Government

Texas Legislature
1:23 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Bill For Total Cell Phone Ban In And Around School Zones On Final Vote

Chris Eudaily TPR

Currently drivers are required to put down their cell phone while driving through the areas of a school, which are usually governed by flashing lights and warning signs. 

House Bill 347, which was authored by Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, and sponsored by Sen. Bob Nichols, R-Jacksonville, takes that law two steps further.

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New Braunfels
12:09 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

New Braunfels Set To Vote On Dog-Friendly Restaurants And Pedicabs

Ryan Loyd TPR

The City of New Braunfels will take a final vote on some consumer-friendly ordinances at its next meeting.

In April the city took an initial reading on an ordinance to allow people to bring their dogs with them to dinner or the bar if the restaurant or bar has a patio.

New Braunfels Mayor Gale Pospisil said the ordinance known as "paws on the patio" would require business owners to apply for the permit, which has a few restrictions.

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City Council Elections
11:12 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Rebecca Viagran Unseats Ozuna With Ease In District 3

Rebecca Viagran talks to supporters on election night after she handily won the District 3 seat.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

San Antonio's South Side has a new councilwoman to represent them at City Hall. Rebecca Viagran clinched 51 percent of the vote, surging far above Leticia Ozuna’s 38 percent.

Ozuna, although not truly an incumbent because she was appointed to the seat a year and a half ago to fill Jennifer Ramos’ unexpired term, was running her first race and expected to win the seat.

She cited experience and her work on technology issues for the city as reasons she should come back for a full term. Mayor Julián Castro also endorsed her.

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City Council Elections
11:01 am
Mon May 13, 2013

City Election Wrap: Easy Wins, An Upset And Two Runoffs

Shirley Gonzales led the five challengers in District 5 and now faces incumbent David Medina in a June 15 runoff.
Ryan Loyd TPR

Saturday's city council election wrapped up with several decisive victories for incumbents, but a few races are still to be decided.

District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña beat his challenger with 84 percent of the vote, East Side Councilwoman Ivy Taylor will be returning for a third term, Ray Lopez of District 6 and Cris Medina of District 7 each won their races handily, as did District 9 and 10 Council Members Elisa Chan and Carlton Soules.

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Texas Legislature
4:29 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Texas Moves Closer To Becoming Second State To Pass Drone Bill

One of 10 Predator B drones that DHS uses to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border. This plane is based in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Hernán Rozemberg

With the growing number of drones being used by by law enforcement and the public, Texas lawmakers are taking up the issue to try and set some ground rules.

House Bill 912 would restrict the use of drones, and is inching closer to becoming law. 

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Texas Legislature - Transportation
3:42 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

With Transportation Bill Pulled, Is There Still Hope To Fix Texas Roads?

Eileen Pace TPR

The likelihood of fixing Texas roads seems slim as Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, a leader of transportation in the House, withdrew his bill from the floor.  

The bill would have raised the state’s registration fee $50 to help pay for roads, but that was lowered to a $15 increase as the bill was debated. 

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City Council
2:34 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Following Recent Ethics Questions, City Council Votes To Raise Standards

Councilwoman Elisa Chan came under fire for not disclosing that her North Side business bordered the site for a proposed branch library.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

New ethics standards are on their way to San Antonio City Hall as the city council voted to add changes to the ethics code after several recent incidents cast a shadow of doubt on city leaders.

The most recent incident was over the vote for a new District 9 library, which was located next to Councilwoman Elisa Chan’s North Side business.

At the time, city staffers working on the project knew the library and Chan’s business, Unitech, were bordering each other, but said nothing to the city council on the matter.

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Medicaid Expansion
1:35 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Update: Designer Of GOP Medicaid Expansion Plan Says Bill Is Dead

In mid-April both Texas Democrats (pictured) and Texas Republicans outlined plans to get federal dollars for Medicaid expansion.
Ryan Poppe TPR

Update: (May 9, 6:45 a.m.) A group of House Democrats are outraged that the Zerwas "Texas Solution" to Medicaid will not be scheduled for a debate or vote.

Donna Howard, D-Austin, said both sides of the House are calling the move to kill the bill highly suspicious.

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Texas Legislature
10:55 am
Wed May 8, 2013

House Follows Governor’s Marching Orders To Pass Small Business Tax Cuts

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The House passed House Bill 500, which would extend tax incentives to small businesses by using revenue usually reserved to fund schools.

Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, who authored the bill, said the state will replace the money for public education in the senate’s version of the budget bill.

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Affordable Care Act
2:15 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Another Try At Beating Obamacare From Texas Lawmakers & Small Business Owners

Ryan Poppe TPR

The group filing the federal lawsuit against U.S.Secretary of Health and Human Services Katheleen Sebelius and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is headed by Houston Dr. Steven F. Hotze and the Braidwood Management Group, who both say small businesses will find ways around the provisions listed in the Affordable Care Act.

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