Government

City Utilities
2:09 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

CPS Energy To Make Case For 4.75 Percent Rate Increase

CPS Energy

Nearly one week after the city council adopted its 2014 budget, members will begin hearing from leaders at CPS Energy about a possible rate hike.

CPS last raised rates in 2010 and passed up an opportunity to raise rates last year because the utility said it found efficiencies within the organization and delayed certain infrastructure projects.

This time, CPS Energy will ask for a 4.75 percent rate increase, which would equal a $5.19 hike to the average CPS Energy bill.

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City Government
5:12 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

City Budget Shakeup Reveals Some Wins, Some Losses

Councilwoman Elisa Chan and Councilman Carlton Soules listen to residents during a recent council meeting.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

San Antonio city leaders swept through a $2.3 billion budget amid negotiations in the final hour that added line items back in that previously had been eliminated.

With the majority of the city council favoring the amendments, and the 2014 budget as proposed, residents will begin seeing some of the effects.

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Distillery Laws
3:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Texas Celebrates Distilled Spirits Month

Flickr user The Travelista cc

This week Gov. Rick Perry issued a declaration naming September "Craft Distilled Spirits Month" in to celebrate the passage of four bills all authored by state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio.

"There were so many laws that we had that were outdated and really didn’t foster the type of entrepreneurship and Texas jobs in both the craft beer industry and in the distilled spirits side," Van De Putte said. "We looked at those and looked at everything that we could do to promote our Texas economy."

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Government
11:29 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Feds Deny Education Commissioner's Testing Request

TEA Commissioner Michael Williams.
Christopher C. Leonard cc

The U.S. Department of Education has denied the Texas Education Commissioner’s waiver to opt-out of  testing requirements connected to the No Child Left Behind program.

Since taking office, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has petitioned the federal government to allow Texas to opt-out of 15 provisions in the Department of Education program known as No Child Left Behind.

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Bexar County
9:12 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Commissioners Approve Bexar County Budget

Bexar County

  Bexar County Commissioners have approved a budget of $1.6 billion for the coming fiscal year, which includes an increase of $2.5 million in record management funds -- things like fees for platting and marriage licenses.

The property tax rate did not increase, but Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Wolff explained in court Tuesday morning that in good economic times when property values go up, taxpayers are often confused about why their tax bill is higher.

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Texas Supreme Court
5:14 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Gov. Perry Appoints New Chief Justice

Texas Supreme Court justices, January 2013. Hecht is seated on left (in blue tie) and Jefferson is seated in the middle.
State of Texas

Gov. Rick Perry has announced a successor to lead the Texas Supreme Court following the resignation of Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson.

Perry has appointed Justice Nathan Hecht to replace Jefferson, who announced his departure starting Oct. 1. Hecht has become known as a champion of indigent defense ensuring that everyone has access to legal aid.

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Redistricting - 2014 Election
12:23 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Court Approves Interim Maps For 2014 Election

San Antonio-area state House districts approved by the 83rd Legislature 2013-2014.
State of Texas District Viewer

Late Friday a federal court in San Antonio decided that the State of Texas could use voting maps from this summer’s special session on a temporary basis ahead of the 2014 March primaries. 

The decision is the latest in the on-going battle in the state over redistricting and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is claiming this one as a victory.

Abbott released this statement:

"We are pleased that the court agreed to allow the 2014 elections to proceed on time using the new maps drawn by the legislature. That certainly benefits all Texans."  

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Non-Discrimination Ordinance
3:59 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Abbott Says San Antonio NDO Is Subject To Legal Challenge

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
State of Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said there is a provision in the city’s non-discrimination ordinance that silences anyone who may have a disagreement with the newly updated ordinance, which provides protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.

"I believe that violates the first amendment -- both freedom of speech and freedom of religion -- and violates the Texas Constitution. And I believe that makes the San Antonio ordinance subject to a legal challenge," Abbott said.

Now the question is if Abbott will take legal action.

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Transportation
1:03 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Clock Ticking For Options In South Texas Gravel Road Conversion Plan

At least 83 miles of roads in South Texas could be converted to gravel in a TxDOT proposal.
Larry D. Moore Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Stakeholders met with oil company officials to discuss a solution to the South Texas gravel road conversion proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Both sides aired out their frustrations against TxDOT’s plan to quickly convert the crumbling roads in South Texas to gravel or have counties take over the maintenance for these state roads.

Marathon Oil’s Hugo Gutierrez said his company is willing to shoulder some of the transportation cost, but that becomes complicated:

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2014 Election
10:18 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Davis Supporters Will Continue To Wait, Opponents "Look Bad"

Sen. Davis speaking at a pro-choice rally outside the capitol on July 1.
Senator Wendy R. Davis Facebook

Earlier this month, state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, postponed her announcement about the 2014 governor’s race to tend to her ailing father. Now that he has passed away, her decision continues to sit in limbo.

Grace Garcia runs the women’s democratic group Annie’s List, one of the groups leading the charge for Davis to run for governor, and said they are taking a break from the politics until "the appropriate time."

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