Texas House committee

The Texas House committee investigating UT System Regent Wallace Hall will meet May 12 to vote on whether there are grounds to recommend Hall’s impeachment. 

State Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston and co-chair of the committee, said they will meet on May 13 as well, if more discussion is needed. 

Hall is under investigation for potentially overstepping his bounds as a regent and has been accused by some lawmakers of conducting a “witch hunt” to oust President William Powers Jr. The House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations has been investigating Hall since July 2013 and has heard testimony from various UT and UT System officials, but not from Hall himself. 

The committee members met in executive session at their hearing Thursday and discussed the report, produced by special counsel to the committee Rusty Hardin and which indicates Hall likely committed impeachable offenses. 

Before going into executive session, state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, asked Barry McBee, UT System vice chancellor for government relations, to determine the availability of Paul Foster, charmain of the UT System Board of Regents, UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and Pedro Reyes, the System’s executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, to speak with the committee as a whole or to speak with him privately.

Texas House committee meets on abortion in small room

A Texas House committee considering new restrictions on abortions has scheduled another hearing when it will likely approve at least some of the tighter regulations.

House Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook provided notice of the meeting two hours and 16 minutes before Friday's hearing in a room that can hold only 30 people and does not have a video feed. It comes after hundreds of abortion rights supporters packed a hearing Thursday until 3:30 a.m.

Opponents hoped to stall the measures, but Cook cut off public testimony saying it was becoming repetitive. A Democrat said in 20 years she'd never seen a chairman deny witnesses a chance to speak.

The proposed laws would limit which clinics and doctors can perform abortions and would ban abortions after 20 weeks instead of 24.