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Texas Legislature

From Texas Standard.

The forces arrayed against Alabama judge Roy Moore are mounting. A fifth woman has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama’s Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate race. Lawmakers in Texas may have to focus on problems closer to home, though, based on reports that are now coming to light.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus says he will not run for re-election in 2018.

From Texas Standard:

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus recently formed a new committee to study the problem of opioid addiction in Texas. The Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse is tasked with developing concrete principles and action items for lawmakers.

JORGE SANHUEZA-LYON / KUT

In Austin Monday, both the Texas Senate and the House adjourned, bringing the 85th legislative session to a close. That was expected since the state constitution gives the Legislature exactly 140 days to run a regular session. What wasn’t totally expected was the drama that ramped up as the session was winding down.

Laura Skelding / Texas Tribune

A major pillar of Texas ethics reform — stopping politicians from immediately becoming lobbyists when they leave office — appears to be crumbling in the final few weeks of the 2017 legislative session. 

SAD_Hortons_Kids 114 / U.S. Department of Education

Texas is one of two states that doesn’t offer educators the option of getting a certification in early childhood education. A Texas legislator wants to change that.

State Rep. Dan Huberty says teachers should receive special training to teach the state’s youngest students. That’s why he’s sponsoring a bill that would let teachers receive an early childhood certificate. The Houston-area Republican addressed his colleagues earlier this week during a House subcommittee hearing on teacher quality.

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.

Universities Face Funding Cuts Of 6 Percent To 10 Percent In Senate Plan

Mar 16, 2017
Illustration by Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

A Senate committee on Wednesday voted to significantly rework how universities in Texas are funded — a move that will save some smaller regional schools from catastrophic cuts but instead spread significant losses more evenly among all the public colleges in the state. 

Education Committee Chairs Push Major Edits To A-F Ratings For Schools

Mar 16, 2017
Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

A controversial grading system for Texas public schools and districts, set for deployment in 2018, could dramatically change if the state's top two public education legislators have their way.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

The Senate Finance Committee tentatively decided to defund Gov. Greg Abbott’s pre-kindergarten grant program, a month after the House filed a proposed budget doing the same.

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.

John Koetsier / Flickr

The 2017 Legislative session kicks off next week. Among the many topics sure to spark debate is education. KERA looks ahead to several of the education issues Texas lawmakers will tackle when they meet.

Texas Lawmakers Set A Spending Cap They Likely Won't Reach

Dec 2, 2016
Illustration by Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

The Legislative Budget Board on Thursday set the state’s growth rate, a number that in flush times looms large over lawmakers haggling over state spending.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently released his top 10 priorities for the 2017 legislative session. And now with several hundred bills filed, we have some glimpses of how he plans to meet his goals.

Museum Tower/Sotheby's International Realty

Members of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund will vote in November whether to reduce their benefits. If the answer is "yes," the chairman of pension fund board calls it only a first step toward saving the troubled retirement system. But commentator Lee Cullum says something has to be done.

andem / flickr

In recent weeks, several North Texas school districts have held or considered having tax ratification elections.

Texas House of Representatives

When it comes to just about every state legislative race in Texas, the March 1 primary is effectively the election. There are deep red Republican districts and deep blue battles in Democratic districts. There are just a handful of purple districts with competitive general election races come fall.

Texas Tribune

As we near primaries to narrow down choices for president, the Pew Research Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures has released a study of who has been elected to statehouses. 

give.childrens.com

More than half of about 1,200 bills state lawmakers passed in 2015 become law September 1. Among them: One law allows doctors to be paid for seeing students in the state’s Medicaid program at school over a sophisticated form of video chat. 

State Budget Includes $500,000 To Subsidize Texas Almanac

Jun 12, 2015
Texas Tribune

With two sentences tucked into a 958-page, $209 billion budget, Texas lawmakers agreed last month to fund an unusual project in the age of Google: publishing a reference book that had gotten by on private support for more than 150 years.

Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott got most of what he wanted out of his first legislative session as the state's chief executive.  However, not all Republicans share his enthusiasm.

Texas Tribune

State lawmakers can go into the final weekend stretch of their legislative session now that they’ve cleared a procedural deadline this week for considering bills.  

Ross Ramsey, executive editor of The Texas Tribune, talks about which bills did and did not make the cut.

Texas Tribune

Republicans in the Texas House scrambled to get consideration of their bills by a midnight deadline. That’s as Democrats tried their best to run out the clock.

Sam Baker talked about this with Ross Ramsey, Executive Editor of the Texas Tribune. He explained why, for instance, a bill to prohibit use of state money to issue same-sex marriage licenses failed to make the cut.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott warmed up his bill-signing pen on Monday, approving a measure ensuring that some high school seniors who fail to pass state exams can seek an alternate route to graduation.

The Texas Tribune

The Texas House has voted to expand rules governing raw milk to allow producers to sell it at farmers' markets or customers' homes.

Texas House Mulls Lower Pot Penalties

Apr 8, 2015
Shutterstock

A Texas House committee begins hearing testimony Wednesday on a slate of bills designed to give possession of small amounts of marijuana a criminal makeover.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Stuart Spitzer, a Republican from Kaufman, kicked up a controversy about sex education during a recent marathon budget debate in the Texas House. He succeeded in moving $3 million to abstinence education from programs aimed at preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

A 19-year-old woman who’s three years into motherhood explains how this plays out in real life.

Texas Tribune

After a marathon 17-hour debate, the Texas House gave tentative approval to its version of a new state budget this morning.

Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey tells KERA’s Sam Baker the $210-billion budget reflects a lot of Gov. Greg Abbott’s priorities.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Seven hours into Tuesday's debate on the House's $210 billion two-year budget, things got first heated and then uncomfortable as state Rep. Stuart Spitzer, R-Kaufman, successfully pushed an amendment to move $3 million from HIV and STD prevention programs to pay for abstinence education. 

Texas Senate Leaders Propose $4.6 Billion In Tax Breaks

Feb 24, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Flanked by a dozen Republican senators, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Tuesday announced a slate of legislation he said would provide lasting tax relief to businesses and homeowners in Texas. 

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