by Matthew Hamill
Hays County is issuing marriage applications and licenses to anyone who applies, including same sex applicants, according to Hays County Clerk Liz Gonzales. Currently the marriage forms in Hays county are not specifically gender neutral, however the clerk’s office is contacting a vendor to order new forms. The Clerk’s office is taking contact information from interested marriage applicants, who wish to be notified as soon the new applications and licenses are ready.
The final portion of Texas Abortion law, House Bill 2, has been stalled by the U.S. supreme court. That part of the bill would have left only an estimated eight clinics open in Texas. The 5-4 vote granted the request to halt the law’s enactment scheduled for this Wednesday, July 1. Three fourths of house bill two is already in effect, the final part would have forced clinics into hospital like regulations and modifications. This block in the bill will stay in progress while the court deliberates a request to review the entire case. Governor Greg Abbott released a statement in response, stating Texas will continue fighting for higher quality healthcare standards for women.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit today against the Obama administration’s attempt to expand the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office. Specifically the EPA, revising the definition of “navigable waters” under the clean water act, which would vastly expand the EPA’s jurisdiction. Paxton said the new rule isn’t about clean water, it is about power. Paxton’s lawsuit was filed shortly after the Supreme court ruled against the Environmental Protection agency on power plant regulations. In another 5-4 vote the court ruled against the EPA’s effort to limit certain power plant emissions, stating the agency failed to consider the cost of regulations. Writer for the Court Justice Scalia said it is not appropriate to impose billions of dollars of economic costs for the much smaller environmental benefit. The EPA stated that they would review the decision and take the appropriate next steps. Governor Greg Abbott said the court’s ruling is good for Texas, however the EPA will continue to push their agenda with little regard to the price tag of regulations.