Government

Texas Legislature
3:31 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Committee Discusses Surveillance Bill And Potential Effect On Boston Bombing

Flickr user Frédéric Bisson (zigazou76) cc

A bill addressing privacy issues would require police and other state agencies to develop signage for any area of the state under the watch of a surveillance camera.  

The House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety heard House Bill 3165, which not only requires that those using surveillance cameras put up a notice, it also requires those agencies have a website where the public can view a live stream of what is being filmed.

Read more
Texas Legislature
1:21 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

First Working Weekend For House Turning Into "O.K. Corral Day"

Oleg Volt Wikipedia Commons

The Texas House is gearing up for their first working weekend and there are 15 gun bills scheduled for discussion and possible vote. Some lawmakers are also referring to it as "Survivalist Saturday."

Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, sat down to discuss some of the bills, including his own that reduces the amount of training required for a concealed handgun

Read more
Texas Legislature
10:58 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Though Privacy Concerns Cited, State Immunization Registry Bill Passes House

Ryan Poppe TPR News

House Bill 772 changes the way the state records immunizations and has ruffled a few feathers in the Texas House. 

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, said the bill is not about tracking a person based on the number of immunizations, it’s about convenience.

Read more
Texas Legislature
5:05 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Gov. Perry Voices Disapproval Of Larson's "Pay-It-Back" Bill

Rep. Lyle Larson

Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, who authored House Bill 160, which mandates Gov. Rick Perry pay back the state for travel and security expenses incurred during his presidential campaign, got his chance to talk to Perry about it face to face.  

Read more
Texas Legislature
12:58 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

House Committee Checks In On West Explosion Investigation

House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety questions investigators.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety heard from the chief investigators of the explosion at the West fertilizer plant this morning at the state capitol.

Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, told lawmakers that the state uses an EPA law that places the responsibility for responding to emergency at the local level.

Read more
Texas Legislature
9:11 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Bill To Register And Track Family Violence Offenders Passes House

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The Texas House has passed House Bill 21, which sets up a statewide database to track the location of repeat offenders that have been convicted of family violence.  

The bill, which is authored by Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio, sets up a registry of anyone convicted three times on charges of family violence and/or child abuse. 

Read more
Texas Legislature
2:38 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Are Texas Public Schools Criminalizing Children By Ticketing Students For Misbehavior?

Flickr user TN Drum Guy cc

Two Senate lawmakers and the chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court are asking the state to look into the possible disparity of minority children being criminally ticketed for misbehaving in the classroom. 

"An estimated 300,000 misdemeanor tickets are issued in our state’s schools each year," said Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson. "We are criminalizing our children for non-violent offenses."

Read more
Texas Legislature
1:12 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Texas Restaurant Industry Supports Bill To Ban Use Of Trans Fats

Flickr user Ross Belmont (rossbelmont) cc

Much like laws in the other states that ban restaurants and food eateries from using trans fats, Texas senators are now considering a similar measure in House Bill 1359.  

"The bill prohibits the use of any trans fats above .5 grams, and it doesn’t have any enforcement provisions in it, but it does allow the food inspection department to provide some grading on the restaurants using or not using trans fats," said Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, who authored the bill.

Read more
Texas Constitution
11:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Castro Seeking City Attorney Opinion Following Attorney General Ruling On Domestic Benefits

Mayor Julian Castro is asking the city attorney's office how San Antonio would be affected by the AG's ruling that domestic partner benefits are unconstitutional.
Ryan Loyd TPR

In response to a request by state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has issued an opinion on domestic partner benefits.

Abbott said cities, school districts and other "political subdivisions" who allow benefits to domestic partners are in violation of the Texas Constitution.

Read more
Texas Legislature
10:25 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Senate Passes Water Funding Bill, House Variation Is "Doorknob Dead"

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Lawmakers in the Texas Senate wasted no time passing a bill to fund the future of Texas’ water needs, passing Senate Bill 4 by unanimous vote within the stretch of just a few hours. 

Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, authored the bill that sets up the structure of awarding 500 water projects over the next 50 years.  

Read more

Pages