Government

Texas Politics
3:45 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Texas Democratic Party Counting On Young Democrats In Next Election

Joaquín Castro, here supporting his brother Julián at the Democratic National Convention last year, will take the stage as the keynote speaker at this week's National Young Democrats Convention.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said he hopes this week’s National Young Democrats Convention in the Alamo City will continue momentum for the party. 

Hinojosa is looking to carry over nationwide support for Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2014.

"They identify with her," Hinojosa said. "They identify with her story of being a teenage mom who put herself through college and eventually made it into Harvard Law School and then the Texas Legislature."

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Bexar County
10:39 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Monthly Tax Payment Plan Coming Soon To Bexar County

Bexar County

Bexar County property owners will soon be able to pay their property taxes on a monthly basis rather than waiting until the end of the year in a move that should make things easier for people on fixed incomes. 

Seniors and disabled property owners have been able to use a four-payment program, paying smaller payments to the tax office from January through July.

Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Albert Uresti said most property owners who pay their taxes directly to the county have had only two options to pay their taxes: Once a year or in half-payments.

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Health Care
5:04 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

HHS Secretary Talks Affordable Care Act At Trinity University

Official portrait of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
U.S. Government

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be visiting the Alamo City this week, joining the City of San Antonio to provide more information about the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius will speak Thursday evening when Trinity University and the Metropolitan Health District host a public event to offer information about the new health care act, much of which takes effect in the next year.

The city previously hosted Sebelius when it unveiled the Por Vida Health Campaign, an ongoing city-wide marketing campaign to get restaurants to offer healthy choices.

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City Government
4:11 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

San Antonio Getting Outside Backlash For Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

In May, supporters of an anti-discrimination ordinance proposal showed their appreciation to the City Council on the steps of City Hall.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

San Antonio city staffers say letters are rolling into city hall by the dozens from people who are angry about the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance.

The ordinance being considered by the San Antonio City Council would prohibit discrimination within the city’s hiring practices and anyone who contracts a job with the city.

Although the ordinance maintains anti-discrimination policies for race, color, religion, age and disability, the proposal would add veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity to the list. The latter two are why most people are angered.

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2014 Election
2:32 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

With Criticism Still Fresh From Legislative Sessions, Dewhurst Ramps Up Campaign

The first video by the Dewhurst campaign was issued several weeks ago and highlights his efforts in pushing through the final passage of the abortion bill in the second special session.
Dewhurst campaign video

Following a rough and rocky regular session and series of special sessions, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has announced he will seek another term.

Dewhurst has presided over the Texas Senate for over a decade, during the course of the first special session this summer, he faced criticism about his leadership and handling of the controversial abortion bill.

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Privacy
2:04 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

ACLU Suggests Legislative Check On License Plate Data Collected By Police

License plate readers quickly read license plates and relay any violations on record to the officer in the patrol car.
Flickr user Steven Perez (silas216) cc

An open records analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union released a few weeks ago shows that multiple Texas police departments are using license plate readers to capture and store information on the traveling patterns of everyday drivers.

Automatic license-plate readers are cameras mounted on police patrol cars, road signs and bridges that scan car license plates and check to see if there are any violations on record. According to Tom Hargis with the ACLU of Texas, many police departments in the state are keeping that data beyond the initial scan for years at a time.

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City Government
9:08 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Community Events Could Be On Chopping Block As City Looks At Budget Cuts

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal disagrees with Mayor Julián Castro's proposal to cut City Council Project Funds.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Ahead of the start of classes on Aug. 26, San Antonio City Council members are hosting community-wide back-to-school fairs in each of their districts.

At the same time, the city's budget is closing in on adoption and deep cuts will have to be made. Mayor Julián Castro is recommending a cut to member discretionary funds, which are known as City Council Project Funds and are used for community events like the back-to-school fairs.

Currently each district gets more than $61,000.

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84th Legislature
4:47 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Sen. Lucio Already Preparing His Adoption Class Bill For Next Session

TPR News

State Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, was the only Democrat in the Texas Senate to vote for the controversial abortion bill earlier this summer, and said he will re-file his bill requiring women to take a class about adoption before they can get an abortion.

Lucio is not against providing extra healthcare funds to make services available, but is still true to his beliefs about abortion.

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November Ballot
4:03 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Political Action Committee Preparing To Mobilize Water Bill Support

Water was one of the big issues in the 83rd Legislature along with education and transportation funding.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Water Texas, a political action committee formed by Speaker of the House Joe Strauss, R-San Antonio, and Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland, is getting ready to start a campaign to encourage voters to approve the use of $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to help fund the next 50 years of water projects in Texas.

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Special Session Part III
3:00 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Lawmakers Wrap Third Special Session With Transportation Bill

Chris Eudaily TPR News

The final transportation bill will provide the Texas Department of Transportation with $1.2 billion per year in road funding from the Rainy Day Fund.

The speaker of the House and the lieutenant governor will appoint a ten-person committee each legislative session -- five members each of the House and Senate -- which will determine a sufficient balance in the Rainy Day Fund before money can be transferred into the State Highway Fund.

The Rainy Day Fund minimum will then have to be approved by the full House and Senate on a simple majority vote.

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