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From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump's latest executive order focuses on the way the federal government gives visas to highly trained foreign workers. It's part of the administration's "buy American, hire American" efforts, and it could have a pretty significant impact on Texas.

It might be hard to believe, but Texas’s voting maps, those lines that decide where your representative district is and what seat you’re voting for, have been in flux for the past six years.

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.

Months ago, new Texas congressional maps for the 2018 election seemed like a pie-in-the-sky idea. The federal court looking at a lawsuit against the state’s 2011 map had sat on a ruling for years, and the case had gone unresolved for several election cycles.

For years the electric car company Tesla has tried to change the way people are allowed to buy cars in Texas. The company wants make it legal for consumers to cut out the middleman and buy cars directly from the manufacturer, a way of car shopping that’s already been adopted in many other states. 

A statewide task force ran into some issues getting good information last year when it was asked to write a report on why so many women in Texas were dying during pregnancy or shortly after.

In fact, these issues were a big part of the report it finally released to lawmakers. Now, state lawmakers are looking at ways to fix the problems.

From Texas Standard:

It’s one day after United States Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) assured residents of Denton that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is not dead.

Cruz joined Host David Brown to talk about foreign affairs, repealing Obamacare and this year’s race for the Senate.

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.

Texas lawmakers intended to discriminate when they passed a strict voter ID law in 2011, a federal judge has ruled.

From Texas Standard:

In late March, Cesar Duarte, the former governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, fled to El Paso to escape corruption allegations. Duarte is now the subject of an international arrest warrant, which was filed by his successor, current Governor Javier Corral.

From Texas Standard:

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick entered the current legislative session with a long list of priorities, and a conservative wind at his back. But despite these advantages, Patrick is unlikely to get what he wants. And that’s largely because of fellow Republican and House Speaker Joe Straus.

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base, Thursday raises a number of questions about President Donald Trump’s true intentions in the region. Trump announced that the strike was in retaliation for Syria’s chemical weapons attack on a town in the northern part of the country, earlier in the week. But after six years of war, 300,000 dead, 5 million refugees and now 59 cruise missiles, fired 100 years to the day after the U.S. entered the war in which chemical weapons were first used, many are asking what will happen next?

From Texas Standard:

Tuesday, Syria launched a chemical gas attack on a northern area held by rebels. Pope Francis has called the attack an “unacceptable massacre,” according to the New York Times. And an unnamed state department official has called it a war crime.

From Texas Standard:

The United States officially entered World War I 100 years ago, Thursday. While the fighting took place overseas, the war’s impact was far flung, much of it striking right here in Texas.

From Texas Standard:

Congressman Ted Poe (R-Humble) surprised observers last week when he announced he would leave the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers whose opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) put them at odds with President Donald Trump and House leadership.

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.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency arrested 153 undocumented immigrants in the South and Central Texas regions during its most recent round of immigration enforcement. 

Five Ways You Can Influence Texas Lawmakers

Apr 3, 2017

Voters don't like Congress. Only about 40 percent of the country approves of the job the president is doing. And, because of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on elections, people feel like their voices don't count as much as a large campaign donation.

From Texas Standard:

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump famously criticized NAFTA as the “worst trade deal ever signed in this country.” President Trump is now taking a somewhat softer line on NAFTA. A draft letter from the White House emerged this week that indicates the administration wants to re-negotiate the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, leaving some provisions in place, while seeking changes to others. The document contains few details, but it does indicate that the president would like the ability to impose tariffs on some imported products. Re-opening NAFTA negotiations would require Congressional approval.

From Texas Standard:

Pain is one of those things that is hard to wrap your head around - it's hard to measure, it varies according to your age and health condition. And pain and what we know about pain – particularly chronic pain – also varies by race.

From Texas Standard:

It's possible another billionaire who speaks his mind, is no stranger to TV, and has ideas about running the country could be the next President of the United States. Texas Monthly's Skip Hollandsworth poses the question in an article about Texan Mark Cuban, "Cuban Revolution".

From Texas Standard:

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced a trade agreement Wednesday between the state and a group of settlers on the West Bank of Israel. Neither the U.S. government nor the United Nations recognizes the settlements.

For more than a year now, health officials have been trying to improve access to long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as IUDs, for women who want them. But there have been some pretty big hurdles, particularly at hospitals in Texas.

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized so-called "sanctuary cities" and threatened cuts in federal funding if local governments do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to detain people in their jails who may be undocumented. In Austin, both the city and county government have resisted some federal hold requests, and Mayor Steve Adler says he’s looking for clarification as to the federal government’s intentions.

The Texas Legislature is in full swing. And, while lawmakers typically wait until the waning weeks of the session to get anything done, we're answering some of your questions about what goes on under the granite dome for our TXDecides project.

Today's question, submitted by Charles Douglas III:

What is a typical ratio between the number of bills proposed versus the number of bills voted on during a legislative session?

This summer, it will be a year since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a strict abortion law in Texas. Half of the state’s abortion providers closed after the 2013 law, known as House Bill 2, went into effect.

Fifteen percent of undergraduate women at the University of Texas at Austin say they have been raped, according to a

From Texas Standard:

It’s no surprise that the Texas population continue to grow. The state’s major cities are all getting bigger, but it’s the areas surrounding the urban core – the suburbs – where growth rates are highest.

From Texas Standard:

Reform of the Texas foster care system has been an elusive goal for state lawmakers. A federal judge ruled the system unconstitutional and "broken" two years ago. One proposal that has received support in the current legislative session would have the state contract with religious organizations and other non-profits to provide care for foster children. But the idea has received pushback from some of the religious groups themselves.

 

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