85th Legislature | KERA News

85th Legislature

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Amid concerns about rolling back local protections for vulnerable Texans and dire economic fallout, a panel of House lawmakers considered a measure into the early hours of Thursday morning that some are hoping will serve as an alternative approach to regulating bathroom use for transgender Texans.

Dallas Officials Say State Lawmakers Share Blame For City's Pension Woes

Apr 19, 2017
Illustration by Todd Wiseman / Vittorio Ferrari

The Texas Legislature doesn’t send any state funds to the beleaguered Dallas or Houston pension systems. But legislators nonetheless find themselves mediating city-level disputes over a collection of bills aimed at shoring up at least $14 billion in the cities’ collective shortfalls.

Gov. Abbott Signals Support For 'Bathroom Bill' From Texas House

Apr 18, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott is signaling support for House legislation that some hope will serve as an alternative to the Senate's "bathroom bill."

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Sherry Cook, the embattled executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, is stepping down from her post amid a series of spending controversies at the agency.

From Texas Standard:

As the legislative session heads into its final six weeks, lawmakers have a lot left to do. They face the task of reconciling budgets passed by the House and Senate into a single document. They must act on the governor’s emergency agenda items. And they’ll need to decide the fate of the more than 6,000 bills filed during the session.

TABC On Hot Seat Over Trips And Spending Controversies

Apr 14, 2017
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

For more than three hours Thursday, top Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officials were grilled by House members for misusing state resources, taking trips to Hawaii on the taxpayers’ dime, mixing vacation with state duties, misreporting who has been assigned which state-owned vehicles, and cozying up to the very industry they’re supposed to be regulating.

Across the country, there's a backlog of kits containing potential evidence of sexual assaults. Victim advocates say the situation threatens public safety. Lawmakers in dozens of states are pushing for funding, and in Texas, one state representative has offered an innovative solution.

Thousands of rape kits sit sealed and untested in forensics labs and law enforcement offices in Texas. What's missing is state and local funding to pay to analyze the evidence in many of those kits.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

State Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, wants to shut down an agency called Dallas County Schools. It provides bus service to several North Texas school districts, including Dallas ISD, which favors the senator’s plans.

Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate on Tuesday gave initial approval to a measure allowing county clerks to recuse themselves from signing marriage licenses for same-sex couples because of religious objections.

In 2016, Texas was one of the fastest growing states in the country, adding almost a half-million people in a year’s time. With growth like that, securing future water supplies will become critical, so Sen. Ted Cruz filed a bill to loosen regulations around importing water from other states. The idea is to make it easier for Texas to buy water from its neighbors. But some worry it could lead to environmental destruction.

Pages