83rd Legislature

Government
4:22 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Texas Legislature: Rep. Lavender Proposes Open Carry Law

A bill in the Texas House proposes removing the concealed portion of Texas gun laws allowing license holders to freely display their weapons.

State Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, proposed HB 700, which alters the code that says a firearm can’t be seen, but does require it be in a belt or shoulder holster with dual points of resistance.

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Texas Legislature
10:15 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Education Budget-Building Begins For Legislature

Lizzie Chen/KUT News

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:06 am

When the House and Senate filed base budgets last week, advocates for programs that were cut in 2011, including public education, were upset the budgets didn’t restore funding. Lawmakers countered that the budget was expected to grow.

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Texas Legislature
9:20 am
Wed January 23, 2013

For Lawmakers, A Slow Start And A Quickening Pace

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:08 am

Texas lawmakers were back at work Wednesday, after nearly a week off. 

They have about 125 days left in their 140 day session. While a vacation right off the bat might seem like a lazy start to their every-other-year meeting, it’s all part of the plan: In musical terms, each session has it's own rhythm and tempo. 

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Texas Legislature
12:34 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Will Texas Allow Liquor Sales On Sundays?

Grocery stores cannot sell alcoholic beverages before noon on Sundays, the proposed bill would allow liquor stores the same privilege.
Chris Eudaily TPR

A bill filed by State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D) of Houston would allow liquor stores to join its supermarket brethren in allowing alcohol sales after 12 p.m. Liquor stores across Texas must lock their doors on Sundays, and grocery stores cannot sell alcohol before noon.

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Texas Healthcare
11:32 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Does Texas Rank Last In Mental Health Spending?

flickr.com/photos/ranchocanyon

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 9:55 am

Politifact: Does Texas Rank Last in Mental Health Spending?

Today President Obama is expected to release details of proposals from a gun violence task force convened in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

In the days following Sandy Hook, many experts and pundits spoke of the need for better mental health care and screening.

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Texas Matters
12:44 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Texas Legislature: What Should We Do With All This Money?

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Flickr user TN Drum Guy cc

Texas Matters: State revenue numbers look good for this session of the legislature; there is even a surplus. Gov. Rick Perry suggests that the extra money be used to cut taxes, while others want to restore funding to education and health programs that took cuts in the last legislative session. Gun owners in Texas stand their ground as the federal government comes up with its next move to cut down on gun violence.

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Texas State Senate
4:57 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Van de Putte Named Senate President Pro Tem

After the 83rd Texas Legislature was gaveled in, the Senate nominated Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, to the position of senate president pro tempore.

Longtime friend and Senate colleague Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, officially named Van de Putte to hold the third highest position in the state, after Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

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2:49 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Straus Re-Elected Speaker Of The House By Acclamation

Lead in text: 
For the last month it seemed like Republicans in the Texas house were looking for a change in leadership, but instead of a contest the floor got an anticlimactic surrender, and went back to business.
After the last of his challengers dropped out Tuesday, San Antonio Republican Joe Straus was elected to a third term as speaker of the Texas House. That last challenger, Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, never found enough support to threaten the incumbent. An earlier challenger, Rep.
Texas State Capitol
11:32 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Legislative Interns Get A Leg Up On Texas Politics

Dressed uniformly and walking in a large group, students from the Texas Legislative Internship Program learn the halls of the Texas State Capitol building and find out where the cafeteria is located.

They will soon become very familiar with the offices, and even more with proposed bills. But Tina Tran, who runs the program, said their job is also somewhat stereotypical of an intern.

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Texas House of Representatives
9:20 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Straus Needs 76 Votes to Hold Speaker Seat

State Rep. Joe Straus, Dist. 121 is seeking re-election as speaker of the house.
State of Texas

When the 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives gavel into session Tuesday, Republican Speaker Joe Straus will be looking to keep his seat as the top man; to do so he only needs a simple majority: 76 votes.

However, he does have a challenger: Republican David Simpson from Longview. It is only Simpson's second term as a representative, but the former businessman was also mayor of the City of Avinger in 1993.

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