83rd Legislature

Government
11:17 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Lt. Governor Dewhurst Tweets Senate Abortion Bill Was About Ending Abortion

Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst
Campaign photo Wikimedia Commons

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst took to Twitter on Wednesday to say that a senate abortion bill was about ending abortion in Texas.  

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Special Session
12:09 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Senate Drops Several Key Abortion Bills In Order To Pass One During Special Session

Gov. Rick Perry announces his support for a bill preventing abortions after 20 weeks last December.
Office of the Governor

Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, the author of the 20-week fetal pain abortion bill, withdrew his own bill in order for lawmakers to pass something related to abortion during the special session.

Hegar said he abandoned his bill because of poor of timing.

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Special Session
5:05 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Transportation Funding Passes One Hurdle In Senate

Eileen Pace TPR

Senate Joint Resolution 2, which was authored by Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, would continually transfer $1.8 billion to transportation once the Rainy Day Fund grew to $6 billion.

Some in the Senate, like Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, who has seen a decade of being told "no," say the use of the Rainy Day Fund is finally somewhat defined.

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Special Session
1:52 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Republicans Attach Redistricting Maps To Another Bill To Get Them Out Of Committee

83rd Texas Legislature plan 309 for House districts.
State of Texas District Viewer

A bill that would’ve decided the fate of voting maps for members of the Texas House initially failed to pass because of several extended phone conversations.

After waiting for over 15 minutes for Republican members to return to the hearing for a vote, an order was given to find the missing representatives.  

After a vote was cast, Rep Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, who is the committee chairman, asked to be excused to check the back offices for the missing Republicans.

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Special Session
11:25 am
Tue June 18, 2013

With One Week To Go, Special Session Still Debating Abortion, Transportation & Redistricting

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Some House Republicans feel that too much time is being spent debating abortion legislation during the special session and not enough time on roads.

The House first assigned a set of four abortion bills to a select committee on Monday, giving the bills a later start than their Senate companions, but despite that there are some who feel the bills have a fighting chance.

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Merry Christmas Bill
4:47 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

'Merry Christmas' Bill Will Allow Religious Holiday Observance In Public Schools

merrychristmasbill.com

It’s nearly the start of summer but a law about to come out of the Texas Legislature has a yuletide mission to provide protections to public schools who want to offer religious celebrations during the winter. 

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Texas Legislature
11:25 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Committee Passes Juvenile Maximum Sentence Bill To Comply With Supreme Court Ruling

The Bexar County Jail.
Eileen Pace TPR

On the surface, the bill by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, seems complex, but she said it essentially brings Texas in compliance with last year's Supreme Court ruling that found sentencing 17 year olds to a life sentence without parole was unconstitutional.

Since Texas treats 17 year olds as adults and allowed life without parole, that came in conflict with the Supreme Court ruling. This new law would mean that 17 year olds will face a mandatory maximum that is in line with 14 and 16 year olds.

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Special Session
3:01 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Austin Democrat Talks Crossover Districts In Redistricting Debate

Court-ordered interim U.S. Congressional Districts for the 2012 election.
State of Texas District Viewer http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us/

Following several out-of-town hearings on the subject of redistricting, the Senate committee is back in Austin hearing various plans for changing the state’s voting maps, which included a plan from Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who said he borrowed his argument from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

"It concludes by saying -- in essence -- that while the Voting Rights Act may not require the creation of a crossover district, the purposeful dismantling of a crossover district would raise serious questions under the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution," Watson said.

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The Source - June 12, 2013
2:02 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The Source: Abortion In The Legislature | San Antonio Parks

Greg Zaragoza for Texas Public Radio

In the first segment:

The special session has taken on some added weight this week with the addition of several bills splitting the legislature from its initial redistricting focus. Most controversially, the fetal pain abortion bill has been revitalized in Senate Bill 5.

Terri Burke, executive director of the Texas American Civil Liberties Union, joins us along with San Antonio Coalition for Life Executive Director Matt Schima.

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Special Session
4:50 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Abortion And Juvenile Capital Punishment Added To Special Session

Gov. Rick Perry announces his support for a bill preventing abortions after 20 weeks at the Source Pregnancy Center in Houston. Photo: December 2012.
Office of the Governor

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, has one of about six bills that address some aspect of abortion in the special session. Patrick said his bill would hold institutions like Planned Parenthood to strict guidelines when dispensing the Plan B abortion pill the abortion pill (mifeprestone), a set of pills that medically ends a pregnancy and can be used up to 9 weeks after the woman's last period.

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