Government

Abortion In Texas
9:37 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Federal Three-Judge Panel Deciding Fate Of Texas Abortion Clinic Restriction Law

Anti-abortion protesters outside the Stand With Texas Women rally in San Antonio this summer, when debate over the then bill reached a boiling point..
David Martin Davies TPR News

With final arguments and questioning now complete, it is now up to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans to decide whether or not the new Texas abortion clinic restriction law is constitutional.

Kyleen Wright, who is the president of the anti-abortion group Texans for Life, was inside the courtroom in New Orleans and said based on the questions federal judges had, the law, in her opinion, stands a good chance of being upheld.

"They were very skeptical that this ever rose to the level of emergency that they created," Wright said.

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Affordable Care Act
4:46 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Additional TDI Navigator Requirements Will Cost About $1,000 Per Person

Healthcare.gov
U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The Texas Department of Insurance is hearing it’s final set of feedback regarding state-mandated requirements for federal navigators working for Texas nonprofits. Those requirements include registration and training fees that are near $1,000 per person.

The additional rulemaking by the TDI is a result of a letter submitted by Gov. Rick Perry about his concerns on the lack of federal requirements for navigators, and a state law authored by state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who spoke against the new rules.

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2014 Governor's Race
9:35 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Davis And Abbott Step Up Campaigning Following Finance Chair's Payday Loan Comments

Ryan Poppe/David Martin Davies TPR News

A political expert says the ongoing battle over remarks made by Texas Finance Commission Chairman William White, who is also vice president of Cash America, a payday lending company, is a glimpse at how the rest of the 2014 governor’s race will play out.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis called for White to resign from his position following comments he made about consumers and payday lending companies, saying that White's position at a such a company compromises his ability to act as a fair regulator of the industry.

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New Laws In 2014
3:00 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Concealed Handgun License Applications In Texas No Longer Require Social Security Number

Flickr user David Trawin (trawin) cc

A new law going into 2014 says applicants will no longer be required to provide a social security number when applying for or renewing a concealed handgun license. The new law was authored by state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio.

So what does this mean for the general public and those in the CHL business?

"Some people were just concerned about providing all their personal information," said Michael Cargill, who owns Central Texas Gun Works and is a CHL instructor. "You really don’t need a social security number to do a background check on someone."

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Government
3:59 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Texas Architects Now Required To Be Fingerprinted Under New Law

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A new law that took effect Jan. 1 adds architects to the number of professionals in Texas that are required to be fingerprinted when renewing or applying for their license.

That information will be stored with the Department of Public Safety and Federal Bureau of Investigation's criminal background database.

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Government
3:30 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Thanks To New Law, You Will Be Paying More For Mixed Drinks In Texas

Flickr user Joel Olives cc

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, the state will lower how much they charge bars and restaurants with the Texas Mixed Beverage Tax, which decreased from 14 percent down to 7 percent, but those purchasing a mixed drink will face a new surcharge of 8.25 percent, the same tax that is charged for the sale of beer and wine.

Austin businessman Bob Woody, who owns a restaurant, five brewpubs and a bar, said the new law will greatly benefit lounges and restaurants because the bill directly shows the new surcharge, but it may be problematic for high-volume bars.

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Bexar County
3:08 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

More Than $5 Million, The Largest Delinquent Tax Debt In Bexar County, Finally Paid

Bexar County

Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Albert Uresti has announced a multi-million dollar delinquent tax collection.

Taxing jurisdictions in Bexar County, including Northside ISD and the City of San Antonio, will be getting their share of more than $5 million after The Dominion Park Apartments on Fredericksburg Road paid its delinquent tax bill.

Uresti said the multi-family housing complex owed that amount in back taxes after its efforts failed to gain an exemption as a community housing development organization (CHDO) over a period of five years, from 2008 to 2012.

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U.S. Congress
9:34 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Castro Sees Challenges Ahead For Congress On Immigration & Farm Bill

Congressman Joaquín Castro (left) with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (center) and his brother, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (right).
David Martin Davies TPR News

U.S. Congressman Joaquín Castro of San Antonio said he fears the nation will not see the passage of several key bills, including comprehensive immigration reform.

Castro said despite majority support for a comprehensive immigration bill, it will be tough to get something passed on Capitol Hill because of rulemaking.

"So really the big issue is: Is the speaker (Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio) going to stick to the Hastert Rule, which says he won’t allow a piece of legislation to come to the floor unless it has the support of the majority of the majority?" Castro said.

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2014 Election
2:35 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Todd Staples Makes "Contract With Texans" In 2014 Campaign Push

Todd Staples campaign photo.
www.toddstaples.com

Todd Staples’ campaign for lieutenant governor has launched a new effort called a "Contract with Texans," where he outlines ten steps for creating a stronger Texas.

Staples is the current agriculture commissioner and is promising to usher in a new generation of leadership. He is one of four Republican candidates running in a very heated and controversial primary election.

Staples released a signed contract with ten promises he intends to keep as lieutenant governor, if he is elected, one of which is to secure the Texas border.

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Texas Legislature
2:16 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Looking Back At Bipartisan Success And Fierce Debates In The 83rd Legislature

Eileen Pace TPR News

From beer bills and a kumbaya legislative sessions to abortion bills and protests, Texas Public Radio takes a look back at some of 2013 legislative highlights.

The 83rd Legislature had several phases, the first of which was what has been commonly called the Texas lawmakers "kumbaya" session, where Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, was able to pass legislation with bipartisan support for a bill that gives Texas beer makers an opportunity to sell their craft beyond their brew pubs.

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