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Texas Legislature

With Change In Procedure, Texas Senate Democrats Lose Clout

Jan 21, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

With a new lieutenant governor installed for the first time in over a decade Wednesday — and over the cries of Democrats — the Texas Senate voted to break from an almost 70-year tradition intended to encourage compromise among its 31 members.

Dianna Douglas / KERA News

One of the guests at President Obama's State of Union address was a North Texan who's a college student but isn’t a legal resident. She illustrates the current debate over what benefits the U.S. should offer undocumented immigrants, especially those who were brought here as children. One such benefit that is currently under fire in Texas is in-state college tuition.

Gun Rights Activists Cause Stir At Texas Capitol

Jan 13, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

An armed rally to protest gun laws saw about a dozen Second Amendment supporters toting rifles and antique revolvers in front of the Capitol gates throughout most of the 2015 legislative session's opening day.

Today Is Opening Day For The 84th Texas Legislature

Jan 13, 2015
Anneke Paterson / Texas Tribune

It takes a few weeks to get a legislative session rolling at full speed, but with Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s first official act out of the way, the 84th Legislature is ready to roll.

Texas Comptroller: 'Moderate Expansion' Of Economy Is Expected

Jan 12, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Amid concerns that tumbling oil prices could push the Texas economy into a recession, Comptroller Glenn Hegar offered a cautiously optimistic tone on the future of the Texas economy Monday, announcing that lawmakers will have $113 billion to haggle over in crafting its next two-year budget.

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The week before the 84th Legislature convenes, some lawmakers still aren’t sure which chamber they’ll be working in. And a federal appeals court is poised to determine the fate of the state’s same-sex marriage ban and part of the state’s new abortion law.

In Bid For Texas House Speaker, Scott Turner Looks To Beat The Odds

Dec 17, 2014
Cooper Neill/Texas Tribune

Scott Turner has never been the type to take things slow.

In high school and college, he was known for his fast feet, a talent that led to an eight-season career in the NFL despite naysayers telling him he was too small.

Betty King, Longtime Secretary Of Texas Senate, Dies At 89

Dec 2, 2014
Texas Senate photo illustration/Texas Tribune

Betty King, the beloved former secretary of the Texas Senate, died Monday after a long illness, according to her family. She was 89.

Shutterstock

When faced with a financial emergency, some turn to payday or car title lenders. There’s about 175 of them in Dallas offering quick cash at great cost. The city and an Austin-based lender to small businesses have announced an alternative.

Shutterstock

Tuesday's Republican sweep added a new layer of conservatism to state government in Texas.

KERA’s Shelley Kofler talked with Ross Ramsey with The Texas Tribune about how that might play out at the Texas Legislature.

NIAID / Flickr

State lawmakers today demanded details about how the first U.S. diagnosed case of Ebola has been handled. The CDC is working on new screening procedures for air travelers.

Meanwhile, Ebola patient remains in critical condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. He’s on a ventilator and is undergoing kidney dialysis.

Mark Graham / Texas Tribune

A Republican running for Wendy Davis’ state senate seat wants to consider changes to the $2 billion fund that lawmakers created to finance water projects. Voters approved the fund when they adopted Proposition 6 last fall.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

State lawmakers reviewing new graduation requirements that go into effect in the fall say they’re confusing and districts may not be prepared to implement them.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Sen. Ted Cruz visited Fort Worth Wednesday night to bestow his endorsement and star power on the Republican runoff campaign of Konni Burton, a tea party candidate who wants to fill the state senate seat Wendy Davis is giving up.

David Chong / KERA News

When real estate developer Don Huffines narrowly defeated John Carona, Dallas County’s long-serving state senator, in the Republican primary, he promised to take a conservative, tea party approach to issues in Austin. 

Texas Tribune

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns emailed supporters Wednesday with news that he will not run for the Texas Senate seat Wendy Davis now holds.

Burns said the "job he wants most" is the one he already has on the council.  

Burns was the Democrats' top pick to compete succeed Davis in Senate District 10 which leans Republican. 

aspecticide / flickr.com

A new Texas law banning anyone under 18 from using UV tanning beds went into effect Sept. 1. State lawmakers toughened the age restrictions in the interest of public health.

Office of Rep. Villalba

State. Rep. Jason Villalba, a Dallas Republican, has identified a key change he says is needed before the Texas House will pass new transportation funding.

State of Texas

Update, 7 a.m. Wednesday: Gov. Rick Perry didn't take long. An hour after the Legislature ended its second special session without a transportation deal, the governor called a third 30-day session. Both houses quickly started the session and then adjourned until Monday.

State of Texas

UPDATE

It appears state lawmakers will not pass new transportation funding in the special session that ends tomorrow, though long-time observers say there are procedural moves that leave a small window of opportunity.

This afternoon the Texas House could not muster the 100 votes needed to  send HJR 2  to voters next year.  Just 84 representatives voted in favor of the bill but because it would amend the constitution the support of two-thirds of House members was necessary.  

Office of Sen. Wendy Davis

With Republicans Greg Abbott and Tom Pauken already campaigning for governor, Texans want to know whether Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth will challenge them from the Democratic side.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Republicans in the Texas House have passed the bill that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  It’s now headed to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass.

Knowing they don’t have enough votes to stop the bill, pro-choice Democrats are taking their fight to the streets. Their “Stand With Texas Women” road trip”  stopped in Dallas Wednesday morning.

Shelley Kofler, KERA

Final approval from the Texas House could come as early as today for a ban on most abortions beyond 20-weeks of pregnancy. 

Texas Legislature Online streaming / Texas Tribune

Nearly 2,000 people have signed up to speak for or against House Bill 2 -- which would add new abortion restrictions in Texas.

The first witness did not get the microphone until more than an hour of Tuesday's committee meeting had passed. Panel members spoke first to question the bill's author, Parker's Jodie Laubenberg, a North Texas Republican.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Abortion activists are expected to be front and center as the battle over abortion restrictions resumes in Austin today.

The online non-profit news service, a partner of KERA, emerged as the primary source for hundreds of thousands watching the live stream of Tuesday night's filibuster soap opera in Austin.

Texas Tribune

Those celebrating the legislative defeat of new abortion restrictions in Texas had a short-lived victory.  Governor Rick Perry has called a new, 30-day special session beginning Monday where legislators will likely vote again on the same measures.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

A victory for those opposing new abortion restrictions in Texas may be short-lived.

Gov. Rick Perry has asked state lawmakers to take up strict new abortion rules in a second special session to start Monday.

The hashtag #StandWithWendy took off into the social-media stratosphere: Even a certain White House tweeter joined the party. Buzzfeed takes a look at how Wendy-mania took hold.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

From Austin to Hollywood to the White House, Wendy Davis had the political world riveted Tuesday night with her marathon filibuster of bill that would have given Texas one of the toughest abortion laws in the nation. Turns out the 50-year-old Democrat is no stranger to political, and life, battles.

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