Government

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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Texas Legislature
2:48 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

How Did The 83rd Legislature Do On LGBT Equality?

People in San Antonio marched for equal rights in Milam Park as the Supreme Court heard arguments in the DOMA case in March of this year.
Ryan Loyd TPR

The month of June is Gay Pride month and Chuck Smith, the executive director of Equality Texas, is looking back over the 83rd legislative session to celebrate the group’s successes and develop a plan for some areas of improvement.

"This legislative session we had a record number of endorsed bills--over 30 bills--and I think that was indicative of lawmakers not being afraid to carry our legislation. I think the reality is that what we are trying to do now is mainstream Texas values," Smith said.

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Medicaid Expansion
12:15 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

So What Does No-Plan Medicaid Expansion Look Like?

Gov. Rick Perry has maintained a strong stance opposing the federal expansion plan.
rickperry.org

Despite a lack of direction from the Texas Legislature, the state’s leading doctor is optimistic about how Texas will function without having a plan to address Medicaid expansion.  

Dr. Kyle Janek is the commissioner for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and will be the chief negotiator when the state begins discussions with federal government on whether to extend Texas a waiver and award the state a block grant to start a state-run form of Medicaid.

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Special Session
4:49 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

State Republicans Begin To Show Signs Of Redistricting Flexibility

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

The chairman of the House Redistricting Committee indicated they are willing to provide some flexibility in the development of new election maps for the state.  

Like his counterpart in the Senate Redistricting Committee, Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, said he will entertain alternative voting maps during the special session.

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Emergency Preparedness
2:30 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Perry Says Texas Is Prepared For 2013 Hurricane Season

2008's Hurricane Ike off the coast of Texas.
National Weather Service

After witnessing a week of state emergency preparedness drills, Gov. Rick Perry said the State of Texas is prepared to respond to the effects of a hurricane of any size this season, but that getting to that level of preparedness hasn’t been easy.

"We've got this sequestration going on and we got the Texas Army National Guard and our Air Guard that are facing some mandated furloughs. These are individuals who remain very committed to our state and we need them on the job full time," Perry said.

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Texas Water
1:24 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Environmentalists Push For Perry's Signature On Water Conservation Bills

rickperry.org

Members of Environment Texas gathered in front of the Governor’s Mansion to urge Gov. Rick Perry to sign into law two bills that address residential water conservation efforts.

"The first, Senate Bill 198, would prohibit homeowner's associations from preventing their members from installing drought-resistant landscaping or xeriscapes. We heard a number of cases of HOAs preventing people from changing their own property to be more drought tolerant," said Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger.

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2014 State Election
11:17 am
Fri May 31, 2013

State Sen. Dan Patrick Weighing Run For Lt. Governor

State of Texas

Taking a long view of the 2014 elections, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is predicting a "dust-up" for several key state positions including the lieutenant governor’s office.

"That’s where I believe I could be the most effective, if I were to run. And it’s not David Dewhurst, it’s not anti-Dewhurst, if I run it would be about my vision, my conservative vision for Texas, and that's what it's about, it has nothing to do with David Dewhurst," Patrick said.

Patrick said the lieutenant governor’s office isn't the only job where voters should expect a changing of the guard.

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