Early voting for the May 1 general and special elections begins on April 19.

Appellate Districts: Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) has pulled down a bill that would consolidate the current 14 Court of Appeals districts to seven. In a statement, Huffman said there was not enough time left in the legislative session to pass it.

Senate Bill 11 was heard by the Senate Jurisprudence Committee, which Huffman chairs, on April 1. Only two witnesses were in favor: Lee Parsley, the general counsel for Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and James Worthen (R), chief justice of the 12th Court of Appeals. Nearly three dozen witnesses testified or registered against it. The bill advanced by a 3-2, party-line vote.

Two identical companion bills – House Bill 339 by Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) and House Bill 2613 by Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction) – have been referred to the House Redistricting Committee.

Arlington: Mayoral candidate Jerry Warden was ruled ineligible by the city secretary over past felony convictions.

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