Government

Medicaid Expansion
1:35 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Update: Designer Of GOP Medicaid Expansion Plan Says Bill Is Dead

In mid-April both Texas Democrats (pictured) and Texas Republicans outlined plans to get federal dollars for Medicaid expansion.
Ryan Poppe TPR

Update: (May 9, 6:45 a.m.) A group of House Democrats are outraged that the Zerwas "Texas Solution" to Medicaid will not be scheduled for a debate or vote.

Donna Howard, D-Austin, said both sides of the House are calling the move to kill the bill highly suspicious.

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Texas Legislature
10:55 am
Wed May 8, 2013

House Follows Governor’s Marching Orders To Pass Small Business Tax Cuts

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The House passed House Bill 500, which would extend tax incentives to small businesses by using revenue usually reserved to fund schools.

Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, who authored the bill, said the state will replace the money for public education in the senate’s version of the budget bill.

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Affordable Care Act
2:15 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Another Try At Beating Obamacare From Texas Lawmakers & Small Business Owners

Ryan Poppe TPR

The group filing the federal lawsuit against U.S.Secretary of Health and Human Services Katheleen Sebelius and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is headed by Houston Dr. Steven F. Hotze and the Braidwood Management Group, who both say small businesses will find ways around the provisions listed in the Affordable Care Act.

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Texas Legislature
12:49 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Testing Bill Asks Students To Choose Career Path In 9th Grade

The Save Texas Schools rally on March 12, 2011.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Before eventually passing the measure, the Senate made radical changes to assessment testing and developed a new model for high school education and school accountability ratings.

The bill originated in the Texas House, but found its clarity in the Senate. 

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the bill’s co-author, said this bill does more than reduce the number of high-stakes exams required to graduate from 15 to five.

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Texas Legislature
8:45 am
Tue May 7, 2013

How An Ex-Con Can Carry An Assault Rifle And Claim Self-Defense

Flickr user jonmallard cc

Under certain circumstances, people convicted of felony offenses can currently use self-defense as the justification for shooting someone, but that could soon change.

A bill authored by Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, would prohibit convicted felons from being able use such a defense in court.

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Texas Legislature
11:22 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Even With Bi-Partisan Support, Needle Exchange Bill Dies On House Floor

Ryan Poppe TPR News

After several legislative strategies, a bill that would set up the first Texas needle exchange dies on the House floor.

There were multiple attempts to revive the bill, which was authored by Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, and would've set up a pilot needle exchange program for IV drug users.

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Texas Legislature
9:54 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Weekend Recap: Texas Is Well Armed And Ready For Action

Oleg Volt Wikipedia Commons

Lawmakers came out of  "O.K. Corral Day" sending a clear message as over 95 percent of all gun bills heard during House’s first working Saturday were approved. 

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Texas Legislature
6:30 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Lawmakers Postpone Crucial Vote On High-Stakes Testing Bill

The Save Texas Schools rally on March 12, 2011. Testing and funding continue to be big issues in this session of the legislature.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Lawmakers managed to postpone a high-stakes testing bill on the first Friday the Senate has worked this session.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said it was an agreement in principle that the Senate would take up and pass a House bill being carried by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, which reduces the number of end-of-course exams from 15 to five.

"But apparently a number of members - principally Democrat, but some Republicans - had not been in the meeting and felt like they had not been briefed enough. And I understand that, I understand that," Patrick said.

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Texas Legislature
5:38 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

House Passes Bill Banning Practice Of Shark Finning

Flickr user Scott the Hobo cc

House Bill 852, which has passed in the Texas House, places tighter restrictions on the controversial fishing practice called shark finning.

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Texas Legislature
3:29 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

House Republicans Have Backup Plan To Revive Water Bill

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Republicans in the Texas House are planning to revive a water bill that died on the House Floor last week due to a technically.

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