When the Texas Legislature starts its new session next month, lawmakers will be taking a close look at the state's booming oil and gas industry. Some believe the industry has grown far faster than the state's ability to regulate it. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found that while past efforts to improve oversight have failed, this time may be different.
Will the Newtown, Conn. shooting spark Texas gun control reform? Given the state's unwavering support of gun rights in the past, it is very unlikely, but the next legislative session is just around the corner. Right now there are five bills dealing with gun control in the queue, only one of which, from Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Kingland, seeks to expand gun carrying privileges.
December 17, 2012 4:50 pm by: Ben Philpott The 2013 Legislature will address at least five bills on guns. Photo by Liang Shi/KUT News In the wake of last week's school shooting in Connecticut, many states including Texas are examining their gun laws.
The Global Report Card compares school district performance in the United States to international students from other developed countries around the world. The tool also allows you to see demographic information that helps tell a more complete story of each district.
Governor Rick Perry announced that he’s backing a tougher state law against abortion. Perry is pushing for a so-called “fetal pain” law to be passed in the upcoming legislative session.
Joined by state Senator-elect Donna Campbell (R), Perry called for the new Texas law that would tighten the state’s restrictions on abortions by banning abortion after 20 weeks, which is when Perry said a fetus can feel pain.
Two Bexar County lawmakers are gearing up for their days in Austin – to craft a budget and shape new laws for Texas. Republican Representative Lyle Larson of District 122 is on a mission to keep the state on a conservative course. Democrat Representative Mike Villarreal of District 123 is going to Austin in the political minority, but still looking to be a major part of the legislative process.
Democratic State Rep. Mike Villarreal filed legislation HB 238, which if passed would amend the Texas Labor Code to provide equal employment protections for gay and transgender employees.
"My question is," said Villareal: "Is this person showing up on time and doing their job? If they are, then they should be treated no differently than anybody else. Unfortunately, the LBGT community doesn't have the same protections in the state of Texas that they enjoy in other states."
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 9:55 am
Despite Gov. Rick Perry’s firm opposition to a key tenet of federal health reform — expanding the state’s Medicaid program for those with low incomes — Texas Democrats remain optimistic that the 2013 legislative session can yield a deal that brings in billions in additional federal dollars.
It will be a tough sell: No Republican lawmakers have gone on record supporting the Medicaid expansion, which would add an estimated 1.8 million Texans onto the joint state-federal health plan by 2022.
But state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said fiscal conservatives have an incentive to reach an agreement “because the alternative is going to cost us much more economically and dig a much deeper hole in our budget.”
The Texas Legislature is preparing to convene once again in Austin, and this session there are going to be some hi-tech improvements. Texas House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel said the electronic devices are now popping up in the state legislature.
As we head toward the next legislative session, one bill on the agenda might look very familiar. It's the texting while driving law that was passed, but then vetoed by Governor Rick Perry last session. However the law has been implemented on the local level in certain cities and with mixed results.
“I only know of about four cases that we’ve had since its implementation.”