83rd Legislature

Texas Legislature
1:23 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Bill For Total Cell Phone Ban In And Around School Zones On Final Vote

Chris Eudaily TPR

Currently drivers are required to put down their cell phone while driving through the areas of a school, which are usually governed by flashing lights and warning signs. 

House Bill 347, which was authored by Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, and sponsored by Sen. Bob Nichols, R-Jacksonville, takes that law two steps further.

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Texas Legislature
4:29 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Texas Moves Closer To Becoming Second State To Pass Drone Bill

One of 10 Predator B drones that DHS uses to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border. This plane is based in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Hernán Rozemberg

With the growing number of drones being used by by law enforcement and the public, Texas lawmakers are taking up the issue to try and set some ground rules.

House Bill 912 would restrict the use of drones, and is inching closer to becoming law. 

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Texas Legislature - Transportation
3:42 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

With Transportation Bill Pulled, Is There Still Hope To Fix Texas Roads?

Eileen Pace TPR

The likelihood of fixing Texas roads seems slim as Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, a leader of transportation in the House, withdrew his bill from the floor.  

The bill would have raised the state’s registration fee $50 to help pay for roads, but that was lowered to a $15 increase as the bill was debated. 

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Texas Matters
2:24 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

President Obama Touches Down In Texas

Though a staunchly Republican state, President Obama has found success in visits to Texas.
Joey Palacios TPR

Texas Matters: President Obama visited Austin on Thursday to promote his jobs and middle class growth strategy. Also on this show: Latino unemployment in Texas, the Boquillas border crossing opens in Big Bend and the last night to pass bills out of the Texas House.

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Medicaid Expansion
1:35 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Update: Designer Of GOP Medicaid Expansion Plan Says Bill Is Dead

In mid-April both Texas Democrats (pictured) and Texas Republicans outlined plans to get federal dollars for Medicaid expansion.
Ryan Poppe TPR

Update: (May 9, 6:45 a.m.) A group of House Democrats are outraged that the Zerwas "Texas Solution" to Medicaid will not be scheduled for a debate or vote.

Donna Howard, D-Austin, said both sides of the House are calling the move to kill the bill highly suspicious.

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Texas Legislature
10:55 am
Wed May 8, 2013

House Follows Governor’s Marching Orders To Pass Small Business Tax Cuts

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The House passed House Bill 500, which would extend tax incentives to small businesses by using revenue usually reserved to fund schools.

Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, who authored the bill, said the state will replace the money for public education in the senate’s version of the budget bill.

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Texas Legislature
12:49 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Testing Bill Asks Students To Choose Career Path In 9th Grade

The Save Texas Schools rally on March 12, 2011.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Before eventually passing the measure, the Senate made radical changes to assessment testing and developed a new model for high school education and school accountability ratings.

The bill originated in the Texas House, but found its clarity in the Senate. 

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the bill’s co-author, said this bill does more than reduce the number of high-stakes exams required to graduate from 15 to five.

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Texas Legislature
8:45 am
Tue May 7, 2013

How An Ex-Con Can Carry An Assault Rifle And Claim Self-Defense

Flickr user jonmallard cc

Under certain circumstances, people convicted of felony offenses can currently use self-defense as the justification for shooting someone, but that could soon change.

A bill authored by Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, would prohibit convicted felons from being able use such a defense in court.

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Texas Legislature
11:22 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Even With Bi-Partisan Support, Needle Exchange Bill Dies On House Floor

Ryan Poppe TPR News

After several legislative strategies, a bill that would set up the first Texas needle exchange dies on the House floor.

There were multiple attempts to revive the bill, which was authored by Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, and would've set up a pilot needle exchange program for IV drug users.

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Texas Legislature
9:54 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Weekend Recap: Texas Is Well Armed And Ready For Action

Oleg Volt Wikipedia Commons

Lawmakers came out of  "O.K. Corral Day" sending a clear message as over 95 percent of all gun bills heard during House’s first working Saturday were approved. 

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