Government

Bexar County Budget
10:18 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Proposed Bexar County Budget For FY 2015 Would Lower Property Tax Rate

Bexar Co. deputies in 2013 rallied in favor of spending for jail needs in last year's county budget talks
Credit Eileen Pace

  

On Tuesday the Bexar County manager unveiled a budget proposal that would lower the county’s property tax rate in fiscal 2015.

The proposed budget includes investments in law enforcement, mental health programs and the justice system.

Next year’s budget proposes to lower the property tax rate by 1.2 cents per $100 valuation after commissioners voted unanimously for a deeper cut than that recommended by the county manager.

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Texas Politics
3:58 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Gov. Perry's Legal Team Files To Have Case Dismissed

Gov. Perry's mugshot taken at the Travis County Jail last week.
Credit Travis County Jail

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team has filed a constitutional challenge seeking to dismiss his two-count felony indictment.

In a writ of habeas corpus filed today, the governor’s legal team contends there are problems with separation of powers, rights to free speech, and say the penal code used to charge Perry is vague and overboard; that it doesn’t clearly define what is and isn’t permissible under the law.  

University of Texas at Austin School of Law professor Jennifer Laurin said this type of challenge has a very limited set of arguments.

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Texas Politics
2:27 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Lawmaker Says Public Integrity Unit Will Likely Move Out Of Travis County DA Office

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

The state’s public integrity unit has filed a request with the governor’s office and legislative budget officials to restore funding to the agency in 2015.

But that effort may not be possible unless the unit is moved out of the Travis County district attorney’s office, which is headed by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said she would like to see the unit moved in 2015. In a statement, Nelson wrote that "we need to move the unit somewhere less partisan."

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Texas Politics
12:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

The Story Of The Other Texas Governor Indicted For Vetoing Funds

1914 Jim Ferguson campaign literature. Image URL: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/governors/personality/pferguson-pro-2.html
Credit Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Rick Perry isn't the first Texas governor to stare down an indictment for his actions in the office. 

In 1917 the Travis County district attorney’s office filed an indictment against then Gov. Jim “Pa” Ferguson for vetoing the budget of the University of Texas.

Professor Don Carleton, who heads up the Dolph Briscoe American History Center at the University of Texas at Austin, described the political climate at the time as being a prohibition vs. anti-prohibition, rural vs. urban environment of political bosses, and Ferguson certainly was that.

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Texas Politics
9:44 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Rick Perry’s Legal Bill For Indictment Defense Will Be Picked Up By His Campaign

Gov. Rick Perry addressed the media on Tuesday before heading into the Travis County Justice Center to be booked.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

The cost of Texas Gov. Rick Perry legal dream team, who is fighting his two-count indictment, isn’t one that is expected to come cheap, but the governor’s campaign has announced it will be picking up the tab.

In the last two month just prior to Perry’s indictment, the governor's office said his legal tab for one attorney was running just over $80,000. Perry has since added three more attorneys to work on his defense.

Lucy Nashed, a spokesperson with the governor's office, said the Texas taxpayers have nothing to fear regarding the cost of the case.

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Charter Amendment
4:36 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Streetcar Charter Amendment Heads To Full Council

A draft of the charter amendment approved without changes.
Joey Palacios Texas Public Radio

An amendment to the city charter regarding a public vote for future streetcar and lightrail funding is heading to the city council.

A governance committee comprised of Mayor Ivy Taylor and four council members voted to approve the one sentence amendment. The first step of putting the streetcar amendment on the ballot has passed.

Abbreviated, it states that any grant of permission to alter or damage any public way for streetcar or lightrail tracks or any funds or bonds appropriated for such projects must be approved by a majority of voters.

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Texas Politics
12:51 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Perry's Legal Team Releases Findings That Veto Had Nothing To Do With CPRIT Investigation

On Tuesday evening, Gov. Perry addressed the media outside the Travis County Justice Complex before heading in to be booked.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team is dismissing accusations that the governor’s veto of the state public integrity unit’s budget was related to another ongoing investigation involving the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.   

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Texas Politics
4:25 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Governor Perry Pleads Not Guilty To Two Felony Counts

Gov. Rick Perry's mugshot.
Credit Travis County Jail

Update (8/20):  Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team are waiving their client's right to an arraignment and Perry has pleaded not guilty to both felony counts involving abusing the power of his office.

Perry is charged with abuse of power, a first-degree felony punishable by 5-99 years in jail, and coercion, a third-degree felony punishable by 10 years in jail. 

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Border Security
1:31 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Border Patrol Issues Law Enforcement Alert After Late-Night Incident With Texas Militia

Credit U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

The U.S. Border Patrol remains on high alert, issuing a warning to all law enforcement agencies operating along the Rio Grande Valley after encountering a militia group hiding in the brush during the recent arrest of a group of migrants crossing the border.   

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Von Ormy
1:08 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

City Of Von Ormy Poised To Eliminate Property Tax

Credit City of Von Ormy

The small southwestern Bexar County town of Von Ormy is attempting to run its city without the aid of a city property tax starting next year.

The city of Von Ormy incorporated in 2008 and since 2009, its mayor, Art Martinez de Vara, has vowed to remove the city portion out of its resident’s property taxes. Martinez de Vara said even without property taxes the city’s budget will increase 30% for the next fiscal year. That’s due to increasing sales taxes.

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