Government & Public Policy

News about politics and government.

Despite the results of this year’s election, there are still Republicans who say the party needs to appeal to a more diverse group of voters if they want to win the White House in the future. Specifically, they say the party needs to attract Hispanic voters.

And the case study some Republicans are pointing to when they make this argument is solidly-red Texas.

Ryan Poppe

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus says the State of Texas should not have to spend as much on border security in the next budget because incoming President Donald Trump says that’s his top priority. The Speaker would like to see Washington pick up a bigger part of the bill. 

In 2015, state lawmakers approved more than $750 million to fund the Texas Department of Public Safety’s border security operation in the Rio Grande Valley.  Public Safety is now asking for more than a billion state dollars to expand the state’s border efforts. 

Ryan Poppe

How Texas determines whether someone has the intellectual capacity to be sentenced to death is being examined by the nation’s highest court on Tuesday.  The Supreme Court made it clear no person with intellectual disabilities is to be executed but how Texas determines who fits that criteria is what is at stake this week.

In 1980, Bobby Moore was convicted for shooting a store clerk during a Houston robbery and later sentenced to die.  Moore’s IQ score ranges from 50 to 70 points, a person with average intelligence has an IQ score between 85 and 114.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

New legislation filed at the state capitol aims to provide stiffer punishment for those caught targeting police and first responders.  

Following the shooting of San Antonio Police Det. Benjamin Marconi, the city’s police Chief William McManus said that it was obvious, the uniform, not the officer was the target.

Center for Immigration Studies

One of the first pieces of legislation filed ahead of the January session is a bill that would punish city and county law enforcement agencies for policies that direct officers not to ask questions about a person’s immigration status.  

They’re called sanctuary cities, the name derived from state lawmakers’ perception that these metropolitan police departments provide sanctuary to immigrants and families who may be in the country illegally.

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