Yesterday a House select committee discussed the benefits to providing film companies incentives to operate in within the state.
The committee was designed to go through each of the state’s economic incentive programs with a fine-tooth comb to determine if the state is benefiting from these corporate relationships. That list included the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which is managed by Heather Page, the director of the Texas Film Commission, a division of the governor’s office.
The city of San Antonio is seeking an opinion from the Texas attorney general's office on whether it must release sensitive audio files under the Public Information Act. The city contends that some of the documents relating to San Antonio’s first non-discrimination ordinance complaint are confidential.
The city of San Antonio's mechanism for filing a complaint under the revised non-discrimination ordinance is just about ready to launch.
Nearly one year to the day that city council passed the updated NDO, which adds sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status to the list of protected classes in the city, the website where people can file complaints will go live. The council voted to favor the ordinance on Sept. 5, 2013.
Deputy City Attorney Veronica Zertuche said Wednesday the website will launch next week on Sept. 4.
Abortion-rights groups painted a national legal landscape for challenges to state abortion laws and spoke specifically about Texas, where clinics are eagerly awaiting a federal decision regarding the state’s ambulatory surgical center standards.
Julie Rickelman with the Center for Reproductive Rights said Texas has become the focal point for the national fight against these types of restrictions.
A seismologist for the Texas Railroad Commission updated the Texas House Energy Resources Committee about the findings of a study on the number of earthquakes occurring near fracking injection well sites.
State lawmakers took issue with the Texas Education Agency’s plan to keep the standard for writing component of the Texas STAARS exam at a lower level for a third year in a row. Lawmakers voiced concerns with keeping the lower standard and changing the exam while student performance remains flat.
The state introduced the STAAR exams in 2011 and because of failing test grades the legislature reduced the number of exams from 15 to five in 2013.
State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said the STAAR exam may have run its course.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team has filed a constitutional challenge seeking to dismiss his two-count felony indictment.
In a writ of habeas corpus filed today, the governor’s legal team contends there are problems with separation of powers, rights to free speech, and say the penal code used to charge Perry is vague and overboard; that it doesn’t clearly define what is and isn’t permissible under the law.
University of Texas at Austin School of Law professor Jennifer Laurin said this type of challenge has a very limited set of arguments.
The state’s public integrity unit has filed a request with the governor’s office and legislative budget officials to restore funding to the agency in 2015.
But that effort may not be possible unless the unit is moved out of the Travis County district attorney’s office, which is headed by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.
State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said she would like to see the unit moved in 2015. In a statement, Nelson wrote that "we need to move the unit somewhere less partisan."
Rick Perry isn't the first Texas governor to stare down an indictment for his actions in the office.
In 1917 the Travis County district attorney’s office filed an indictment against then Gov. Jim “Pa” Ferguson for vetoing the budget of the University of Texas.
Professor Don Carleton, who heads up the Dolph Briscoe American History Center at the University of Texas at Austin, described the political climate at the time as being a prohibition vs. anti-prohibition, rural vs. urban environment of political bosses, and Ferguson certainly was that.