Government

Texas Legislature
11:17 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Fight Not Over For Bill To Reduce High-Stakes Testing

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A statewide pro-business group based in Austin is urging Gov. Rick Perry to veto House Bill 5, a bill that changes the state’s testing structure for public schools.

Bill Hammond, the executive director for the Texas Business Association, said the House bill that reduces the number of high-stakes exams for school kids will provide the Texas workforce with a poor product.

"60 or 70 percent of the jobs that are being created today require some post-secondary education of some sort, perhaps even a certificate from a community college or an associate’s degree," Hammond said.

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Special Session
10:11 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Uresti Pushes Gov. Perry To Sign Ban On Sugary Drinks At Schools

Sen. Carlos Uresti at the capitol in March 2013.
carlosuresti.com

A lawmaker from the San Antonio area is pushing the Gov. Rick Perry to sign into a law a bill that prohibits public schools from selling sugary drinks.

Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, said he fought to get his own version of the bill approved for the past two sessions, hoping that a ban on sugary drinks at the state’s elementary and middle schools will help the Hispanic population turn the corner in the fight against obesity and diabetes.

What did pass was a companion bill, House Bill 217, which excluded high schools from the ban.

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San Antonio Police
3:48 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

SAPD Officer Arrested, Charged With Criminal Mischief

Officer Sergio Hernandez
SAPD

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the officer, Sergio Hernandez, was asked to finish his drink and leave Stacy's Bar on Blanco as it was closing early Thursday morning.

McManus said he was escorted out when he got angry and then kicked the door and knocked out the plexi-glass to the door.

Hernandez is assigned to the south patrol and is a 10-year veteran of the department. McManus said he will be referred to SAPD's Officer Concern Program.

Special Session
2:49 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Redistricting Committees Hire Attorneys For Outside Help

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The House and Senate redistricting committees have secured a legal team to help solve the challenges that exist with the issue of voting districts.

While the House committee has hit the road to hold public meetings in the Dallas area, the Senate committee held its last state capitol meeting before heading out to their own public meetings.

Sen. Kel Seleger, R-Amarillo, the Senate’s redistricting chairman, said the Senate will be using C. Robert Heath, who he said is one of the most experienced redistricting attorneys  in the United States.

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Immigration Reform
10:14 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Citizenship Status Could Be Delayed With Cornyn Amendment

Border security is a vital part of immigration reform for both sides to reach an agreement.
Michel Marizco Fronteras

The Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill is set to hit the floor next week with an anticipated lengthy debate and amendment process. One Texas senator is calling for a complete border security before many of the provisions in the bill can take effect.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, calls it the Results Amendment. It’s a long list of provisions that must be met before green cards and citizenship can be offered to undocumented immigrants. He said the key is 100 percent situational awareness of the southern border

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Women's Health
9:10 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Planned Parenthood Headed Back To Court

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is headed back to court later this month over a 2011 law that excludes the group from being listed and funded by the state-run Texas Women’s Health Program.

In 2011 lawmakers at the state capitol along with Gov. Rick Perry set in place the laws that created the state-run Texas Women’s Health Program, which excluded groups like Planned Parenthood from being listed as a provider of women’s health because of their connection to abortion. 

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City Council Elections - Runoff
4:45 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Election Official Says Lesson To Be Learned From Voter Card Confusion

David Medina's campaign signs line the street at the Las Palmas Library, a voting location in Distirct 5 for the runoff between himself and challenger Shirley Gonzles.
Ryan Loyd TPR

Try as they might, voters and elections officials aren’t always on the same page when it comes to information needed to vote.

That played out in real life Monday at the start of early voting when District 5 David Medina’s campaign said a voter who went to the Las Palmas Library to cast a vote couldn’t do so, which is because she’s not a resident of District 5.

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Texas Education
2:57 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

83rd Legislature Made Strides In Education Funding, But Were They Enough?

Save Texas Schools rally in March 2011 outside the state capitol.
Eileen Pace TPR News

Both parties in the school finance battle have been called back to court to review what has happened in the legislative session, which could lead to an official decision.

Travis County District Judge John Dietz made an initial ruling that  the way Texas funds public schools was unconstitutional, but did not make that ruling official, instead waiting to see what happened during the legislative session.

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Special Session
12:51 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Still A Chance For Non-Redistricting Bills In Special Session

State lawmakers are leaving the friendly confines of the capitol to hold redistricting meetings on the road.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

A leading expert on government from the University of Texas at Austin's Office of Governmental Relations is weighing in on this summer’s special session and if the legislature can expect to see legislation beyond redistricting.

Barry McBee, UT-Austin’s vice chancellor of governmental relations, said there is still plenty of time for various discussions during this special session.

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Redistricting
4:47 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Texas House Taking The Redistricting Show On The Road

State of Texas District Viewer http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us/

At the beginning of the special session, several lawmakers representing some of the districts caught up the redistricting fight requested that the hearings be taken on the road, so that those living in these voting districts had a chance to voice their concerns directly.

House Redistricting Chairman Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, said the first of three field meetings will be in Dallas this Thursday, June 6. The next two meetings will be held on Monday, June 10 in San Antonio and Wednesday, June 12 in Houston.

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