Businesses in agriculture are paying close attention to the water situation over the next few weeks as warmer temperatures approach, but other businesses with lesser water demands have little to worry about.
The overwhelming approval Wednesday of a bill setting aside state funding for water projects sparked conversation about water restrictions in metro areas. Some lawmakers argued that the money would benefit only rural communities.
The House Budget Committee approved additional funding for public school districts and changed a key component for how schools are funded locally. They voted out a budget bill out of committee late Thursday that will provide school districts $3 billion over the next 2 years.
Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, is the vice-chair of the committee and said that is still below what was cut during the 2011 budget.
Lawmakers at the state capitol are hoping to give colleges and universities the ability to conduct DPS background checks for students living on campus.
Currently many colleges conduct public background checks on students seeking on-campus housing, but some college administrators don't believe they go far enough. Edward Williams, who works in residential life at Kilgore College in East Texas, testified in favor in the bill.
A bill requiring higher standards for abortion providers has made it out of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and is now on the senate floor for full review.
The discussion on the matter of requiring abortion providers to have a similar setup as surgical office quickly escalated from a civil conversation to a yelling match between the author of the bill, Sen. Bob Duell, R-Greenville, and Virginia Brawn, who owns a North Texas women's clinic.
With the support of the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a state lawmaker has filed a bill that would block pending federal assault weapons ban from affecting Texas gun owners.
Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, said "The Texas Firearms Protection Act" draws a line in the sand when it comes to the ongoing debate in Washington over ban of assault-style weapons like the AR-15, the same type of weapon used in both the Newton, Conn. and Aurora, Colo. mass shootings.
Over 36 gun bills have been introduced so far this legislative session, ranging from lessening the time it takes to obtain a Concealed Handgun License, to bills like the one authored by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston that puts additional regulations on gun-owners and sellers.
"Currently Texas allows private weapon sales at gun-shows without background checks, so I filed a bill -- SB 1626 -- and it will require background checks for every gun sold in the state of Texas," Ellis said.
San Antonio Representative Mike Villarreal has filed a bill to bring transparency to licensing procedures for school teachers.
Right now teachers take a composite exam with several different parts – including all the core subjects – but as long as their overall score is passing, the teachers don’t have to pass all of those subjects to be certified to teach them.