Austin

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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Texas Drought
9:15 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Should Texas Use 'Rainy Day' Fund For Water Projects?

Daniel Reese for KUT News

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 8:42 am

Should Texas take money from the state’s so-called Rainy Day Fund for water projects? It’s an idea that will get a closer look today.

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.

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Texas Veterans
8:58 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Veteran Education Requirements Putting Strain On Texas Colleges

Teresa Vieira for KUT News

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:17 am

Colleges and universities in Texas are struggling to pay for the tuition benefits they give to qualifying veterans and their dependents as part of a program called the Hazlewood Act.

As the number of veterans rises, higher education leaders say their institutions need help tackling the costs.

“We continuously get pulled at not to increase tuition. We don’t want to increase tuition. But those are the issues that we follow," Kenth Hance, Texas Tech University Systems Chancellor, says.

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Texas Healthcare
11:04 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Religious Leaders Demand Money For Women's Health

Texas Tribune

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 7:11 pm

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."

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Texas Legislature
12:29 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Agenda Texas: Homeschoolers Take To The Capitol To Learn/Participate

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 10:15 am

Agenda Texas as heard on KUT 90.5

There’s a perception, not unjustified, that it takes a high-priced high-powered lobbyist to get a bill passed in the Texas Legislature. But people still try to get something done with an army of volunteers. Some who are still in elementary school.

Around 100 kids from across the state came to Austin for the Texas Home School Coalition's rally day. The kids spent the day learning about the legislative process, yes they got school credit for participating, and to help support home school legislative efforts.

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Texas Legislature
8:56 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Jeb Bush Pushes Charter School Expansion, Rigorous Standardized Testing

Lizzie Chen/KUT News

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:00 pm

One of the biggest Republican stars in the country provided some advice on overhauling public education to the state Senate today. 

“I would advocate that when you have a chance to reform, it ought to be big,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told the Senate Education Committee. “You ought to go big or go home.”

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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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