Politics | KERA News

Politics

Political news from North Texas, across the state and beyond.

Steven Martin via flickr

Another election day is fast approaching. Cities, school districts and other local governments across North Texas are gearing up for municipal elections on May 6. Early voting starts next Monday. In Tarrant County, there are some crowded races for dozens of open seats, and a whole host of questions about taxes and bonds that voters across the county will decide.

Dan Flynn

A Texas House pensions committee advanced a bill to the full House this week aimed at fixing the Dallas Police and Fire Pension fund. The key figure in Austin for the troubled pension funds in Dallas and Houston is a small town-Republican.

Rachel Osier Lindley / KERA News

One of the most heated debates in Austin this legislative session is over Senate Bill 6. Introduced as the Privacy Protection Act, the "bathroom bill" would bar people from using restrooms or locker rooms in schools and other government buildings that don’t match the gender on their birth certificates.

Midland Congressman To Lead House Investigation Into Russian Hack

Apr 6, 2017

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway will lead the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian influence over the 2016 elections, the committee chairman announced Thursday morning. 

In Shake Up, Rick Perry Moves Into Trump's National Security Inner Circle

Apr 5, 2017
Carlos Barria / Reuters

WASHINGTON -  A new memorandum Wednesday revealed that U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry will be added to President Donald Trump's National Security Council, the chief executive's main advisory group on intelligence and defense matters.   

Courtesy of the Joyful Heart Foundation

When you go to the Department of Public Safety office to apply for a driver’s license, the application asks if you want to donate a buck or more to support veterans or organ donation or people who are visually impaired. If Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, has her way, you’ll be asked if you’d like to help the state pay to test DNA evidence from sexual assault cases.

From Texas Standard:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has drawn his first election challenger. Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso announced his intention to run for the Democratic Senate nomination in 2018, after which he would likely face Cruz in the general election. O’Rourke spent the weekend holding rallies around the state to announce his candidacy.

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke Promises 'Big Announcement' On Friday

Mar 29, 2017
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke has scheduled a major political event on Friday, prompting speculation that the third-term Democratic congressman will launch a bid to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. 

Women make up half of the U.S. population, but hold less than 20 percent of the seats in Congress. Cindy Simon Rosenthal spent much of her career studying this issue, and then got involved herself. She was the first female elected mayor of Norman, Oklahoma - and now runs the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at The University of Oklahoma. 

Rob Crow

A bill aimed granting more defendants release from jail without paying bail would require judges to use a risk assessment system before making bail decisions — and to make those decisions within 48 hours of an arrest.

Linah Mohammad/KERA News

The Republican leadership in Congress will spend next week hammering out details in their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Some of that will happen in the committee chaired by Pete Sessions.

flickr user rep.louiseslaughter

When Congressman Pete Sessions opens his town hall at Richardson High School on Saturday, he’s likely to face the same kind of raucous reception his fellow House Republicans have seen in recent weeks. More than 2,000 people have signed up for the town hall, and submitted more than 1,200 questions for the man who represents Texas’ 32nd Congressional district.

From Texas Standard:

Remember the Takata airbag scandal? The company’s actions – though they took lives – were not criminal; Takata’s offenses were civil. Nobody went to jail. But the company was fined $1 billion.

 

Laura Skelding / Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Wednesday that House Speaker Joe Straus is "out of touch with the voters" for opposing the so-called bathroom bill that passed the Texas Senate a day earlier.

U.S. House of Representatives

Congressional Republicans this week rolled out their alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Though some on the right have criticized it as “Obamacare 2.0,” U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling says he’s on board with the proposed legislation – with a few tweaks.  

Fort Worth Star-Telegram photo

A major effort to overhaul the bail system in Texas was rolled out Thursday, and the reforms have some powerful backers. The target is a system that releases people held in jail before trial based in part on their ability to pay their bail or a fee to bond out. It’s a system that leaves many of the state's poorest residents to wait in jail until their court date arrives, which advocates say wastes taxpayer dollars and unnecessarily upends lives.   

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A state senate committee takes up Senate Bill 6, the so-called bathroom bill Tuesday. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has long favored legislation that would require people in public schools and government buildings to use the restroom according to the sex on their birth certificate.  

Brandon Wade / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

There’s not much Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on in Austin these days, but criminal justice reform is one area that has found bipartisan support over the past decade. 

Rosa Say / Flickr

State Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) filed legislation today to gut Dallas County Schools. The agency provides transportation services to 12 North Texas school districts.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Two North Texas lawmakers took a break from the legislative session to share a stage in Dallas Friday. Republican Senator Don Huffines and Democratic Representative Rafael Anchia debated a range of hot button issues being considered in Austin. Neither Huffines nor Anchia shied away from the controversial topics swirling under the Capitol dome.

Libre Initiative

New federal memos this week on immigration enforcement have stoked fears that millions of people could be deported. A UT-Dallas student who’s part of the DACA program spent the night in a Richardson jail. He’d been pulled over on a traffic warrant, but was detained when his immigration status was discovered.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Pronouncing the city in strong shape on Wednesday, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price told a gathering of hundreds of business and civic leaders during her sixth annual State of the City address that the fast-growing city faces a lot of opportunities as well as significant challenges.

Graphic by Emily Albracht / Texas Tribune

In his second month in office, President Donald Trump is getting overwhelmingly good grades on his job performance from the state’s Republicans, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Christopher Connelly / KERA

A Republican fundraiser brought a who’s who of Republican lawmakers to Fort Worth on Saturday, and it also attracted a couple hundred protesters. The demonstrators were part of a nationwide organizing effort to put pressure on GOP officials to hold town halls and get an earful from their constituents.

Gali Tibbon / Reuters

President Donald Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House for the first time Wednesday.

Scott Beale via flickr

At the Texas Capitol in Austin, battle lines are sharpening around one of this year’s biggest fights over social issues. It’s a battle over bathrooms, specifically which bathrooms transgender people should be allowed to use. 

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

In their first face-to-face meeting, President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed free trade and immigration Monday afternoon at The White House.

Trump Target Or Not, Colleyville's Burton Has Carved Unorthodox Path In Senate

Feb 11, 2017
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

When President Donald Trump offered Tuesday to "destroy" the career of a Texas state senator, it was not entirely clear to whom he was referring. But it was more clear that the complaint that started it all, lodged by Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson, had to do with a legislative effort to reform civil asset forfeiture — an effort championed in the Senate by Konni Burton.

Texas Congressional Delegation Largely Silent On Trump Travel Ban

Jan 29, 2017
Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

WASHINGTON — A lone Republican, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes, joined a handful of the Texas delegation's Democrats in challenging President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

UNHCR via Texas Tribune

President Donald Trump accomplished with one signature what Texas leaders spent a year fighting over.

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