Government

2014 Election
1:47 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

With Republican Lt. Gov. Runoff Settled, Van De Putte Takes Aim At Patrick

Van De Putte at her campaign announcement in November 2013.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Leticia Van De Putte, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, wasted no time pointing out the differences between herself and Dan Patrick, her Republican opponent on the November ballot.   

Van De Putte pointed to Patrick’s use of campaign rhetoric and hot button issues to build an audience in his runoff against incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

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2014 Election
12:38 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Tea Party Influence May Dissipate In General Election

Credit Chris Eudaily / TPR News

The Texas Republican primary and runoff elections have been dominated by tea party values, but once the votes are in and a full Republican ticket is formed, will candidates move back to the center?  

Without even looking at the runoff election returns, Professor Mark P. Jones, who heads up the political science department at Rice University in Houston, said the tea party is already a winner in Texas.

"The tea party issues have really defined the terms of this campaign," Jones said.

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Government
6:13 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

President Obama Nominates Julian Castro For HUD Secretary

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro speaks at the White House Friday where President Obama nominated him for HUD Secretary.
Credit White House

Julian Castro's nomination by President Obama to head the department of Housing and Urban Development is a path Castro carved locally.

In his five years as mayor, Castro pushed initiatives that would land San Antonio both the Promise and Choice Neighborhood grants, an accolade that San Antonio alone has gained.

The goal of the Choice and Promise grants is to support local strategies aimed at struggling neighborhoods, to improve housing and schools, specifically on the city's east side.

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Capital Punishment
3:45 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

A Shortage Of Lethal Drugs For Executions Has States Considering Other Methods

Image link: http://bit.ly/RjypsU
Credit Flickr user A Lee / cc

The history of executions in America seems to be a string of one botched form to another. In a reaction to a botched execution in April and the supply of lethal drugs drying up, states like Tennessee have announced the return of the electric chair.

Dr. Deborah Denno, who teaches law that Fordham University in New York and is considered an expert on the topic of executions, said it was botched executions that led states to consider the electric chair in the early 1900s.

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Texas Voter ID
2:40 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

House Lawmakers Debate Online Voter Registration

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

A committee of House lawmakers heard the reasons why the state of Texas would be better served with an online voter registration system, but some groups remain skeptical about the possibility of voter fraud.

As of April, 19 states offer online voter registration. Last legislative session Texas came very close to passing their own version but it was not added the calendar for a final vote. In this period between sessions, lawmakers are re-considering the same thing.  

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BP Oil Spill
12:46 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Three Years After Oil Spill, Lawmakers Learn About $5 Million BP Gave To Governor's Office

Day 30 of Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 2010. Image link: http://bit.ly/1vN7BBL
Credit Green Fire Productions via Flickr / cc

Typically, money slated for the state budget is handled by the Legislature.

But yesterday the Texas House Appropriations and Natural Resources Committee found out about $5 million paid to the state of Texas by British Petroleum following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened in April 2010, and in September of that same year the governor’s office received $5 million from BP without informing the Legislature of the funds. 

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City Ordinances
11:12 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Concerns Arise Over Possible Insurance Gap For Ride-Share Drivers

Ride-share drivers for Lyft use large pink mustaches to identify their vehicles.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Ride-sharing company Lyft said it has passengers covered in the event of an accident. But some believe the drivers are stuck in an insurance gap that's putting them at risk.

When Lyft began its operations in San Antonio several months ago, Terri Richardson hopped on the band wagon as a driver.

She feels safe, and believes Lyft's got her covered if anything goes wrong.

"I think Lyft is a good company. They stand behind their people," Richardson said.

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2014 Republican Lt. Gov. Runoff
1:50 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

After Weeks Of Mudslinging, Dewhurst And Patrick Stay Amicable In Last Debate

Early voting continues through Friday. Runoff election day is Tuesday, May 27.
Credit Chris Eudaily / TPR News

There was the release of mental health records and stories leaked about fist fights and racial slurs, but at the last debate in the Republican lieutenant governor runoff election the two candidates kept it cordial.   

Yesterday's debate between incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston surprised many political experts who were expecting personal attacks during the debate in Salado, which was hosted by the Central Texas Tea Party.  

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Payday Lending
11:54 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Texas Payday Lending Study Shows Industry Raised Fees In 2013

Credit Flickr user Rambergmediaimages / cc

The Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning political think tank, released a study showing that in 2013 the industry raised it’s fees by 12 percent, collecting over $1.3 million from Texans.

Don Baylor, a senior policy Analyst with the center, said that Texans between 2012 and 2013 paid more in fees for loans using a paycheck or car title as collateral.

“So we saw these loans become more frequent and we also saw them become much longer in terms, which means Texans are paying a lot more for these products,” Baylor said.

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University of Texas
10:35 am
Wed May 21, 2014

This Week House Committee Working Up Articles Of Impeachment For UT Regent Hall

The Texas House Select Committee on Transportation in State Agency Operations is in unfamiliar territory with the first impeachment of a governor-appointed position in Texas history.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Members of a Texas House committee are moving forward with the impeachment of University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall by drawing up the official articles of impeachment. Hall informed UT’s Board of Regents he would not be resigning from his post.

The Texas House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations voted 7-1 in favor of impeaching Hall. This week only those who voted for impeachment will be able to weigh in on what codes Hall violated, which will be the official articles of impeachment.

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