Government

City Council Elections
10:39 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Redistricting Forces Candidates Into New District Race

Dist. 10 Councilman Carlton Soules speaks to residents during a town hall forum.
Ryan Loyd TPR

Arthur Thomas, 34, and Celeste Montez-Tidwell, 45, thought they’d be running in District 9 when they decided to make a run for the San Antonio City Council.

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Texas Legislature
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Senate Ends Week Passing Unemployment Drug Testing Bill

Both the House and Senate have started to pass bills in the 83rd Legislature, but nothing has made it to the governor's desk.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Similar to the bill mandating welfare recipients be screened for drugs, this bill mandates that Texans receiving unemployment benefits also be drug-tested.

Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, authored the bill that would force all unemployment applicants to go through a drug-screening process with a counselor from the Texas Workforce Commission.

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City Council
9:12 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Council Postpones Library Vote To Consider Bigger Ethical Issue

Councilwoman Elisa Chan speaks to Councilman Reed Williams during a December city council meeting.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

The San Antonio City Council followed the lead of District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal Thursday to hold off on a vote about a proposed library branch on the city’s north side.

The 10 members and Mayor Julián Castro initially voted to approve the project at its April 4 meeting, but District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, who represents the district where the library is proposed, asked for the item to be brought back to council. This time she recused herself from the process.

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Tax Deadline
2:17 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

This Year Post Office Won't Stay Open Until Midnight On Tax Day

Chris Eudaily TPR

If you’re waiting until the last minute to file and mail your taxes, don’t expect to wait in line at the post office until Midnight on Monday, April 15, the last day to file with the Internal Revenue Service.

The post office will not be holding late night drop-off this year due to a decline in the number of people who use the service. With the expansion of e-filing, less and less tax filings are making it to the mail box.

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City Government
1:23 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Updated: Chan Recuses Herself From New Vote On Northside Library Location

Chan motioned for a new vote on Thursday without her participation.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

(Updated: 4/10/13 1:20 p.m.) Following some discussion, city council has postponed the vote on the library location until May.

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal admonished city staffers, who knew the library location was next to Chan's business.

Chan gave an emotional statement before the council before leaving the dais so the rest of city council could discuss and decide on the issue.

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Natural Gas Exploration
12:34 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Environmental Groups Support & Oppose Fracking Water Recycling Bill

Regulations are struggling to keep up with the natural gas boom that is putting a strain on community and environmental resources.
South Texas Environmental Education and Research

A bill to ensuring that oil companies using fracking techniques are being held to environmental standards has passed out of the Natural Resources Committee and now heads to the House floor for a vote.

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Texas Legislature - Business
10:29 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Bill Encourages Space Exploration Companies To Make Texas Home

Texas could be next to get into private space exploration, the next frontier.
Chandra X-ray Observatory Smithsonian Institution

A bill that would make Texas the next state to possess a commercial rocket launch pad has been unanimously voted out of the Senate Economic Development Committee.

The bill, authored by Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, facilitates a way for space exploration companies to build and operate in Texas and provides matching funds as an incentive for these companies.

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Texas Legislature
4:53 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Welfare Recipients To Be Drug Tested

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

On a unanimous vote, a bill authored by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to require all welfare recipients to take a drug test passed the Texas Senate. 

The bill requires every Texas Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient go through a drug-screen, which could include a one-on-one interview or questionnaire.

Nelson said her bill also provides $300 million towards rehab.

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Texas Legislature - Business
12:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Lawmakers Consider Bills To Open Texas To Electric Car Maker Tesla

Elon Musk at the state capitol to urge state lawmakers to open the state to his dealerships.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla Motors and creator of commercial space exploration company SpaceX, spoke at the capitol urging lawmakers to approve a set of bills that allow his car company to be able to sell their cars in Texas.

During his time at the capitol, the billionaire car maker also met with Gov. Rick Perry about the issue.

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Immigration Reform
10:48 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Border Security Bill Calls For Increased Effort From Homeland Security

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

Sen. John Cornyn and Congressman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, have introduced a bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a national strategy  plan to secure the border.

The Border Security Results Act of 2013 would require Homeland Security to develop and implement such a plan within 180 days of its passage and report periodically to congress.

McCaul cited points of entry near Tucson and San Diego as secure crossings, but said the entire border needs the same reinforcement.

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