83rd Legislature

Texas Legislature
1:12 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Texas Restaurant Industry Supports Bill To Ban Use Of Trans Fats

Flickr user Ross Belmont (rossbelmont) cc

Much like laws in the other states that ban restaurants and food eateries from using trans fats, Texas senators are now considering a similar measure in House Bill 1359.  

"The bill prohibits the use of any trans fats above .5 grams, and it doesn’t have any enforcement provisions in it, but it does allow the food inspection department to provide some grading on the restaurants using or not using trans fats," said Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, who authored the bill.

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Texas Legislature
10:25 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Senate Passes Water Funding Bill, House Variation Is "Doorknob Dead"

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Lawmakers in the Texas Senate wasted no time passing a bill to fund the future of Texas’ water needs, passing Senate Bill 4 by unanimous vote within the stretch of just a few hours. 

Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, authored the bill that sets up the structure of awarding 500 water projects over the next 50 years.  

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Texas Legislature
9:38 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Senate Bill Would Give Press And Citizen Journalists Added Protection When Filming Police

Ryan Loyd TPR News

A bill winning favor in the Senate provides protection to anyone with a smartphone or other camera while filming the police. 

Senate Bill 897, which was authored by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, reinforces protection for a citizen's first amendment right if they are arrested for filming the police.

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Texas Legislature - Education
2:31 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Van De Putte Helping Streamline G.I. Bill Assistance For Veterans

Office of State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

The Texas Senate has passed a bill that will help veterans more easily access their education funds under the G.I. Bill.

SB 1158, The Hazelwood Act, was designed to ensure veterans and their children that they would be exempt from specific tuition and fees at public institutions of higher learning in the State of Texas.

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Texas Legislature
11:07 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Lawmakers Vote To Place Oversight On Comptroller & Major Event Fund

Aerial photo of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
Circuit of the Americas Facebook photo

The Texas Senate approved SB 1678, which was authored by Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, in response to misspending related to the addition of a Jumbotron at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and another at the Circuit of Americas facility in Austin. 

Deuell said the fund, which is controlled by the Texas comptroller, needed a major overhaul.

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Texas Legislature - Education
9:16 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Passage Of Senate Bill Could Change How State Evaluates Teachers

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

Unlike its House companion, Senate Bill 1403 does not rely heavily on test scores taken from high-stakes exams to evaluate teachers.

Originally the bill included a provision that mandated 25 percent of a teacher's evaluation was directly related to students' grades on the state’s end-of-course exams.

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Texas Legislature
4:38 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

At State Capitol, Lawmakers Memorialize Those Who Died In West Fertilizer Explosion

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The senator representing the town of West shared his first-hand account of the damages related to the fertilizer plant explosion and memorializes those who died during the fire.

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Texas Legislature
10:33 am
Thu April 25, 2013

$17.5 Million Grant On The Line If Texas Passes Texting Ban

Senate Committee on Transportation hearing for the texting bill.
Ryan Poppe TPR

 The Senate Committee on Transportation heard emotional testimony Wednesday about the horrors of texting while driving as the state legislature is thinking about federal grant possibilities. 

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Texas Legislature
4:53 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Senate Dials Down Concealed Carry On Campus: Maybe Just In A Student's Car?

Oleg Volt Wikipedia Commons

The chairman for the Senate’s Criminal Jurisprudence Committee said lawmakers need a cooling off period when it comes to the debate over a full campus-carry gun bill.

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Texas Legislature
3:58 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Senate Passes Joint Resolution To Use Rainy Day Fund For Water, Roads & Education

Though the joint resolution passed, there is some concern about using the money for roads.
Eileen Pace TPR

A Texas comptroller report has spurned lawmakers to approve a measure that will provide about $6 billion for roads, water and education.  

In the report, Comptroller Susan Combs said the last bienum revealed a higher than expected rise in property tax revenues, which the state could use to help fund school districts.

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