Texas Legislature

State Budget
11:51 am
Fri April 5, 2013

House Passes $93 Billion Budget, Says No To Private School Vouchers

Though the House didn't fully restore education from the 2011 cuts, it did put $3.5 billion back.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

The Texas House passed a $93.5 billion budget bill that bans state funding of school vouchers and open-enrollment charter schools and paves the way for accepting Medicaid expansion.

During the debate on the budget, Rep. Abel Herrero, D-Corpus Christi, introduced the amendment that prohibits the funding of school vouchers.

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Texas Legislature
11:48 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Ted Nugent Lets Committee Have It On Bill To Regulate Deer Hunting

Outspoken 1970s rocker and gun rights activist took to the capitol.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The Motor City Mad Man turned McLennan County, Texas-resident testified against a bill that would prohibit the hunting of breeder deer for up to 60-days after they have been released into the wild.

"There is a pulse of numb-nuts in the country that would ban this commission, ban hunting, ban low-fence, ban high-fence, ban feeders, ban crossbows, ban muzzle loaders - they would ban it all under the scam of what they perceive to be fair-chase," Nugent said.

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Texas Legislature
9:51 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Senate Passes Bills Reforming Leadership & Transparency At CPRIT

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has been in troubled water over grant funding issues and a lack of transparency. In the wake of the group publicly announcing that it was shutting down its foundation, Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, laid out her bill to the Senate.

"The executive director of that foundation indicated on the record that they had given my office every piece of information that we had requested and she absolutely knows that not to be true," Davis said.

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Texas Legislature
4:44 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

LGBT Workplace Equality Bill Would Ban Such Discrimination Statewide

Van de Putte has had a busy legislative session so far and her workplace equality bill is just another example of her leadership role.
Office of State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

A bill in the Texas Senate authored by Sen. Leticia Van DePutte would make it illegal for any employer to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation.

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Texas Legislature
9:02 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Week Ahead

Filipa Rodrigues

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:42 am

It’ll be another busy week for the Texas Legislature. With a take on what to watch for this week, here's Texas Tribune executive editor, Ross Ramsey.

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Local Business & The Drought
12:25 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Landscapers May Be Worried About Water, But Other Businesses Will Be OK

Lavendar, a low-water use plant recommended for San Antonio landscapes
Eileen Pace TPR

Businesses in agriculture are paying close attention to the water situation over the next few weeks as warmer temperatures approach, but other businesses with lesser water demands have little to worry about.

The overwhelming approval Wednesday of a bill setting aside state funding for water projects sparked conversation about water restrictions in metro areas. Some lawmakers argued that the money would benefit only rural communities.

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Education Funding
3:17 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Additional Education Funding Still Below What Was Cut Last Legislative Session

Districts that have financial difficulties like Premont are hoping the legislature can fix the way the state funds education to give them some help.
David Martin Davies TPR

The House Budget Committee approved additional funding for public school districts and changed a key component for how schools are funded locally. They voted out a budget bill out of committee late Thursday that will provide school districts $3 billion over the next 2 years.

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, is the vice-chair of the committee and said that is still below what was cut during the 2011 budget.

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Texas Education
9:28 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Senate Committee Moved To Tears, Renews Discussion On Charter Schools

Education continues to be a major area of discussion during the 83rd Legislature.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

A senate hearing at the capitol dials down the accountability standard for state dropout recovery schools under a bill authored by Sen. Leticia Van DePutte.

If the bill passes, dropout recovery schools would not face the same accountability standard as any other public school in the state.

Justina Gonzalez runs the Por Vida Academy & Charter School in San Antonio, an at-risk school for students that have fallen behind.

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Texas Legislature
6:39 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Colleges And Universities Could Start Doing DPS Background Checks For Student Housing

Students living in dorm rooms could be subjected to thorough DPS background checks if the bill passes
Flickr user Justin Harter cc

Lawmakers at the state capitol are hoping to give colleges and universities the ability to conduct DPS background checks for students living on campus.

Currently many colleges conduct public background checks on students seeking on-campus housing, but some college administrators don't believe they go far enough. Edward Williams, who works in residential life at Kilgore College in East Texas, testified in favor in the bill.

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Texas Legislature
4:19 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

2013 Budget Bill Passes With Only Two Opposing Votes

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Texas lawmakers approved a bill that replaces funds taken from public education and mental health providers but changes the structure of the state’s Medicaid.

The senate voted 29 to 2 in favor of the budget, with Senators Silvia Garcia, D-Houston, and Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, voting against the bill.

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