Government

2014 Election
2:32 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

With Criticism Still Fresh From Legislative Sessions, Dewhurst Ramps Up Campaign

The first video by the Dewhurst campaign was issued several weeks ago and highlights his efforts in pushing through the final passage of the abortion bill in the second special session.
Dewhurst campaign video

Following a rough and rocky regular session and series of special sessions, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has announced he will seek another term.

Dewhurst has presided over the Texas Senate for over a decade, during the course of the first special session this summer, he faced criticism about his leadership and handling of the controversial abortion bill.

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Privacy
2:04 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

ACLU Suggests Legislative Check On License Plate Data Collected By Police

License plate readers quickly read license plates and relay any violations on record to the officer in the patrol car.
Flickr user Steven Perez (silas216) cc

An open records analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union released a few weeks ago shows that multiple Texas police departments are using license plate readers to capture and store information on the traveling patterns of everyday drivers.

Automatic license-plate readers are cameras mounted on police patrol cars, road signs and bridges that scan car license plates and check to see if there are any violations on record. According to Tom Hargis with the ACLU of Texas, many police departments in the state are keeping that data beyond the initial scan for years at a time.

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City Government
9:08 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Community Events Could Be On Chopping Block As City Looks At Budget Cuts

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal disagrees with Mayor Julián Castro's proposal to cut City Council Project Funds.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Ahead of the start of classes on Aug. 26, San Antonio City Council members are hosting community-wide back-to-school fairs in each of their districts.

At the same time, the city's budget is closing in on adoption and deep cuts will have to be made. Mayor Julián Castro is recommending a cut to member discretionary funds, which are known as City Council Project Funds and are used for community events like the back-to-school fairs.

Currently each district gets more than $61,000.

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84th Legislature
4:47 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Sen. Lucio Already Preparing His Adoption Class Bill For Next Session

Eileen Pace TPR News

State Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, was the only Democrat in the Texas Senate to vote for the controversial abortion bill earlier this summer, and said he will re-file his bill requiring women to take a class about adoption before they can get an abortion.

Lucio is not against providing extra healthcare funds to make services available, but is still true to his beliefs about abortion.

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November Ballot
4:03 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Political Action Committee Preparing To Mobilize Water Bill Support

Water was one of the big issues in the 83rd Legislature along with education and transportation funding.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Water Texas, a political action committee formed by Speaker of the House Joe Strauss, R-San Antonio, and Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland, is getting ready to start a campaign to encourage voters to approve the use of $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to help fund the next 50 years of water projects in Texas.

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Special Session Part III
3:00 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Lawmakers Wrap Third Special Session With Transportation Bill

Chris Eudaily TPR News

The final transportation bill will provide the Texas Department of Transportation with $1.2 billion per year in road funding from the Rainy Day Fund.

The speaker of the House and the lieutenant governor will appoint a ten-person committee each legislative session -- five members each of the House and Senate -- which will determine a sufficient balance in the Rainy Day Fund before money can be transferred into the State Highway Fund.

The Rainy Day Fund minimum will then have to be approved by the full House and Senate on a simple majority vote.

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Special Session Part III
4:15 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Patrick Requests Perry Add List Of Items To Special Session Agenda

State Sen. Dan Patrick.
State of Texas

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, who has announced his candidacy in the lieutenant governor's race, is calling on Gov. Rick Perry to add his school voucher bill, campus-carry bill and sanctuary city bill to the third special session agenda along with a full audit of CSCOPE.

CSCOPE -- an online education curriculum provider that was used by 877 school districts in the state -- has ended its services to state school districts following anti-American allegations from conservatives and political pressure led by Patrick.

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Special Session Part III
3:10 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Business Leaders Pushing For Transportation Bill Passage

Chris Eudaily TPR News

Pro-business groups are hoping to persuade House lawmakers to approve a transportation bill that has now been up for debate four times.

The transportation bill working its way through the House this special session involves using money from the Rainy Day Fund and has seen a little bit of controversy in the 83rd Legislature, but was still projected to pass during the first special session.

It failed because of the filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, which effectively ran the clock out on the session.

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2014 Election
11:58 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Democratic Party Hoping To "Turn Texas Blue" In 2014

Workers at the Stand With Texas Women Rally in San Antonio a few weeks ago registered people to vote as part of the party's push to "turn Texas blue."
David Martin Davies TPR News

Almost 200 Democratic party chairs from counties across Texas made their way to San Antonio over the weekend for training to "turn Texas blue," as the party continues its marketing push to get to voters it feels it can persuade.

State Democratic Executive Committee member Susan Bankston said county chairs learned more about online outreach through social media. She said the party can be more efficient by focusing on the voters that are fed up.

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2014 Election
4:02 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Attorney General Race Heating Up Between Republican Lawmakers

The race is on to see which GOP candidate will secure the party nomination to fill current Attorney General Greg Abbott's shoes.
State of Texas

This Thursday, Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, announced his candidacy in the race for the attorney general's office, which came on the heels of news that Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, who is also running, had secured support from six of current Attorney General Greg Abbott’s former top-aides.

This week Branch also released a campaign video that promises his voter base that he would continue to fight against abortion rights and Gay Marriage.

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