On the surface, the bill by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, seems complex, but she said it essentially brings Texas in compliance with last year's Supreme Court ruling that found sentencing 17 year olds to a life sentence without parole was unconstitutional.
Since Texas treats 17 year olds as adults and allowed life without parole, that came in conflict with the Supreme Court ruling. This new law would mean that 17 year olds will face a mandatory maximum that is in line with 14 and 16 year olds.
President Obama said the balance between liberty and security is a tricky. As the National Security Agency tries to defend its data collection practices in the wake of the Eric Snowden leak, the debate continues around the issue with little chance of abating anytime soon. Julian Sanchez from the Cato Institute and Ron Sievert from Texas A&M University will make their cases.
The Spurs are holding a one-game advantage in their showdown with the Miami Heat for the NBA Finals, and despite the pressure, the team took time Wednesday to dedicate a new learning center at Wheatley Middle School.
NBA Commissioner David Stern said this is the 811th NBA live, learn and play center of its kind. Teams who make the finals are given an NBA grant to give back to their communities.
Lawmakers at the state capitol are outraged by the decision of FEMA officials to deny the town of West continued federal assistance following the fertilizer plant explosion.
According to a report released by the Associated Press, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is refusing to provide West with the funds to help the town rebuild. In a letter from FEMA to state officials, the group has ruled that the plant explosion in West did not meet the criteria for a major disaster declaration.
More than 200 local residents packed the Institute of Texan Cultures on Tuesday evening at a visioning meeting for the new Hemisfair. They were asked to enter their suggestions for features at the corner of Market Street and Alamo, near the Torch of Friendship.
Andres Andujar, CEO of Hemisfair Park Redevelopment Corporation, said that corner will be the large open space that becomes the front porch of San Antonio.
Following several out-of-town hearings on the subject of redistricting, the Senate committee is back in Austin hearing various plans for changing the state’s voting maps, which included a plan from Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who said he borrowed his argument from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
"It concludes by saying -- in essence -- that while the Voting Rights Act may not require the creation of a crossover district, the purposeful dismantling of a crossover district would raise serious questions under the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution," Watson said.
Friday night includes a celebration of Flag Day with the Heart of Texas Concert Band. "It's not as popular a holiday as St. Patrick's Day or even Columbus Day!", says music director and conductor Mark Rogers. "But we found lots of music appropriate for honoring the flag and wanted to do a concert."
The special session has taken on some added weight this week with the addition of several bills splitting the legislature from its initial redistricting focus. Most controversially, the fetal pain abortion bill has been revitalized in Senate Bill 5.
Texas Democrats are outraged that Gov. Rick Perry is threatening to veto a portion of the state budget unless embattled Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg steps down.
This spring, Lehmberg was arrested and convicted for driving under the influence in which her blood alcohol was three times the legal limit.
The governor’s office confirmed that Perry is considering a veto of a portion of the state’s budget bill that funds the state’s Public Integrity Unit, which investigates government entities and is headed up by the Travis County district attorney.