83rd Legislature

Texas Legislature
2:16 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Looking Back At Bipartisan Success And Fierce Debates In The 83rd Legislature

TPR News

From beer bills and a kumbaya legislative sessions to abortion bills and protests, Texas Public Radio takes a look back at some of 2013 legislative highlights.

The 83rd Legislature had several phases, the first of which was what has been commonly called the Texas lawmakers "kumbaya" session, where Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, was able to pass legislation with bipartisan support for a bill that gives Texas beer makers an opportunity to sell their craft beyond their brew pubs.

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Public School Funding
3:42 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

School Districts And State Heading Back To Court In January Over School Finance

The "Save Texas Schools" rally at the state capitol during the 2011 legislative session.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Hundreds of school districts from across the state will head back to court on Jan. 21 to once again examine the Texas legislature’s formula for funding education. Attorneys are arguing that new money and reduced student testing did little to improve the way Texas finances the public school system.

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83rd Legislature
12:45 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

It's September, And Over 600 New Laws Are Now In Effect

TPR News

Of the over 1,500 bills signed into law from the regular legislative session, 659 take effect this month and run a wide variety of subject matter.

Here are a few that are noteworthy:

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Minimum Wage
5:35 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Fast Food Workers In Texas Join Wage Increase Fight

Protesters gathered in Austin and around the country to rally for increasing the minimum wage.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

As part of a nationwide protest in over 60 cities, fast-food workers from Austin and the surrounding area walked off their job sites in protest of better wages from their employers.

Jennifer Castilla works at an Austin area Wendy’s Restaurant. The mother of four children makes $8/hour.

"I feel sorry for the ones who make lower than I do and that have as many kids as I got," Castilla said, "but I understand the struggle in life. I’ve been struggling my whole life in fast food and I figure now is the time to step up."

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Abortion Legislation
1:35 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

State Health Council Hears Public Testimony About Abortion Clinic Restrictions

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Update (4:30) Both sides of the abortion issue were shocked after the State Health Services Council failed to vote on rules attached to the new law requiring clinics performing abortions to adhere to a new set of facility requirements.

"This was very unusual and unexpected and hasn’t happened for us in recent history as far as we can recall," said Carrie Williams with Texas State Health Services.

Though there was no vote taken, this will not prevent the law from taking effect.

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Workplace Equality
11:58 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Nancy Pelosi Speaks For Women’s Rights At Austin Stop

A bill for pay equality for women in the workplace was passed by the 83rd Legislature, but was vetoed by Gov. Perry.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

House leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, spent much of her time speaking in Austin talking about women’s rights, primarily a woman’s right to equal pay to her male counterparts.

She was speaking at a discussion about women's economic issues hosted by the American Association of University Women of Texas at Austin Community College entitled, "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds."

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Science & Technology
4:26 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Tesla Opens Texas Supercharger Stations, But Still Can't Sell Vehicles In State

Tesla Motors model S in San Marcos at the unveiling of the new Tesla supercharger station.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The Tesla Motors Model S starts as soon as you sit down behind the wheel and press on the brakes -- there's not even a place for a key -- and from that point there is no sound, even when accelerating.

Tesla unveiled its latest string of supercharger stations in Texas this week to help provide its car owners a free charge along several of the state’s major roadways, but the addition of the supercharger station in San Marcos is on the heels of a legislative letdown.

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Gov. Rick Perry
9:39 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Judge Names Special Prosecutor In Perry Coercion Complaint

rickperry.org

This week San Antonio District Judge Robert "Bert" Richardson named area attorney Michael McCrum as the special prosecutor in the criminal complainant against Gov. Rick Perry.

"We’re too early to say there is going to be a trial in this matter," McCrum said. "Just because a complaint has been filed by a citizen doesn’t mean there is actually a prosecution in place. It’s my responsibility to look into the matter and decide if something went wrong, something that needs to be addressed in criminal court and whether or not charges need to be filed."

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Gun Violence In Schools
11:24 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Already A Major Snag In School Marshal Program

The Protection of Texas Children Act passed this legislative session requires the program be established by Jan. 1, 2014.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) is creating the Texas School Marshal Program that passed during the past legislative session, but there is an issue with where the marshals will get their training.

The law takes effect in Sept. for the start of the school year, but TCLEOSE has until Jan. 1, 2014, to finalize the curriculum and find a series of locations willing to teach the course.

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Fair Pay Bill
12:17 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Updated: People Across Nation Joining Boycott Of Macy's And Kroger Over Anti-Fair Pay Stance

rickperry.org

Update: So far over 5,000 people have signed the online petition as back-to-school shopping hits full stride with the state's tax-free shopping weekend, which starts today.

"It’s not a good weekend to have this kind of press, but it’s not ever a good time for them to have this type of press because it's not a good time to take this kind of position on an issue," said Ed Espinoza of Progress Texas.

Macy's has released a statement defending its support of Perry's veto and their own company structure:

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