Government

Will Texas Secede?
11:05 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Texas Nationalists To Lawmakers: Let The Voters Decide On Secession

Supporters of the Nationalist movement are worried that the national debt will sink the country and Texas along with it.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

As lawmakers gaveled into session on Tuesday, a group known as the Texas Nationalists gathered peacefully outside the state capitol building.

Cary Wise, an active member of the group in his hometown near Beaumont, traveled with dozens of other people who want Texas to become an independent nation.

They feel government has gotten too big so Wise and fellow Texas Nationalists would like lawmakers to craft a bill that would put a secession option before voters.

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Texas State Senate
4:57 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Van de Putte Named Senate President Pro Tem

After the 83rd Texas Legislature was gaveled in, the Senate nominated Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, to the position of senate president pro tempore.

Longtime friend and Senate colleague Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, officially named Van de Putte to hold the third highest position in the state, after Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

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Texas State Capitol
11:32 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Legislative Interns Get A Leg Up On Texas Politics

Dressed uniformly and walking in a large group, students from the Texas Legislative Internship Program learn the halls of the Texas State Capitol building and find out where the cafeteria is located.

They will soon become very familiar with the offices, and even more with proposed bills. But Tina Tran, who runs the program, said their job is also somewhat stereotypical of an intern.

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Texas House of Representatives
9:20 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Straus Needs 76 Votes to Hold Speaker Seat

State Rep. Joe Straus, Dist. 121 is seeking re-election as speaker of the house.
State of Texas

When the 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives gavel into session Tuesday, Republican Speaker Joe Straus will be looking to keep his seat as the top man; to do so he only needs a simple majority: 76 votes.

However, he does have a challenger: Republican David Simpson from Longview. It is only Simpson's second term as a representative, but the former businessman was also mayor of the City of Avinger in 1993.

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Texas Legislature
7:23 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Lawmakers Begin 83rd Legislature Mindful Of Last Session

Wikipedia Commons

Lawmakers are back under the dome of the Texas Capitol for a new session for a new age in politics, with the reminder of what happened two years ago in the back of their minds.

Two years ago, education funding was slashed by $5.4 billion, the use of the state’s emergency "rainy day" fund was frowned upon, and a controversial Voter ID bill got through both chambers but was found unconstitutional against minority voters by the court system.

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State Budget
3:44 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Combs Estimates $100 Billion In Revenue For 2014-2015 Budget

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Susan Combs
State of Texas

According to State Comptroller Susan Combs, Texas lawmakers will have will have $101.4 billion to work with during the next legislative session. Combs said the estimated $96 billion in revenue from taxes, fees and other sources is up nearly $20 billion from previous years.

"General revenue collections in 2008 and 2009 -- leading into the [legislative] session -- totaled $79.6 billion," Combs said.  "In 2010 - 2011, as we hit bottom and began to climb out the revenues were $4.5 billion less."

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SAPD Officer Arrested
2:28 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

SAPD Officer Facing 20 Years In Prison On Federal Charges

SAPD Officer Curtis Lundy is 36 years old and has been on the force for 4 years.
SAPD

San Antonio Police Department has arrested one of their own after an FBI investigation led to federal charges.

SAPD Chief William McManus said he’s disgusted at the alleged actions of SAPD officer Curtis Lundy.

"There are few things in public service that are worse than a bad cop," said McManus. "As the highest ranking official in the San Antonio Police Department, I do not, and will not ever, tolerate a crime committed by any public official; especially one of my officers."

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Bexar County Sheriff
12:50 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Sheriff Susan Pamerleau Sworn In - First Woman Elected To Post

Susan Pamerleau sworn in by former County Judge Cyndi Krier with Pamerleau's father holding the Bible
Javier Salazar

The first woman elected to serve as Bexar County’s Sheriff was sworn in at one minute past midnight on the first day of the new year.

The day after her successful bid to defeat incumbent Amadeo Ortiz, Susan Pamerleau said she got busy, building relationships with county officials, assembling her administrative team, and taking a look at the $105 million budget she will manage.

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The Source
11:41 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Rep. Charlie Gonzalez On The Fiscal Cliff

Outgoing San Antonio Congressman Charlie Gonzalez in his 2012 congressional portrait.
U.S. Congress

Congressman Charlie Gonzalez is ending a 14-year career in the U.S. House, and he's going out as things are heating up -- the august body is still dealing with the political crisis known as the fiscal cliff. Gonzalez explains why he’s leaving Congress and what his successor, Joaquín Castro, needs to know to deal with the pressures of Washington D.C.

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Criminal Justice
10:31 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Bexar County Joins Other Metros To Reform State Criminal Justice System

Bexar County

A coalition of the state’s major metro counties has an agenda to convince legislators that a sea-change is needed in rehabilitating jail and prison inmates.

The Offender Re-entry Council has been working to lower costs of criminal justice, reduce recidivism, and improve public safety, but in the early- to mid-90s, the talk around Texas was of jail overcrowding and building more prisons.

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