News about politics and government.

Joey Palacios / TPR News

AUSTIN — Tax cuts and better pre-K in Texas — two major promises of new Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — pushed ahead Wednesday when the House rallied behind a $2 billion proposed sales tax cut before passing an early education bill that schools say underwhelms.

Both moves simultaneously disappointed Democrats, deepened tensions with Senate Republicans and raised the chances of a rocky final two months in Abbott’s first legislative session.

Across the aisle from the House, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick dug in his heels, calling the House tax plan “out of step” and saying he will insist on property tax relief for rising home appraisals.

Senate Panel Advances Bill Banning ‘Sanctuary Cities’

Apr 6, 2015

A bill banning so-called sanctuary cities in Texas —the common term for local entities that do not enforce immigration laws — advanced out of a Senate subcommittee on Monday. 

Senate Bill 185 by state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, would cut off state funding for local governments or governmental entities that adopt policies that forbid peace officers from inquiring into the immigration status of a person detained or arrested. 

Some Texas cities have taken the position that such enforcement is the federal government’s job, not theirs — which Perry patently disagrees with. “Rule of law is important and we must ensure that local governments do not pick and choose the laws that they choose to enforce,” Perry told the subcommittee. 

The bill now goes to the full Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Military Installations, where it’ll likely be passed and sent to the full chamber. The debate in the full Senate promises to be a repeat of the emotion-fueled scene of 2011, the last time the controversial legislation was considered.

That year Democrats argued the bill would lead to racial profiling, costly litigation and make witnesses to crimes reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement. 

Ryan E. Poppe

The Texas House spent the better part of Tuesday night wrangling over the next two-year state budget. Early morning Wednesday, House members tentatively passed the largest budget in state history.

Chris Eudaily / Texas Public Radio

Former prosecutor Ina Minjarez and former San Antonio City Council member Delicia Herrera are headed to a runoff race in Texas House District 124.

One of the two Democrats will fill the Westside San Antonio seat held by Jose Menendez.  He vacated the position when he won a special election to replace Leticia Van de Putte in the Texas Senate. 

Ryan Lloyd / Texas Public Radio

San Antonio mayoral candidate Mike Villarreal is accusing rival Leticia Van de Putte of violating the city’s campaign finance law and says he plans to file a formal ethics complaint with the city.

Her campaign says she's done nothing wrong.