local news

Texas Legislature
4:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Senator's Late Budget Changes Upset Both Sides Of The Aisle

As in 2011, public education funding is a major issue at the state capitol.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Last-minute changes to House Bill 1025, a spending bill that has been the glue for the Texas budget, is now causing things to fall apart.

Lawmakers in the Texas House said they are shocked by the changes tacked on to a supplemental spending bill still awaiting a final vote, and have said they will not send the legislation to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk.

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, has broken their agreement regarding an additional $200 million in education funding.

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Pre-K 4 SA Implementation
3:38 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Now That Curriculum Is Set, Pre-K 4 SA Almost Ready To Go

A Pre-K 4 SA committee and the public reviewed several curriculum providers in mid-April.
Ryan Loyd TPR

The City of San Antonio’s new Pre-K 4 SA early education measure will be extending two contracts worth $540,000 to two curriculum programs.

Texas-based Frog Street Press will serve as the main curriculum for the 700 children at the initial two model education centers when school begins in the fall, and Maryland-based Teaching Strategies will act as a supplemental program.

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Texas Legislature
2:46 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

CHL Campus-Carry Bill Dies In Senate, But The Fight Isn't Over Yet

Flickr user David Trawin (trawin) cc

Lawmakers at the capitol have approved a measure to train public school teachers to respond during a mass-shooting event and let die a bill to allow concealed-handgun license holders to carry guns on a college campus. 

As the first of its kinds, House Bill 1009 provides volunteer school teachers with the same level of training as a police officers who respond to a mass-shooting scenario. 

"We plan on passing the bill exactly as it passed the House," said Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, who carried the bill in the Senate.

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Military
1:17 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Legislature Passes Summer Electric Bill Relief For Burned Veterans

The San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Joint Base San Antonio

Veterans who have burn injuries can now ask their utility companies for discounts, no matter where in Texas they reside now that the Burned Veterans Bill has passed in the Legislature.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte sought to expand the benefits of a bill passed in the last session to the statewide population of burned veterans.

The bill allows investor-owned utilities, municipal co-ops and retail electric providers to establish discount programs similar to the one that has proven so successful in San Antonio the last couple of years.

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Texas Legislature - Business
12:16 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Last Of Perry Business Tax Cuts Goes Through With Key Oversight Provision

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A Democratic senator was able to add a last-minute provision to the last of Gov. Rick Perry’s business tax cut bills calling for more oversight and monitoring of the program. 

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, was able to add his provision to House Bill 500, which provides  Texas small businesses with $600 million in tax cuts.

The attachment bill would have the Texas Comptroller review the businesses receiving a tax cut to be sure such cuts were effective.

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City Growth
11:02 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Southside Street Project Boosting Growth For Area Schools, Businesses

Landsat image of Southeast San Antonio in 1974.
U.S. Geological Survey

The city has begun a major "complete streets" project on Villaret Boulevard, which spans east and west on the city's Southside.

Once completed, the $7 million project will double the width of Villaret Boulevard the length of Palo Alto College, a drainage system will be installed to prevent flooding in future storms, and there will be lighting, curbs, sidewalks, and bike lanes.

These improvements are needed to  keep up with continued growth of Palo Alto, as well as housing and industry locating in that part of town.

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Medicaid Expansion
9:38 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Protesters For Medicaid Expansion Disrupt Gov. Perry At Speaking Event

Gov. Perry speaks at the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Ryan Poppe TPR

A group of protesters managed to infiltrate Gov. Rick Perry's speech announcing the latest bill that awards tax cuts for Texas small businesses. 

Moments after the Senate gave the final passage of a bill awarding over $600 million in tax cuts for small businesses, Perry made the announcement at the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

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Pre-K 4 SA Implementation
5:10 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Pre-K Board Seeking Developers For Remaining Learning Centers

Area on Lord Road where the Eastside model education center is proposed.
Google Street View

Although Pre-K 4 SA's first two model education centers aren't yet open, the board of directors is now submitting a request for proposals from developers to begin looking at two additional sites on the east and west sides of town.

The remaining education centers will fulfill the requirements of the eight-year Pre-K 4 SA program, which is expected to see 22,400 students over the initial life of the program.

This August the first two centers, one on the Northwest Side and the other on the Southeast Side, will open.

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Latina Leaders
4:15 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Local Business Owner Honored By Cosmopolitan For Latinas

Magaly Chocano
Sweb Development

Magaly Chocano, a San Antonio business owner in the high-tech industry has been honored nationally by Cosmopolitan for Latinas.

Chocano is one of 12 women business owners in the U.S. honored by Cosmo for Latinas as a "Fun, Fearless Latina." Chocano is recognized for her creation of the first build-your-own-app platform for iOS, called Sweb Apps.

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Texas Legislature
3:03 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

House Democrats Successfully Kill Welfare Drug Testing Bill

Ryan Poppe TPR News

House Democrats were able to stall a vote on a bill that would have mandated welfare recipients be drug screened before receiving benefits, an action that ultimately killed the bill entirely.  

The bill would have required anyone applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits to be screened for illicit drug use and it immediately struck a chord with House Democrats like Rep. Sylvester Turner of Houston.

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