Government

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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Abortion In Texas
10:05 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Attorneys Expect Quick Decision In Case Involving New Texas Abortion Clinic Restrictions

Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue rally outside the Stand With Texas Women rally in San Antonio this summer. Abortion has been a heated issue this year as the legislature pushed through strict abortion clinic restrictions in the last session.
David Martin Davies TPR News

Less than a week after the start of the New Year, attorneys for abortions rights groups and attorneys with the Texas attorney general’s office will once again face off in the case arguing the merits of Texas’ new abortion law and its constitutionality.  

Esha Bhandari, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, said late last week they made their arguments against the new abortion restrictions to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

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2014 Governor's Race
9:41 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Davis Campaign Pressing Abbott On School Vouchers

Ryan Poppe/David Martin Davies TPR News

The race for the next governor of Texas has already hit on controversial issues like reproductive rights and the future of Medicaid, but public school funding is also making its way into the discussion, and in particular, school vouchers.

Vouchers work like this: A state assigns each school-age child an amount of money that they can spend how they want. They can take it to their local school district, or take it to a private religious school or a charter school.

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Government
5:17 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Council Again Rejects $1 Million Rental Car Facility Contractor

San Antonio City Council members strengthened their stance on a proposal to spend $1 million for an airport car rental facility technical representative.

At the start of the debate, District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules joked that in the spirit of Christmas, he would promise not to ask questions for more than an hour and a half, which was actually about how long the debate lasted.

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Government
12:09 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Lawmakers Chastise UT Regent For Failing To Testify

Marsha Miller University of Texas

Texas lawmakers in charge of investigating the actions of University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall say they’re deeply offended by the embattled Regent not showing up to testify. Hall’s attorney is demanding his client be subpoenaed and given legal protections.

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Government
11:54 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Former Head Of TxDOT Named LCRA’s General Manager

Lake Buchanan.
©Aaron Bates Photography. Twitter @AaronBatesPhoto

Texas Department of Public Transportation CEO Phil Wilson has been called a "problem solver" by current members of the Lower Colorado River Authority Board. As LCRA’s new General Manager, he’ll need to be just that as the Board has recently voted to stop the flow of water headed downstream from Lakes Travis and Buchanan to Texas’ rice farming region for the third year in a row. 

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