Politics

Flickr user Emad Ghazipura / cc

The Texas House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety is considering legislation for the 2015 session that would completely revamp the Texas Driver Responsibility Program.  

The program allows the Department of Public Safety to assess surcharges on traffic tickets on top of the fine and court cost. DPS notifies the drivers via mail through a private contractor, the Municipal Service Bureau or MSB.

Lawmakers have expressed concern about the interface between the DPS and MSB and local law enforcement.

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor has unveiled her vision for the city at a North San Antonio Chamber luncheon after being on the job for two weeks.

“In those two weeks I’ve had to address streetcars, charter changes, storm water fees, and continuing negotiations on police and fire contracts,” Taylor told an audience of high-ranking officials. “It seems a lot longer than two weeks.”

The chamber luncheon is the first time she has had the chance to present her vision for San Antonio while she is in office over the next 300 days.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

State Rep. Mike Villarreal. D-San Antonio, has announced he will resign his Texas House position to run for mayor of San Antonio.

Villarreal, of House District 123, is the only person so far to formally announce intent to run for San Antonio mayor in 2015.

“That election takes place during regular legislative session," Villarreal said. "I cannot be in two places at once, so I have decided not to participate to allow somebody to replace me.”

He said decisions on hot topics, like the state’s education system, need to be in the hands of the right person.

VIA Metropolitan Transit

Despite the derailment of San Antonio’s streetcar, the petition that called for a vote on the issue may still put a charter change on the November ballot.

TPR obtained the results of the petition drive, which is seeking a charter amendment change so that voters could have a say on the streetcar project. The city's election code says 20,000 signatures are needed.

The clerk's office found that more than 12,000 are valid and another 8,800 are also valid if the circulator affidavit isn't required. The circulator affidavit is to verify that those signing are real people.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / cc

Recent Supreme Court rulings have helped the influx of mega money and their donors into political campaigns.

Kenneth Vogel has been tracking it for Politico and describes the post-Citizen's United universe in his new book, "Big Money, 2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp--on the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics."

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