83rd Legislature

Texas Legislature
9:46 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Following Yelling Match, Texas House Passes Texting Ban

Chris Eudaily TPR

At times house members were shouting over each other as they debated HB 63, a bill that would outlaw the practice of texting while driving. 

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Texas Legislature
3:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

State Rep. Equates Teen Tanning To Cigarette Smoking In New Bill

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, who is himself a doctor, authored the bill and told the House Committee on Public Health that a tanning ban for minors is similar to other state restrictions already in place.

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Texas Legislature - Education
2:14 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Senate To Vote On House Bill Reducing Number Of State-Mandated Exams

Education has been a hot topic this year at the capitol.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Following the passage of House Bill 5 out of the Senate Committee on Education, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the chairman of the committee, chided the businesses and media outlets who have alleged that lowering the number of state-mandated end-of-course exams would dumb-down public school curriculum.

Patrick said nothing could be further from the truth.

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Medicaid Expansion
1:04 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

House Democrats Announce 'Texas Plus' Medicaid Expansion Plan

Chris Eudaily TPR

The House Appropriations Committee was packed - some witnesses having to sit in the aisles of the auditorium - as Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, laid out his plan to accept Medicaid expansion with a few adjustments to satisfy Republicans.

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Texas Legislature
2:52 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Texas Legislature Scores Poorly On Healthcare, Emissions

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A group of Texas lawmakers announced a snapshot of where the state is headed on issues like healthcare, environmental quality and education.

It’s called Texas on the Brink, which is a collection of statistics on the State of Texas. Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, is the chairman of the group.

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Water Rights
12:39 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Texas Vs. Mexico Water Fight Takes Turn In State's Favor

Laurel Morales Fronteras

Since the start of the legislative session, Rep. Eddie Lucio, D-Harlingen, has made it clear that Mexico needs to release the over 400,000 acre feet of water owed to Texas.

His fellow lawmakers have now joined that fight as his resolution addressing the issue passed on the House floor with unanimous vote.

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Texas Legislature
11:09 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Committee Debates Extended Family Right To Sue Parents/Child

flickr.com/bowtoo

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 12:39 pm

At the Capitol, House Judiciary Committee members will debate a bill that would increase the number of people who have a say over how a child is raised in Texas.

The bill sparking debate is HB 393, filed by State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston.  Thompson’s bill would expand the number of people who can sue for visitation rights if they believe a child is being raised in a way that puts his or her well-being at risk. 

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Transportation
9:18 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Governor Announces Bond Plan To Solve Transportation Problems

Eileen Pace TPR

During the Texas Lyceum Conference on Transportation Friday, Gov. Rick Perry announced his plan to fix funding issues with transportation costs. 

"On every car or truck sold in the state of Texas, we take in sales tax. The amount we take in on those sales is increasing steadily. I propose we dedicate the future growth in sales tax collected on motor vehicles to transportation infrastructure," Perry said.

The governor said Texas should take advantage of the state’s relatively low debt to fix roads, like those in the Eagle Ford Shale and Burnet Shale areas of the state.

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Texas Legislature
4:38 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

$6 Billion Of Rainy Day Fund Marked For Water And Roads - Education Left Off

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Texas Senate Committee on Finance gave their approval for tapping into the state’s so-called Rainy Day Fund to pay for future water and transportation needs.

Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, authored the bill that doesn’t include any of the money going to education.

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Texas Legislature - Education
1:41 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Senate Passes Charter School Bill With Bipartisan Effort

Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, got another win for open-enrollment charters schools and vouchers on Thursday as the bill, which would raise the number of charter schools to 215 by 2014, got little to no opposition, and even got some help from across the aisle.

The bill also calls for that number to be raised to 331 by 2019.

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