Syeda Hasan | KERA News

Syeda Hasan

Syeda Hasan is a general assignment reporter for KUT News. She previously worked as a reporter at Houston Public Media covering county government, immigrant and refugee communities, homelessness and the Sandra Bland case. Her work has been heard nationally on public radio shows such as “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.”

She got her start in public radio as an intern at KUT while earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a minor in French, at the University of Texas at Austin where she served as a reporter for the Daily Texan student newspaper.

A bill that would change the way cities and counties collect property taxes is moving forward in the Texas House. On Saturday, lawmakers approved Senate Bill 1 on second reading. The measure would lower the rollback rate, or the annual percent increase in property taxes, from 8 percent to 6 percent. Any increases above that would have to go to the public for a vote.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, repeatedly noted that SB 1 does not aim to save taxpayers any money, but it would allow them to weigh in on some increases.

Tim Mattox doesn’t want to live in Austin, but soon he might not have a choice. Mattox has lived in the River Place neighborhood for 19 years. It’s a community of about 1,100 homes just northwest of the city near Lake Austin. In December, Mattox’s neighborhood is scheduled to be annexed by the city.

This may be the most anxious time of year for affordable-housing developers in Texas. In a few weeks, they'll find out whether their applications for low-income housing tax credits have been approved, and the decision could spell life or death for their proposed projects.

Government officials and community activists from across the state gathered outside the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to voice support for taking legal action to stop the so-called “sanctuary cities" law.

A state judge has struck down a Texas law that limits the distribution rights of craft brewers.

Until a few years ago, beer distributors in Texas used to pay craft breweries for the right to sell their product, but a 2013 state law brought changes to the industry. Breweries could no longer accept payment for their “territorial rights” – in other words, the right to distribute their beer.

With the Texas open carry law in effect, visitors at this year’s South by Southwest festival could see more guns in public.

For the third year in a row, guns rights activists are planning to take to the streets at SXSW, openly displaying their firearms. Before this year, they could only legally carry long guns like rifles and shotguns. But Texas' open carry law, which went into effect in January, allows license holders to visibly wear a wide range of firearms, as long as they’re in a holster.