Category Archives: initiatives and referenda

Early to Rise Lawsuit Against Harris County Judge Ed Emmett-Petition Available

Here is the Early to Rise initiative proponents’ original petition for mandamus, along with the court’s letter requesting a response from the County by September 3.  The case is styled In re Jonathan Day, et al., No. 14-13-00748-CV, in the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston.

Early to Rise Initiative Won’t Be on November Harris County Ballot

County Judge Ed Emmett announced today the petition did not meet the legal requirements and would not be placed on the ballot.  There is talk of an imminent lawsuit, but it doesn’t appear anything has been filed today.  As promised, Early to Rise has filed suit to force the issue onto the ballot, requesting a decision by Sept 16.

“Law at center of early ed petition drive remains fuzzy”

The Chronicle’s Kiah Collier takes a look at the odd legal questions related to this petition drive.  Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has said he’ll announce in a press conference Monday (the deadline) whether he will put it on the ballot.  Both he and Sen. Dan Patrick have requested opinions from the Attorney General related to this question, and I’m not sure if an answer is supposed to be forthcoming before Monday.

Houston’s Next Election Related Lawsuit On the Horizon?

Here’s Charles Kuffner’s post, with related links, about the Early to Rise ballot initiative to raise taxes through the Harris County Department of Education to fund an education program.  He tees up a few potential issues for litigation in this controversial proposal regarding the procedures for getting an initiative on the ballot this November:

There’s already a dispute over how quickly the signatures must be certified. Calaway says Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan has five days to randomly verify a subsample of the signatures. Sullivan and County Judge Ed Emmett say he has until the deadline for putting items on the ballot, which is August 26. That’s also the deadline for the Attorney General to render an opinion that would be relevant and timely. At the behest of Judge Emmett, County Attorney Vince Ryan has submitted a request for an AG opinion that asks “whether the Harris County Judge is authorized to deny a petition to order an election to levy and collect an equalization tax for the Harris County Department of Education and related questions”. (Sen. Dan Patrick has also requested an opinion.) You can hear all the attorneys limbering up in the background as they prepare for the inevitable lawsuit.