Texas school book audit
Inside Texas Politics begins with the letter from State Rep. Matt Krause that’s going out to Texas school districts. He wants to know whether public schools have specific books on campus about race and sexuality.
Rep. Krause, a Republican who chairs the House's General Investigating Committee, who is also in the running for Texas attorney general, is asking about 800 different titles. But why does he want to know? And what will happen if districts do have the books?
Krause told Jason Whitely that he wouldn't comment on the letter because of the "potential or pending investigation."
"We sent out that letter as an inquiry, We're gonna see what those districts respond with, and again, any more than that, we can't comment on it at this point," he said.
Aske whether the districts would be required to respond, Krause said he hoped the districts "would act in good faith." As far as the consequences for not responding, Krause said it would be "something we address when the time comes."
Austin ISD has already said it will not respond to the request.
Texas abortion law Supreme Court hearing
On Monday morning in Washington, D.C., Texas will defend its new anti-abortion law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices will hear arguments from both sides on the Texas law that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected - usually about six weeks.
Remember - the state doesn't enforce this law. Instead, anyone can sue abortion providers over it.
Mississippi also has a high-profile anti-abortion case at the U.S. Supreme Court. Is there any significance of Texas going first?
Ross Ramsey, with the Texas Tribune, said he felt the Court likely wanted to hear Texas' law first because the Biden Administration was pressing it to hear the law.
"There were some immediate questions, like 'are you going to leave this law in effect while you're deciding?' but they might well hear the Mississippi case before they rule on the on the Texas case. They could rule on all these cases together," Ramsey said.
New Texas Secretary of State
His name is John Scott - an attorney from Fort Worth. He briefly worked with the Trump campaign - protesting the outcome of the November 2020 election.
Now, as Secretary of State, Scott oversees Texas elections - among other things. We spoke to him in his first TV interview hours after he began his job on Thursday, and asked why he thought Texans should trust him to run state elections fairly.
"I think that those who know me trust me, because as a lawyer, I really operate based on evidence, and I think irrespective of my role in any lawsuit, I think at the core and bottom is an analysis making a decision based on the evidence, and I think when we do that it allows for a transparency and for anyone to look at it and most likely agree with what decision was made and I think that's one of the things that I bring to this office," he said.
Governor Abbott signed the four new redistricting maps into law. But Democrats are going to court to challenge the maps. How likely is that to postpone the March primary?
Ramsey, with the Tribune, said it could be 50-50.
"If the courts don't re-draw the maps or say they're partly illegal, we should go ahead on March 1," he said. "If they do (take action) we don't."
Build Back Better Plan
Paid family leave is among the Democratic priorities that did not survive in their Build Back Better plan. It's an issue that Democratic Congressman Colin Allred has long championed. What remains in the plan? And will income taxes go up for Allred's constituents in North Dallas to pay for it?
It’s one year away from the mid-term election and about two weeks from the official date to start filing. We're all talking about Republican races. What do we expect the Texas Democrats will give us to talk about?
Meanwhile, State Representative James White, a Republican from East Texas, is challenging Sid Miller for Agriculture Commissioner. Rep. White is asking whether anyone has to recognize same-sex marriage. And State Rep. Matt Krause from Fort Worth has a list of 850 books - he wants to know whether they're in public schools. Are these moves to attract attention in the primary?