The Texas legislative session is over, so now is the time to start figuring out who’s going to be in Austin in 2021.

One local rumor is that Susan Criss, a former district court judge, is contemplating running against state Sen. Larry Taylor for Senate District 11.

Criss wouldn’t confirm her candidacy on Wednesday.

“I am not ready to make a formal announcement today,” Criss said. “I expect to be making one in a week or so, I’m not sure.”

She did, however, say she had appointed a campaign treasurer and filed notice with the Texas Ethics Commission, which are rather clear signs that she’s going to make a run.

Designating a campaign treasurer allows Criss to begin raising money for her campaign.

Taylor, a Friendswood Republican, has served in the Senate in since 2012. He’s regarded as one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick‘s top lieutenants and is the chair of the Senate Committee on Education.

Criss has run for state office before. In 2014, she lost to former state Rep. Wayne Faircloth in a bid for Texas House District 23.

Criss served as the judge of Galveston’s 212th District Court from 1999 until 2013. She works as private-practice attorney at the law firm Criss & Rousseau.


U.S. Rep. Randy Weber last week filed a bill that would compel the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to release about $19 billion in disaster recovery money that has languished behind red tape for more than a year.

Of that money, about $4 billion is meant for Hurricane Harvey disaster relief in Texas.

The bill appeared to be on its way to passage. A similar companion bill, filed by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, had already passed the Senate. But on Friday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican from Austin, protested the bill, blocking it from being passed through a procedural vote.

The bill was blocked again Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican.

The men objected to the massive aid package — which includes funding for recovery in Florida, California, Puerto Rico and other places — being passed while many members were away from Congress.

Weber said Wednesday he did not agree with his Republican colleagues about that.

“We need that disaster bill passed, and we need the money for hurting constituents,” he said. “Parliamentary tactics that would hold up the congressionally appropriated money for any reason should not be used.”

Congress could take up the bill again Thursday, although a single Republican could block it again. It might take until next week, when all members of Congress are back in D.C., to get the bill passed.


A sample of some of the legislation that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law recently:

• A bill prohibiting navigation districts from giving private oyster leases to private companies or individuals.

• A bill creating a statewide, AMBER-alert system for missing or endangered adults between the ages of 18 and 65.

• A bill requiring governmental entities to disclose how much they pay for parades, concerts or other entertainment events.

• A bill making it legal to to carry brass knuckles and clubs as weapons of self defense.

Abbott has until June 16 to sign or veto any of the 1,053 bills passed during the legislative session, which ended Monday. Any bill he doesn’t veto will become law automatically.

Abbott had already vetoed six bills as of Wednesday.


Speaking of bills being signed, Galveston officials say they might take part in an official signing ceremony in Austin for the bill passed to reform Galveston’s police pension issues. ... U.S. Rep. Randy Weber is part of a Congressional delegation that has visited Germany and France during the Memorial Day recess. ... Early voting for runoff council elections in Dickinson and Santa Fe began Tuesday and continue until June 4. Election day is June 8.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


(2) comments

Rusty Schroeder

Susan running as a Democrat or Republican? The way this is written is that she will challenge Taylor as a Republican.

Gary Scoggin

I can’t imagine Judge Criss running as a Republican. She’s a longtime Democrat from a strong Democratic family. And she’d never make it past the primary. But you are right in that the article could be more clear.

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