Texas Matters

Fridays at 3:30 p.m., Saturdays at 6:30 a.m., and Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Texas is a big state with a growing, diverse population and as the population grows, the issues and challenges facing its residents multiply.  Texas Matters is a statewide news program that spends half an hour each week looking at the issues and culture of Texas.

Texas Matters is hosted by David Martin Davies, who talks directly with policymakers and newsmakers in a lively discussion designed to shed light on issues often overlooked by other media.

David Martin Davies:

Davies is the host of "The Source" and a veteran journalist with over 20 years’ experience covering Texas, the border and Mexico. He is a regular contributor to NPR and American Public Media's "Marketplace." Davies also has written for "The San Antonio Light", "The San Antonio Express-News," "The Texas Observer" and others, and hosted KLRN public television’s interview program "Conversations."

Texas Matters is made possible by the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.

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Texas Matters
12:02 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Texas Matters: The Story Of Education Funding Turns Another Page

The nine justices of the Texas Supreme Court in January 2013, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, who is from San Antonio, is seated in the middle.
State of Texas

Texas education funding is ruled unconstitutional, and Attorney General Greg Abbott is expected to appeal the case to the Texas Supreme Court. There are opposing views in the legislature on whether to immediately act to address the issue, or wait until the court forces it. Gov. Perry is causing a stir with his radio ads in California that try to lure companies to the Lone Star State, and one columnist from San Francisco says this is generating some interesting conversation.

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Texas Matters
12:08 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Following State-of-the-State, What Are Gov. Perry's Next Steps?

Rick Perry gets ready to take the podium for his 2013 State-of-the-State address where he outlined his goals for the legislative session.
Texas Tribune

Texas Matters: Gov. Rick Perry uses the State-of-the-State address to propose giving tax breaks, but should the state use the extra money to restore education funding instead? A new poll shows that a majority of Texans disapprove of the job he is doing and 62 percent think he should not run for re-election. Since he is a primary torch-bearer for the conservatives in the state, what will he do next?

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Texas Matters
1:42 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Texas' Political Future: Medicaid, Business & Democrats

Dr. Bob Deuell, a state senator from Greenville, opposes the expansion of Medicaid availability
Shelley Kofler KERA-Dallas

Texas Matters: Governor Perry continues to say he will not expand Medicaid in Texas with federal funds as several Republican governors now say they will. A new study looks at the reality of job creators. A Beaumont attorney files a class-action lawsuit against pornography sites that host "revenge porn"; explicit photos and videos of women posted by ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands. Finally, what will it take to turn Texas Democrat blue?

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Texas Matters
1:15 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Standardized Tests - Behind The Scenes & Calls For Reform

Arlington High School student Taylor Griffin and mother Nikki Griffin say new state testing standards are stressful for students.
Shelley Kofler KERA-Dallas

Standardized testing in Texas: Are changes on the way? And what happens to the test papers when students have filled in the last bubble? How do you teach the bible in public schools without promoting a religious viewpoint? The Texas Legislature tries to figure out education funding (again), and now that the president has been re-elected for a second term, Latinos are asking about immigration reform.

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Texas Matters
12:44 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Texas Legislature: What Should We Do With All This Money?

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Flickr user TN Drum Guy cc

Texas Matters: State revenue numbers look good for this session of the legislature; there is even a surplus. Gov. Rick Perry suggests that the extra money be used to cut taxes, while others want to restore funding to education and health programs that took cuts in the last legislative session. Gun owners in Texas stand their ground as the federal government comes up with its next move to cut down on gun violence.

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Texas Matters
1:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Texas Legislature Opens & A Billonaire Gets Busted (Sort Of)

Texas state capitol in Austin where the 83rd Texas Legislature will convene on Jan. 8.
Wikipedia Commons

Texas Matters: It's finally here! The 83rd Texas Legislature will be sworn in and start on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Political Action Committees, or Super PACs as they came to be so heroically known in last year's election, enjoyed fairly easy regulations on both organization and donations. However, there are rules and stiff penalties if you break them; one Texas billionaire was caught and fined a shocking $6,450!

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Texas Matters
10:13 am
Fri December 28, 2012

How Premont ISD Beat The Odds And The TEA To Stay Open

Premont ISD has struggled with attendance, academic performance and mismanaged finances for years, and are now under strict TEA monitoring to get the district back on track and keep the doors open.
David Martin Davies TPR

Premont ISD has struggled with low attendance, low test scores and poor finances for years, but when a letter from the TEA came threatening to close the school, everyone knew that something must be done.

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Texas Matters
11:25 am
Fri December 21, 2012

How The Newtown Shooting Is Affecting School Safety In Texas

School districts in Texas are required by law to conduct and report a safety audit to prepare for emergency situations on campus. The Newtown shootings have given these preparations a greater sense of urgency.
Texas School Safety Center

Texas Matters: After reviewing school district safety audits, the attorney general's office found that 78 Texas school districts were not compliant with the law. The Newtown tragedy is also having an effect in San Antonio school districts, where two students who were making jokes about bomb threats and shootings on their own campuses were arrested. Texas Monthly crowns its 2012 Bum Steer of the Year: Lance Armstrong.

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Texas Matters
12:21 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Gov. Perry's Push To Ban Abortion Takes Another Step

Gov. Rick Perry announces his support for a bill preventing abortions after 20 weeks at the Source Pregnancy Center in Houston.
Office of the Governor

Gov. Perry's announcement this week of the "fetal pain" bill is the latest in his attempts at restricting abortion in Texas; pro-life groups applaud the announcement and pro-choice groups are kicking their opposition into high gear. The governor made his announcement at a pregnancy crisis center, but what exactly is a pregnancy crisis center, and where do they get their funding? Freelance reporter Carolyn Jones investigates. Finally, problems with state-funded CPRIT continue to surface, the latest being an $11 million grant that was not reviewed before it was handed out.

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Texas Matters
11:21 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Firsthand Looks At Central American Migrants And Working Poor In Texas

The stabilizing of the unauthorized immigrant population number follows a two-year decline from 2007-2009.
Pew Research Center

The number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has been declining since 2007; however, there has been an increase in migrants from other Central American countries, most of whom are teenagers. Being poor in Texas: Government assistance documentary, and a firsthand payday loan experience. Renewable energy continues to push forward as the Texas Renewable Energy Conference hits Austin next week.

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