Government

Environment
2:40 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

After Years Of Contention, EPA Backs Down On Texas Clean Air Permitting

EPA

Officials with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached an agreement as it pertains to Texas’ clean air plan. The resolution allows major polluters like oil refineries some flexibility on clean air permits.

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Transportation
2:17 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

TxDOT Approves Creation Of High-Speed Rail Commission

The Texas Transportation Commission has given the green light to forming a high-speed rail commission to oversee a bullet train project between Fort Worth and Dallas. The Texas Department of Transportation agreed to take $15 million in federal funds in order to study the issue.

This week, commissioners set up a separate high-speed rail commission headed up by former transportation commissioner Bill Meadows.

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2014 Election
9:24 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Voter ID Reminder For 2014 Primary Election

Chris Eudaily TPR News

Voter ID certificates are now available at Texas DPS offices and county elections offices are working to get voters properly registered for next month’s early voting in the primary elections.

The Electronic Identification Certificate is the required document for all voters who do not already have a state or U.S. photo ID. According to the voter ID law that went into effect in November, every voter must show an acceptable form of ID to be allowed to cast their ballot.

Accepted photo IDs include:

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2014 Election
4:56 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Davis Says Opponents Picked A Fight With The "Wrong Texas Gal"

Screen shot from Wendy Davis' "A Texas Story" campaign video.
Wendy Davis for Governor

The daughters of likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis ran to her aide during a fundraising event in Austin. The state senator from Fort Worth also took a moment to, what she says, "set the record straight."

Before the candidate took the stage, her daughter Amber corrected some of the things being said about her mother’s parenting while she attended Harvard law school.

Davis said over the last 10 days Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has done everything possible to skew her story by taking issue with certain dates and her parenting skills.

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Texas Public Schools
5:03 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

SBOE Member Says He Hopes His Side Loses School Finance Trial

State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff.
State of Texas

Thomas Ratliff, a Republican seated on the State Board of Education, which is one of the defendants in the Texas school finance trial, says he hopes his side loses in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of how schools are funded in the state.

"I think we go back to the drawing board and put the school finance system back together without all the bubble gum and bailing wire we’ve added to it," Ratliff said. "The system is so out of whack that we’ve got A, big disparities; B, inefficient distribution system; and an inadequate funding level."

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2014 Election
2:50 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Political Expert Says Patterson Won Lt. Gov. Debate With "Common Sense" Answers

Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Jerry Patterson.
votepatterson.com

The Texas Democratic Party is critical of what was and wasn’t discussed during the first statewide debate between Republican candidates in the lieutenant governor’s race, but as far as who scored the highest debate points, one political expert picked an unexpected winner.

"If I had to pick a winner I would pick [Land Commissioner Jerry] Patterson because he sort of ruffled some feathers and made unexpected points," said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University.

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2014 Election
10:32 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Republican Lieutenant Governor Candidates Mostly In Line In First Debate

KERA

Republican candidates for lieutenant governor talked about everything from abortion to marijuana during the first statewide debate, but the one area that received little attention was education funding.

The first statewide debate started with questions about a state judge's recent decision to allow a Fort Worth family to stop life support for their 23-week pregnant mother after the hospital said it conflicted with one of the state’s pro-life laws. 

Current Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said the statue conflicts with other state laws.

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New Braunfels
5:44 am
Tue January 28, 2014

New Braunfels "Can Ban" Thrown Out By Court

Comal River in New Braunfels.
Flickr user Jeff Gunn cc

The New Braunfels ordinance that bans cans and large coolers on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers was overturned by a state judge.

The New Braunfels City Council banned cans; other disposable items, and large coolers from its rivers in 2011. Met with opposition from river outfitters, a group sued the city shortly after the council vote. A judge has indicated he will rule in favor of those outfitters.

James Ewbank, the attorney for the river outfitters, said the can ban was arbitrary:

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Election Campaigns
4:06 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Battleground Texas Groups Wary Of Undercover Videographers

With the recently-released video that shows an alleged Battleground Texas volunteer making remarks about Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott's disability, leaders within the group are telling organizers to be on the lookout for undercover members of Project Veritas, the group that released the video, and to not be baited into saying something they will regret.

But Battleground representatives say they will not be going to extremes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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Texas Politics
3:00 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Abbott Takes On Davis, Battleground Texas At Rally For Life

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott.
Courtesy photo

During his appearance at the Rally for Life event at the state capitol this morning, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott took the opportunity to criticize Wendy Davis, his likely opponent in the general election, and her supporters.

Abbott made sure to emphasize recent remarks allegedly made by Battleground Texas organizers about his disability.

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