local news

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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Special Session
1:43 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Gov. Perry Adds Transportation Bills To Special Session Agenda

Eileen Pace TPR News

Hoping to solve some of the state’s glaring problems with transportation, Gov. Rick Perry has opened the special session agenda to transportation-related bills.

This move has been a whispered rumor since the session began, but now lawmakers in the Texas House and Senate will begin debate on over 12 pre-filed transportation bills. 

The big one with the most buzz is a bill co-authored by Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, and Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville.

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Border & Immigration
12:19 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Agriculture Commissioner Pushes For Action In Water War With Mexico

Laurel Morales Fronteras

The Texas Agriculture Commissioner is pushing congressional leaders to suspend contracts with Mexico if the country doesn't release water owed to Texas farmers and ranchers.

Mexico is required to release 1.8 million acre-feet of water every five years to the U.S. from six tributaries that feed into the Rio Grande. In exchange, the U.S. delivers water from the Colorado River to Mexico, but under the current agreement Mexico has left South Texas farmers dry, owing the state over 350,000 acre-feet of water.

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Texas Legislature - Education
12:01 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Texas Education Getting A Major Makeover With Signing Of New Bills

Flickr user biologycorner (Shannan Muskopf) cc

Parents, students and several lawmakers crowded into the governor's press room to witness Gov. Rick Perry signing legislation into law that changes the state’s public education system. 

While there were a handful of bills on hand, the one that stood out most was a bill that reduces the number of high-stakes exams students are required to take from the current 15 standardized tests down to five.

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Texas Business
11:03 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Gov. Perry Launches Million-Dollar Ad Campaign In New York And Conn.

rickperry.org

Coming off his February trip to California and an Illinois stop two months later, Gov. Rick Perry is taking his business pitch to New York and Connecticut hoping to lure businesses to the Lone Star State.

Starting on June 16 Perry will be showcasing some of the state's finer points for businesses to relocate to the Lone Star State while also visiting the East Coast.

The advertisements  feature various business leaders in Texas and celebrities like former NFL star Emmitt Smith and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.

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Business
2:29 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Toyota Cutting Costs By Standardizing Parts

A truck manufactured by the Toyota plant in San Antonio pulled the space shuttle Endeavor.
Brandyn N. Moore Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc

As an example of their effort to standardize more of its parts, Toyota is reducing the variety of air bags it installs in different vehicles.

Toyota was using 50 different types of airbags to protect driver's knees in all their available models, and has found from a cost savings audit that they can cut that number down to ten.

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Community
4:35 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

ACLU Study Finds "Staggering" Racial Bias When Enforcing Marijuana Laws

A new study by the ACLU questions the value of police time and money in arresting casual users.
ACLU

An American Civil Liberties Union study indicates that 12 counties in Texas have the highest rates of marijuana arrests for members of the African American community.

The study put out by the national office of the ACLU shows that in the past ten years, Texas as a whole saw a 51 percent jump in marijuana arrests of African-Americans. 

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Texas Legislature
3:52 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Perry And Boots Sign Service Animal Law In San Antonio

Boots puts the final stamp of approval on the bill.
Eileen Pace TPR

Against the backdrop of VFW 76 in downtown San Antonio, Gov. Rick Perry signed into law House Bill 489 to benefit returning wounded warriors and other disabled people who use service animals.

The bill prohibits restaurants and other establishments from refusing to allow entry to service dogs of any disabled person.

Col. Carol Anderson, U.S. Army Ret., kept her service dog close to her during the press conference because her injuries left her panicky among crowds.

"Right now I’m rubbing my dog with my foot," Anderson admitted.

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Texas Legislature
3:09 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Opposing Views Of Education During 83rd Legislative Session

Though much of the money cut in 2011 has been restored, both sides of the education debate have positives and negatives to take out of this session.
Eileen Pace TPR News

The largest teacher’s union in the state of Texas and a right-wing political think tank are providing their assessment of this past session education bills.

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Texas Legislature
11:17 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Fight Not Over For Bill To Reduce High-Stakes Testing

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A statewide pro-business group based in Austin is urging Gov. Rick Perry to veto House Bill 5, a bill that changes the state’s testing structure for public schools.

Bill Hammond, the executive director for the Texas Business Association, said the House bill that reduces the number of high-stakes exams for school kids will provide the Texas workforce with a poor product.

"60 or 70 percent of the jobs that are being created today require some post-secondary education of some sort, perhaps even a certificate from a community college or an associate’s degree," Hammond said.

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