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.
UPDATE 5:59 The Senate Committee on Education heard SB 1575 this afternoon from educators and parents supporting the so-called voucher program that would give parents money to move their children from public to private schools.
The bill’s author Senator Donna Campbell of New Braunfels said that parents and students should have a choice in schooling and claim that failing public schools set back children across the state.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 10:07 am
Simmering tensions between University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers and the UT Board of Regents keep rising: An article in the Houston Chronicle claims Gov. Rick Perry – who appoints the regents – “has communicated through emissaries that Powers should resign to avoid an embarrassing regents vote to fire him.”
Chronicle reporter Patricia Kilday Hart spoke with Texas Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Sen. Zaffirini argues that recent several actions by the Board of Regents – a special-called meeting to discuss a sexual encounter between assistant football coach Major Applewhite and an adult student, a sweeping open records request, and the controversial decision to re-investigate financial arrangements at the UT Law School foundation – are designed to “make life miserable” for Powers and lead to his resignation.
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.
Lawmakers in the House Appropriations Committee are holding a public hearing this morning on the proposal. The bill would set aside $2 billion from the economic stabilization or "Rainy Day" fund for water projects.
The bill’s author – Rep. Allan Ritter (R-Nederland) – says prolonged statewide drought has revealed the importance of developing a dedicated source of revenue for the state’s water plan.
Religious leaders from Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish faiths are calling on state leaders to increase funding for women’s health programs. Clergy members held a news conference at the Capitol today to highlight a statement signed by more than 370 religious leaders from various faiths.
"We are voices of faith that minister to people of all levels of economic ability in our state and we’ve seen these cuts especially affect women in poverty in Texas," said Larry Bethune, pastor of the University Baptist Church in Austin. Bethune sits on the board of the Texas Freedom Network, an organization that says it exists to counter the "religious right."