborhood Alliance.

Mobile hours

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, wants to help residents in his district resolve problems with state agencies so his office is holding mobile hours Wednesday, April 12.

“Many people don't know that our district office staff is available to help constituents cut through the red tape of state government agencies, so we intend to work a little harder to spread the word that we’re here to help,” he said.

From 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, SD 9 residents can find help from Hancock’s office on the third floor at Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram St. And from 1-4 p.m. the same day, they can find help at the Grand Prairie Public Library, 901 Conover Drive.

No. 1

State Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican and chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has been named No. 1 in the Texas Senate on Capitol Inside’s Texas Legislature Power Ranking List. The reason: her hard work in getting the budget passed unanimously in the upper chamber.

“A vote unanimously passing the budget has not happened in the Texas Senate since 2005,” according to the publication.

“Jane Nelson has as much or more power now as any Texas lawmaker in modern history — and she’s earned every bit of it,” said Mike Hailey, editor and publisher of Capitol Inside.

Catholic effort

Fort Worth Catholic Diocese Bishop Michael Olson was among the more than 4,000 Catholics who recently headed to the Texas Capitol.

He and the bishops who lead the state’s other 14 Catholic dioceses in Texas talked with lawmakers and rallied on the Capitol steps, hoping to draw attention to the church’s position on a variety of bills the Legislature is considering.

Among their priorities this year: bills that are pro-life, address immigration reform, improve the state’s foster care system, improve the environment, better mental health services, address human trafficking issues and more.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley