Government

Texas Business
3:35 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

State Lawmakers Debate Future Of Texas Economic Incentive Programs

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

There is a divide among state lawmakers regarding economic incentive programs for new and expanding businesses.  Some lawmakers and state leaders question whether these programs remain useful and beneficial for the state's economic growth.

The debate centers on local and state tax credits and multi-million dollar grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund, which is controlled by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and has awarded more than $500 million to businesses since the fund was set up in 2003.  

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New Braunfels
5:54 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

NBU Wins $29.7 Million Lawsuit Against LCRA

Credit New Braunfels Utilities

A jury in Comal County has found in favor of New Braunfels Utilities in a lawsuit against the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The verdict could mean a nearly $30 million judgment against the LCRA for violating its contract with the local utility.

In returning the verdict in favor of NBU, the jury found that LCRA had breached its 1974 Wholesale Power Agreement with the utility and violated state law by charging excessive and discriminatory rates.

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Border & Immigration
3:43 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

RAICES Says 63% Of Minors At Lackland Qualify For Asylum, Sen. Cornyn Skeptical

Lackland dorms where the unaccompanied minors from Central America are being housed.
Credit U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

An internal review by the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) found 63% of the Central American children being housed at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio would qualify for some type of asylum relief.

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Voting Rights
1:19 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Davis And State Dems Planning To Monitor For Voter Suppression, Discrimination

Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and the Texas Democratic Party are launching a voter protection program to monitor voter suppression and discrimination on Election Day.

Davis predicts this election will have large voter turnout and she, along with the state party and Battleground Texas, are getting prepared for what could come down to a legal fight at the ballot box.

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Historic Designation
10:24 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Mahncke Park Residents Upset Over 30% Rule For Historic Designation

Dr. Gary Cox, speaking for the Property Rights Coalition of Mahncke Park, explains why his group opposes the current city ordinance.
Eileen Pace TPR News

An increasingly vocal group of homeowners is making its opposition known about turning the century-old Mahncke Park Neighborhood into a historic district.   

Sporting signs and t-shirts saying "51% should rule,” Mahcnke Park homeowners opposed to the historic designation rallied at a press conference to oppose the city process they say leaves residents powerless against a minority of property owners. 

The historic designation process kicks in after 30% of homeowners make an official request, and the law does not require the agreement of a majority.

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Texas Teachers
4:40 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Senate Lawmakers Examine Ways To Solve Teaching Shortage In Texas

Credit Flickr user Bill Selak / cc

Ahead of the 2015 legislative session, state lawmakers are examining what can be done to address the state’s shortage of teachers.  A senate committee asked leading education officials to make recommendations on how to improve retention levels while maintaining quality educators.

A report issued last year by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board showed the state has very little chance of meeting it’s teacher certification goal by 2015. That same report points out that 50% of new teachers move on to a different profession within the first five years.

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City Government
2:22 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Taylor Makes History As First African American Mayor Of San Antonio

Mayor Ivy Taylor addresses the media after the council meeting.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

When voting finally got underway Tuesday in a packed city council chamber, the top two candidates out of the four vying for the interim mayor position became clear: Ivy Taylor from District 2 and Ray Lopez from District 6, who secured all of the votes.

District 5 councilwoman Shirley Gonzales and District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg, both of whom are rookie council members, did not receive any votes.

In the initial round of voting, Taylor garnered four votes to Lopez's two. The second round tilted Taylor's direction even more, this time with a vote split of 5-3.

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Border & Immigration
11:59 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Rio Grande Valley Lawmaker Says The "Militarization" Of The Border Is Wrong For Texas

State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, is taking issue with Gov. Rick Perry’s executive action to activate the Texas National Guard along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Hinojosa applauded the efforts of the Department of Public Safety’s border surge Operation Strong Safety, which is a state-led effort to provide more security along the border and plug up any holes that cartels may be using for criminal activity.

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Border Security
10:50 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Gov. Perry Orders National Guard Troops To The Border

Gov. Rick Perry (at podium), (L-R) DPS Director Steve McCraw, Texas Adjunct General John Nichols, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

While waiting for the federal government to do something about the situation on the border with Mexico, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has decided to take action into his own hands, ordering a deployment of Texas National Guard troops.

Perry said the majority of those crossing the border are here to commit crimes and only a small percentage are unaccompanied minors.

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Border Security
12:56 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Gov. Perry Expected To Send National Guard Troops To The Border

Gov. Rick Perry announces the deployment of 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border. Standing with him is (L-R) DPS Director Steve McCraw, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Credit Office of the Governor

According to the McAllen Monitor, a newspaper covering South Texas, Gov. Rick Perry is expected to announce that he will be sending 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley near the Texas-Mexico Border.

Perry is hoping to deter the influx of illegal crossings by staging troops in South Texas.

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