Government

Special Session - Abortion
5:35 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Opposing Rallies Sing Different Songs At The State Capitol

The scene at the state capitol this morning in a picture posted on Twitter by Rep Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio. Those wearing orange are pro-choice supporters.
Trey Martinez Fischer Facebook

Thousands of people swarmed to the state capitol to cheer on state lawmakers on both sides of the abortion debate, and what some thought would be mayhem turned out to be a peaceful but loud rally both inside and outside the capitol.

Mounted police in riot gear watched over the crowds at the rally, but were not needed after all.

Inside, pro-life groups sang "Amazing Grace" over and over, following a press conference from mothers who had had an abortion that went wrong and who now wanted more restrictions for abortion providers.

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Texas Legislature - Special Session
2:22 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Everything Has Changed In The Second Special Session

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The mood, and boundaries, have changed a lot at the state capitol since the regular session. Upon entering the capitol, you take immediate notice of the differences -- chained off sections of the stairwell and rotunda and an increased presence of Department of Public Safety troopers.

But what has really changed in this second special session?

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Government
9:03 am
Mon July 1, 2013

MALDEF: End Of Voting Rights Act Leaves Minorities Exposed

Court-ordered interim U.S. Congressional Districts for the 2012 election.
State of Texas District Viewer http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us/

The chief legal counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is applauding Gov. Rick Perry for signing into law the interim voting maps, but said not having a Voting Rights Act leaves minority communities vulnerable.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

Nina Perales is the chief legal counsel for the MALDEF and said the supreme court has taken away a tool for fair and equitable state voting maps.

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Federal Government
5:06 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Head Of Texas Business Group Applauds Senate Immigration Passage

Flickr user Adam Fagen (afagen) cc

Business leaders in Texas say a final passage of federal immigration legislation will help solve labor shortages for all occupations.

Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business,  said currently the state allows foreign nationals to be educated here and then tells them to go home.

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Special Session
3:22 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Lawmakers May Be Looking At Third Special Session

Damage from Hurricane Ike reached into the tens of billions.
Eileen Pace TPR News

Though Gov. Rick Perry has acknowledged the need to reform the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association ahead of a major storm, it is not one of the items being discussed in the second special session.

TWIA reform has been been on lawmaker's radar since the start of the regular session but they only got as close as holding a hearing on the current status of the program.

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Government
2:21 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

New Braunfels To Be Pulled Into Bexar Metro Planning Organization, Other Rural Areas Weigh Options

Billy Hathorn cc

The San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is expanding its reach to the north of the city, where federal authorities say New Braunfels is now part of the San Antonio metro area.

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Government
12:49 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Facing Difficult Decisions, San Antonio City Council Sets Tone For Next Two Years

District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales talks to colleagues before taking the dais for the first time.
Ryan Loyd TPR

The San Antonio City Council took the oath of office in a swearing in ceremony inside the chambers of City Hall, preparing for what is ahead for the body over the next two years.

Mayor Julián Castro said the mission of the council is a double-edged sword because each member is looking out for the interests of their own district, but he told his colleagues they also have to do what’s best for the city as a whole.

"The challenge that all of us face is to balance the everyday needs of our constituents with a long-term grand vision for our city's future," he said on the dais.

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Special Session (Part Deux)
7:17 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Governor Calls Lawmakers Back Again For Second Special Session

Republican lawmakers will again try to pass SB 5, a controversial abortion bill, in the second special session.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Gov. Rick Perry was clear in his statement about the intended purpose of a second special session, stating "I am calling the legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas."

Lawmakers will be back in the state capitol on Monday, July 1 to continue work.

Josh Havens, who is with the governor’s office, said this session will be about the three items the legislature was unable to pass during the first session.

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City Government
5:45 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

San Antonio's Budget Shortfall May Impact Children's Advocacy Agency

District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña named SPARK fitness parks as a top funding goal during the council's day-long budget-setting session.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

San Antonio is facing a $35 to $50 million shortfall in the 2014 budget and with that in mind, council members set out to define their goals for next year at a day-long goal-setting session at the Central Library on Tuesday.

Included in the budget are what’s known as unfunded requests, which are items the city doesn’t have the money to fund. Delegate agency ChildSafe is requesting $100,000 in 2014, and $500,000 over five years.

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Special Session
4:47 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Update: Van De Putte Says Republicans Changed Time Stamp On SB 5 Voting Record

Office of State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

Update (6/28/13 10 a.m.) An article posted yesterday online by the Express-News talks about the series of events on Tuesday night and how the online change took place, comparing what happened at the capitol with a football game.

In football, the game is not over when the clock runs out if a play has been started -- it ends when the play is over, which is how it works in the Senate.

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