83rd Legislature

Texas Veterans
2:50 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Bills Filed To Help Veterans Use Military Certification To Find Work

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte is pushing to make military certifications easier to transfer into civilian life.
Office of State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

A set of bills in both the Texas House and Senate are there to ensure that the state’s veterans are able to use military training to obtain jobs. 

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte authored the bill that ensures training and certifications obtained by veterans and their spouses while serving in the military immediately transfer with them into civilian life. 

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Abortion Legislation
2:30 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Debate On Abortion Clinic Standards Touches Off Shouting Match

Texas State Capitol in Austin, where legislators and supporters/opponents are debating proposed legislation.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

A bill requiring higher standards for abortion providers has made it out of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and is now on the senate floor for full review.

The discussion on the matter of requiring abortion providers to have a similar setup as surgical office quickly escalated from a civil conversation to a yelling match between the author of the bill, Sen. Bob Duell, R-Greenville, and Virginia Brawn, who owns a North Texas women's clinic.

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Elected Officials
6:50 am
Tue March 19, 2013

El Paso Lawmaker Apologizes For Alleged Drunk Driving Incident

naomigonzalez.org
  • Rep. Naomi Gonzalez apology before the House Floor for alleged DWI

After being arrested, booked and released from jail for allegedly driving while intoxicated, Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, D-El Paso, apologized to the entire Texas House.

During this year’s South by Southwest festival, Gonzalez is alleged to have been driving drunk when she hit another motorist, which caused a cyclist to be injured in process. 

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Texas Legislature
8:05 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Proposed Bill Ready To Push Back Against Federal Gun Legislation

Texas state capitol in Austin where the 83rd Texas Legislature is debating issues like gun control, medicaid expansion, water conservation, and education funding.
Wikipedia Commons

With the support of the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a state lawmaker has filed a bill that would block pending federal assault weapons ban from affecting Texas gun owners. 

Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, said "The Texas Firearms Protection Act" draws a line in the sand when it comes to the ongoing debate in Washington over ban of assault-style weapons like the AR-15, the same type of weapon used in both the Newton, Conn. and Aurora, Colo. mass shootings.

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Texas Legislature
11:03 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Committee Approves Water Bill Despite Funding Disagreement

Texas state capitol in Austin
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The Committee on Natural Resources has sent a water funding bill to the House floor that addresses one of the key points stressed by Governor Perry at the start of this legislative session. 

Rep. Allan Ritter, R- Nederland, said HB 4 provides$2 billion of state funds that city municipalities and businesses can tap into for their water needs.

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Texas Legislature
1:03 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Bills Filed Addressing Gun Show Loophole And High-Capacity Magazines

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Over 36 gun bills have been introduced so far this legislative session, ranging from lessening the time it takes to obtain a Concealed Handgun License, to bills like the one authored by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston that puts additional regulations on gun-owners and sellers.

"Currently Texas allows private weapon sales at gun-shows without background checks, so I filed a bill -- SB 1626 -- and it will require background checks for every gun sold in the state of Texas," Ellis said.

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Education Laws
9:31 am
Tue March 12, 2013

How Teachers Can Fail Chemistry But Still Teach It In Schools

State Rep. Mike Villarreal tutors a second grader at Herff Elementary School as part of his volunteer efforts through SA2020
Eileen Pace TPR

San Antonio Representative Mike Villarreal has filed a bill to bring transparency to licensing procedures for school teachers.

Right now teachers take a composite exam with several different parts – including all the core subjects – but as long as their overall score is passing, the teachers don’t have to pass all of those subjects to be certified to teach them.

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Texas Legislature
6:47 am
Tue March 12, 2013

State Lawmaker Says Expanded Newborn Testing Will Save Lives

Office of Rep. Myra Crownover

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:44 pm

On Wednesday state lawmakers on the House Public Health Committee will consider screening newborns for congenital heart defects. The bill filed by Denton Republican Myra Crownover continues her efforts to expand genetic testing for babies.

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Texas Legislature
3:01 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Removing Politics From The State Board Of Education

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Wikipedia Commons

A Texas lawmaker his filed a bill that would completely revamp the structure of the State Board of Education.

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, said she filed House Bill 906 in order to change how the State Board of Education members are elected because of what she calls some "glaring defects."

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10:52 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Could The Path To Raising State Revenue Lead Through Golf Courses?

Lead in text: 
In the last election cycle candidates on all sides were talking about "closing tax loopholes," but not many came forward with specific targets. Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, has discovered a tax loophole that saves golf courses around the state millions of dollars, but his efforts to close it may cost him his next round at River Oaks Country Club.
Rodney Ellis will be the first to tell you what a lovely time one can have on the links of the exclusive River Oaks Country Club in Houston.

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