Government

Texas Legislature
11:51 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Oversight & Transparency Bills Casualties Of Governor's Legislative Agenda

rickperry.org

At the start of the legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry outlined several agenda items, one of which was over $1 billion dollars in tax cuts for businesses.

A bill calling for additional transparency and effectiveness of those tax cuts was added as an amendment, but taken off when voted on in the Texas House and also faced the threat of a veto by the governor.

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Special Session
9:04 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Tensions At All Time High as Lt. Governor Makes An Agenda For Special Session

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is causing a stir at the capitol after issuing a list of things he’d like to see during a special session.

Dewhurst said there are several key items that he felt lawmakers should have been able to address this session:

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City Council Elections
3:56 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Though Endorsements Are Nice, Voter Turnout Is Key To Runoff Election

Incumbent David Medina looks over election numbers on election night that would eventually reveal he would head to a runoff with his opponent, Shirley Gonzales.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

Endorsements are often times influential by appealing to voters who may be undecided, and with the runoff elections for City Council Districts 5 and 8 in June, every vote will help determine who will win the seats.

This year's city council races began with nearly 40 candidates and now only four remain.

  • In District 5, incumbent David Medina is facing political newcomer Shirley Gonzales.
  • In District 8, where there is no incumbent, Ron Nirenberg and Rolando Briones are battling it out for the seat.

Plenty of people are choosing sides in these races.

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Texas Legislature
2:30 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Senate & House Education Leaders Say They Have Charter School And Testing Deal

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The last few days for Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and his House companion, Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, have been rough, especially when it comes to sealing the votes needed for a bill that increases the number of charter schools in the state and another reducing the number of course exams.

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Texas Legislature
10:14 am
Fri May 24, 2013

In Legislative Homestretch, Transportation & Education Funding Still Uncertain

Eileen Pace TPR

Tensions between the House and Senate over education funding have hit an all-time high this session, and that along with an added provision related to fees charged to overweight 18 wheelers worries Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, because of the transportation dollars tied to those same spending bills.

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Texas Legislature
4:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Senator's Late Budget Changes Upset Both Sides Of The Aisle

As in 2011, public education funding is a major issue at the state capitol.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Last-minute changes to House Bill 1025, a spending bill that has been the glue for the Texas budget, is now causing things to fall apart.

Lawmakers in the Texas House said they are shocked by the changes tacked on to a supplemental spending bill still awaiting a final vote, and have said they will not send the legislation to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk.

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, has broken their agreement regarding an additional $200 million in education funding.

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Texas Legislature
2:46 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

CHL Campus-Carry Bill Dies In Senate, But The Fight Isn't Over Yet

Flickr user David Trawin (trawin) cc

Lawmakers at the capitol have approved a measure to train public school teachers to respond during a mass-shooting event and let die a bill to allow concealed-handgun license holders to carry guns on a college campus. 

As the first of its kinds, House Bill 1009 provides volunteer school teachers with the same level of training as a police officers who respond to a mass-shooting scenario. 

"We plan on passing the bill exactly as it passed the House," said Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, who carried the bill in the Senate.

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Texas Legislature - Business
12:16 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Last Of Perry Business Tax Cuts Goes Through With Key Oversight Provision

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A Democratic senator was able to add a last-minute provision to the last of Gov. Rick Perry’s business tax cut bills calling for more oversight and monitoring of the program. 

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, was able to add his provision to House Bill 500, which provides  Texas small businesses with $600 million in tax cuts.

The attachment bill would have the Texas Comptroller review the businesses receiving a tax cut to be sure such cuts were effective.

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City Growth
11:02 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Southside Street Project Boosting Growth For Area Schools, Businesses

Landsat image of Southeast San Antonio in 1974.
U.S. Geological Survey

The city has begun a major "complete streets" project on Villaret Boulevard, which spans east and west on the city's Southside.

Once completed, the $7 million project will double the width of Villaret Boulevard the length of Palo Alto College, a drainage system will be installed to prevent flooding in future storms, and there will be lighting, curbs, sidewalks, and bike lanes.

These improvements are needed to  keep up with continued growth of Palo Alto, as well as housing and industry locating in that part of town.

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Medicaid Expansion
9:38 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Protesters For Medicaid Expansion Disrupt Gov. Perry At Speaking Event

Gov. Perry speaks at the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Ryan Poppe TPR

A group of protesters managed to infiltrate Gov. Rick Perry's speech announcing the latest bill that awards tax cuts for Texas small businesses. 

Moments after the Senate gave the final passage of a bill awarding over $600 million in tax cuts for small businesses, Perry made the announcement at the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

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