Texas Station Collaborative | KERA News

Texas Station Collaborative

Texas leads the country in wind energy production and, because of the way the state’s electric grid is set up, most of that power stays right here. But a plan that would allow the state to make money exporting wind and solar power is moving slowly. 

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 month ago, President Donald Trump signed a measure that would allow state and local governments to deny federal funds to family planning clinics that also provide abortions. Texas may soon be the first state to test out that measure to defund clinics like Planned Parenthood. 

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments Monday in Seattle on whether President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban is a form of religious discrimination. The revised order limits travel from six, instead of seven Middle Eastern countries. Iraq is no longer included on the list thanks to the efforts of Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the former inspector general for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

The Zika virus presents a lot of complications for public health officials, but according to a new study, one of the biggest problems is a knowledge gap.

There's a fight looming at the Texas Legislature: how to balance the state budget for the next two years.

The Texas House's version of the budget pulls $2.5 billion from the state's savings account, also known as the Economic Stabilization Fund, or Rainy Day, Fund.  Right now, there's more than $10 billion in that reserve.

The Senate, though, says it doesn't want to pull out any of that money.

But before that debate heats up, we got to wondering how all that money got there in the first place.

From Texas Standard:

With the legislative session set to end on May 29, time is running out to pass a state budget, and resolve the avalanche of other bills that are still moving between chambers of the Legislature. And then there are the governor's priority items, some of which are still stuck, because lawmakers can't agree how to pay for them.

From Texas Standard:

The firing of FBI Director James Comey is not just a matter of domestic politics. For a look at how it could affect foreign policy, Texas Standard host David Brown turns to Jeremi Suri – the chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Since Scott Pruitt has taken the reigns of the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency has rolled back regulations, scrubbed information on global warming from its website and dismissed members of a key science advisory board. But that isn’t enough for some climate change skeptics and fossil fuel advocates, who would like to see the EPA rescind its entire rationale for battling global warming.

From Texas Standard:

The cooler in your local gas station or grocery store is now a much more colorful place than it once was. Texans who like to bend the occasional elbow are still riding the wave of the craft beer boom.

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law Sunday. It was expected that the measure regulating so-called "sanctuary jurisdictions" would prompt lawsuits. But it surprised many that the first to file a suit was Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Governor's Mansion this morning to protest the so-called sanctuary cities ban, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Sunday night.

Texas is preemptively suing the City of Austin, Travis County and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund to enforce the state’s newly minted “sanctuary city” law, Senate Bill 4.

From Texas Standard:

If people feel like their votes don't count – three pivotal elections across the state seem to prove otherwise.

Austin City Council Member Greg Casar sat on the floor, his back blocking one of the two main entrances to a state building on the Capitol grounds. He’d taken a seat as part of a sit-in Monday to protest Senate Bill 4

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives took another stab at repealing and replacing Obamacare on Thursday, passing the American Health Care Act.

More people in Texas drink from water systems that are in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act than any other state in the country,  according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Texas Legislature is in full swing. And, while lawmakers debate a flurry of bills ahead of sine die, we're answering some of your questions about what goes on under the granite dome for our TXDecides project.

Today's question comes from Eric Staib: 

Greg Abbott seems to make the news more often than governors in other states I've lived in. How powerful is the Texas governor compared to other states? 

Officers arrested demonstrators who staged an all-day sit-in Monday to protest legislation banning so-called "sanctuary" jurisdictions.

One person is dead and three others are injured after a stabbing near the Gregory Gym on UT-Austin campus Monday. A suspect is in custody and there is no ongoing threat, UT police said.

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday to penalize jurisdictions that don't honor detainer requests from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

From Texas Standard:

As the Texas House works to balance the state's budget, some lawmakers are attempting to abolish a tax – a source of revenue whose loss others fear could jeopardize public education to the tune of untold billions. Earlier in the legislative session, the Senate voted to eliminate the franchise tax – a tax on businesses that's based on gross receipts. The franchise tax brings in $8 billion, during each two year budget cycle. A large chunk of that revenue pays for public schools.

From Texas Standard:

Texas is one of six states that tries 17-year-olds as adults. But a new bill wants Texas to follow the national trend of raising the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18.

House Bill 122, authored by Reps. Harold Dutton Jr. (D-Houston) and Gene Wu (D-Houston), passed the House last week and could be on its way to the Senate.


From Texas Standard:

Even as President Donald Trump and the news media mark the 100th day of his administration, the thoughts of those keeping up with politics are already turning to the 2018 midterm elections.

From Texas Standard:

Over the last several months, opponents of President Donald Trump's plan for the expansion of a border wall with Mexico have listed innumerable reasons why they believe it's a bad idea. And now there’s one new reason. Construction as planned may violate a 47-year-old boundary treaty between the two countries – an issue that could end up in an international court.

Mosquito season is upon us, and Texas still isn’t out of the woods when it comes to Zika.

The mosquito-borne illness can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it while pregnant. Last year, there were 312 cases of Zika reported in the state.

A mumps outbreak in Texas has reached a 20-year high. Public health officials have identified 221 cases of the highly contagious disease so far this year, and it’s not because vaccination rates are dipping in Texas.

A panel of federal judges in San Antonio found Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in some areas when they drew district maps for the Texas House of Representatives.

Pages