83rd Legislature

City Government
6:20 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Judge Nelson Wolff Supports Proposed City-County Consolidation

Nelson Wolff's letter in support of the consolidation.
County Commissioner Nelson Wolff

Bexar County Judge Nelson has placed his support behind a bill in the legislature that would consolidate the governments of San Antonio and Bexar County into a single entity.

A pair of bills filed by state Rep. Lyle Larson would create a single government combining San Antonio’s City Council with the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court.

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3:48 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Can The Kashmere Stage Band's Thunder Soul Save Texas Schools?

Lead in text: 
On Saturday the Kashmere High School Marching band, the modern day group of students carrying the name of the legendary Conrad O. Johnson-led award winning group of the late 60s, marched to lead the Save Texas Schools rally at the State Capitol in Austin to urge lawmakers to stop cutting funding to public schools and reign-in standardized testing.
With legislative discourse choking public education, activists, parents, and students descend on the capitol tomorrow for Save Texas Schools. The rally runs noon-1:30pm, but the march on state government begins at the Congress Ave. Bridge, 10:45am, led by the Kashmere HS Marching Band, descended from the famous Houston funkestra.
Texas Legislature
9:10 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Farmers Market Bills Cropping Up at Texas Legislature

flickr.com/cbroders

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 7:40 am

Lawmakers are thinking locally at the Capitol.

Texas House members will hear two bills today that seek to loosen rules on local agriculture by lowering restriction of raw milk sales to consumers and placing a cap on the amount of taxes levied on farmers at local markets.

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Texas Legislature
3:36 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Proposed Bills Would Shutter Gas Chamber For Texas Pets And Strays

I-Hwa Chang for KUT News

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:11 pm

More than 100,000  cats and dogs are euthanized every year in Texas shelters. Euthanasia by carbon monoxide – essentially a gas chamber –  is still common practice in nearly 30 shelters.  

Within the last five years, almost 30 Texas cities banned gas chambers, switching from carbon monoxide to lethal injection. Pennsylvania and Louisiana banned gas chambers statewide last year.Description: --break->

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Texas Legislature
11:42 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Texas Lawmakers Renew Push On Statewide Texting And Driving Ban

flickr.com/indyplanets

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:59 am

Texas lawmakers are trying again to pass a statewide law banning texting while driving. A similar measure passed in the Texas House and Senate last legislative session, but was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry.

Today, Texas Rep. Tom Craddick’s House Bill 63 is getting its first public hearing. The bill is going before the House Committee on Transportation.

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Texas Education
10:09 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Agenda Texas: Will Safety Bills Make Schools Safer?

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:31 pm

Agenda Texas as heard on KUT 90.5

The December school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut left the nation stunned and  grief-stricken – and scared it could happen again.

Texas lawmakers have filed a handful of bills they say could increase security for students and peace of mind for parents. But some say those bills are more show than substance.

"A couple of bills are obviously just designed to appeal to the NRA while making it appear that they’re trying to make schools safer, when in fact they wouldn’t," says Texas State Teachers Association spokesman Clay Robison.

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Texas Education
10:02 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Senate Bill Proposes Using Empty Classrooms For Charter School Expansion

hdes.copeland flickr.com

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 5:12 pm

The head of the Senate Education Committee says 100,000 Texas families are on waiting lists for charter schools, and it's time to expand the number of charters and provide more funding. 

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Texas Education
6:36 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Martinez Fischer Pushes Legislature To Restore Education Cuts

Ben Philpott/KUT News

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:35 pm

The Texas legislature cut more than $5 billion from public education in 2011 to help balance the state budget. Then last month lawmakers were told previous revenue estimates were wrong – and that they had more than $8 billion left to spend on that budget.

Spending That Money

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LGBTQ Rights
2:20 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage/Civil Union Bills Filed In Legislature

Minnesota protesters ahead of the state legislature's anti-gay amendment vote in May 2011; the amendment failed.
Flickr user Fibonacci Blue cc

As some states across the U.S. approve same-sex marriage by voters or legislatures, many are asking when conservative Texas will move forward on the issue. Several lawmakers filed bills this week that can be seen at least symbolic victories of progress.

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Water Conservation
2:34 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Texas In Need Of A Long-Term Water Plan

Is the water glass in Texas half-full or half-empty? It depends on who you ask.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

When it comes to water in Texas, unless you’re a farmer, most people in the state don’t care.

A public opinion poll conducted by faculty members at the University of Texas in association with the Texas Tribune found that the economy, immigration and education are top of mind for most, yet water registers as a top issue with only 4 percent.

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