Government

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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Politics
1:52 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Davis Asks Gov. Perry To Remove Finance Committee Chair With Links To Payday Lending Industry

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

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who is running for governor in 2014, is calling on Gov. Rick Perry to remove William White, the chairman of the state’s Finance Commission, following comments White made to the El Paso Times about payday lenders and the people that use them.

In the article, White says that blame for debt trouble belongs on the consumers and not the companies that make the loans.

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2014 Election
10:48 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Davis Hopes For Boost From Nationwide Gubernatorial Push By Democrats

Wendy Davis in Rackspace at a San Antonio campaign stop.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Republicans have been accused of waging a "war on women," but numbers tell a different story: Republicans have elected four seated women governors in recent years, while Democrats have elected one. 

Democratic leaders backed by national women’s groups are trying to turn that around with the election of six high-profile gubernatorial candidates in 2014, one of those being state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. 

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Government
12:51 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Congressman Castro Calls On Lawmakers To Reinstate Unemployment Benefits

Congressman Joaquín Castro at a town hall meeting earlier this year.
Eileen Pace TPR News

One of the first things U.S. Congressman Joaquín Castro is hoping to accomplish for 2014 is to reinstate the country’s extended unemployment benefits that expired this past weekend.

Democrats on Capitol Hill are vowing to fight to reinstate those benefits for the 1.3 million Americans still struggling to find work. Castro told NBC's "Meet The Press" that Congress needs to make this a priority as a first order of business in 2014.

"In Texas alone we’ve got 66,000 people who lost their benefits, 235,000 people in all who will lose their benefits midway in 2014," Castro said.

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City Government
3:14 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

McAuliffe 8th Graders Take Action To Get Sidewalks For Their School

McAuliffe Middle School is located on the frontage road of Loop 410 near Old Pearsall Road. Students petitioned the city for sidewalks in front of the school to make it safer for families to access the campus.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

If you want something, just ask, and eighth graders at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in the Southwest ISD are learning that lesson first hand this holiday season.

They decided to write letters to their city councilman, Rey Saldaña, to ask for sidewalks in front of their school. McAuliffe is located on the frontage road of Loop 410 near Old Pearsall Road, and does not have sidewalks to let parents and students access the campus safely.

"They're all really good," said Saldaña as he flipped through the letters inside the city hall chambers.

He then read them aloud:

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Campaign Finance
1:11 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

FEC Questioning Allegations Of Excessive Donations To Congressman Steve Stockman

Congressman Steve Stockman official congresisonal photo.
U.S. Congress

Congressman Steve Stockman, one of the leading candidates in 2014 running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. John Cornyn, is being questioned by the Federal Election Commission. The commission has asked to clarify two sets of alleged excessive donations.

Stockman received the donations following a bill he introduced in March that would give gaming rights to the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe.

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Education
11:02 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Number Of First-Year Teachers In Texas Down While Student Enrollment Swells

The TEA is hoping the number of first-year teachers will increase to meet the demand of the 60,000-70,000 new students each year.
Texas Education Agency

Education experts and state agencies are citing a number of reasons for the lack of first-year educators in the state. In the last four years, the number of new teachers in Texas has seen a sharp decline.

According to a new report, Texas had fewer than 15,000 first-year teachers hired last year, which is down from the 25,000 in 2008. So why the decline? Debbie Ratcliffe with the Texas Education Agency said there are a number of reasons for the drop.

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City Government
1:46 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Preliminary Numbers Show City Is $13M Ahead This Year

City of San Antonio

San Antonio's end-of-year check on its financial status indicates the city is $13.6 million ahead.

The added revenue from property taxes, sales tax, CPS Energy, and licenses, permits and user fees brought in the extra money that city leaders hadn't planned on.

That revenue brings the city's reserve balance to $21.2 million to help balance fiscal year 2015.

The city adopted the 2014 budget in September. At that time, the city faced a budget gap and predicted another one for 2015 to the tune of $30 million.

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