Government

Border & Immigration
9:48 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Straus, Perry & Dewhurst Sign Off On $1.3 Million Per Week DPS Border Security Push

Credit U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have signed off on a plan pledging $1.3 million per week for the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide border security. But some are criticizing the state for not using the money strictly for humanitarian efforts.

The recent surge of immigrants coming into Texas, among them tens of thousands of unaccompanied children, has the U.S. Border Patrol in a crisis mode.

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Transportation
2:37 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Speed Limit Changes Throughout Day In TxDOT Pilot Program On Loop 1604

TxDOT displays some of the digitial speed limit signs that will be used in the pilot.
TxDOT

Later this month, the speed limits on a portion of Loop 1604 will change, and in some instances, frequently change throughout the day with a new system being piloted by TxDOT.

Imagine driving on loop 1604 and a new digital speed limit sign on the side of the road changes from 60 to 55. The signs are a new variable speed limit system TxDOT is deploying here in San Antonio, in Eastland County and Waco. The system is used in other states like Florida.

TxDOT spokeswoman Laura Lopez said the system is designed as a safety measure.

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Texas Politics
12:14 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Texas GOP Chairman Munisteri Speaks Out Against Reparative Therapy

Credit Republican Party of Texas

This week the Republican Party of Texas released it’s finalized 2014 platform, which includes a line item addressing support for voluntary "reparative therapy" for gays and lesbians.

"We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy."

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Campaign Finance
4:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals Weighing Tom DeLay's Overturned Conviction

Tom DeLay outside the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

Former House Majority leader Tom DeLay and his attorneys argued the merits of whether Delay’s 2010 money laundering conviction should remain overturned or if the original punishment should stand.

DeLay was found guilty of taking money donated to his political action committee and feeding it into a number of Texas Republican's campaigns.

In 2013 his conviction was overturned because checks are not considered funds, therefore the prosecution lacked evidence. But earlier this year the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to hear an appeal of that overturned conviction.

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Border & Immigration
4:50 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

State Lawmakers Petition Gov. Perry For Special Sesson On Border Security

Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

A group of state lawmakers concerned with the surge of unaccompanied minors making their way to Texas are petitioning Gov. Rick Perry to call a special session to address the issue. But the governor is showing no sign that he will oblige.

A group of state lawmakers have draw up some estimates of what it would cost the state to use Department of Public Safety state troopers to run 24/7 border operations: about $67 million. One of the only ways to get the money appropriated is for the governor to call a special session.

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International Trade
4:28 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

South Texas Lawmaker Urges House To Prepare For Mexican Natural Gas Boom

Landmark reforms that could lead to a deregulation of the Mexico oil industry has a Texas state lawmaker wanting to explore how the state could benefit.  

Early this year Mexico passed one set of reforms in regard to the country’s oil exploration and now the state-run oil company PEMEX is seeking investors and private companies with the skill to help extract one of the biggest oil reserves in the world.   

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Mayor Julián Castro
1:50 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Castro Has First HUD Sec. Confirmation Hearing Tuesday

Mayor Julian Castro greeted children as they arrived for their first day of Pre-K 4 SA in the fall of 2013.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will go before a Senate confirmation committee Tuesday, the first step in the process of becoming the new leader of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In May, President Barack Obama nominated the three-term San Antonio mayor for the job, replacing Shaun Donovan.

If confirmed, Castro said while he'll be focused on housing in his new role, he's always been a strong supporter of education and hopes that's how he'll be remembered.

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Veterans Affairs
4:41 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Perry Puts Forward Plan To Expedite Veterans Health Care, Cut Wait Times

Credit Texas governor's office

Speaking outside the opening of a new medical center at Fort Hood, Gov. Rick Perry announced a plan that uses groups of hospitals to provide speedier medical services to military veterans who have waited months to be seen by a doctor at U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs medical clinics.   

That plan includes hospitals throughout the state willing to work with the federal government to speed up the time it takes for a veteran to be seen by a doctor.

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The Two-Way
10:43 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Texas Rep. Sessions Withdraws From Bid For Majority Leader Post

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, in a hearing of the House Rules Committee last month. Sessions withdrew his name from consideration to replace outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:52 am

Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who had been see as a possible replacement for outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, issued a statement late Thursday saying he was pulling his name from consideration.

"After thoughtful consideration and discussion with my colleagues, I have made the decision to not continue my run for House Majority Leader," Sessions said in a statement quoted by Politico.

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Gay Rights
1:44 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Rick Perry Compares Homosexuality To Alcoholism At San Francisco Stop

Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Credit rickperry.org

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been in California all week for a series of meetings, one of which was a stop at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.

During an extended Q&A session, Perry was asked whether he thought homosexuality was a disorder. This was his response, filmed by San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX-TV:

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