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.

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.

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:

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."

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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