Texas Legislature

Texas Legislature
9:38 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Agenda Texas: Looming Legislative Deadlines

Calendar by Texas Legislative Council

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 5:31 pm

Over 6,000 bills were filed in the 2013 legislative session. And historically speaking, only about 20 percent of them will be signed into law.

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Texas Legislature - Transportation
12:12 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Could A $30 Vehicle Registration Increase Be The Answer To Road Construction?

Are increased fees for vehicle registration going to solve the road maintenance problem?
Chris Eudaily TPR

A bill in the Texas House calls for an increase in vehicle registration fees in order to help fix Texas roads and pay down debt. 

Rep. Drew Darby, R- San Angelo, said his bill does away with fund diversions by reallocating the portion of the state’s highway fund that currently goes towards the DMV and DPS and has that money go toward road construction.

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Medicaid Expansion
10:36 am
Thu April 18, 2013

House Republicans Put Forward Second Option For Medicaid Expansion

Chris Eudaily TPR

After hearing the Democratic plan to accept Medicaid expansion dollars, a House appropriations subcommittee heard the leading Republican plan that calls for not taking the money, and instead asks the federal government for a block grant.

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Texas Legislature
2:52 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Texas Legislature Scores Poorly On Healthcare, Emissions

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A group of Texas lawmakers announced a snapshot of where the state is headed on issues like healthcare, environmental quality and education.

It’s called Texas on the Brink, which is a collection of statistics on the State of Texas. Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, is the chairman of the group.

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Texas Legislature
11:09 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Committee Debates Extended Family Right To Sue Parents/Child

flickr.com/bowtoo

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 12:39 pm

At the Capitol, House Judiciary Committee members will debate a bill that would increase the number of people who have a say over how a child is raised in Texas.

The bill sparking debate is HB 393, filed by State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston.  Thompson’s bill would expand the number of people who can sue for visitation rights if they believe a child is being raised in a way that puts his or her well-being at risk. 

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Texas Legislature
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Senate Ends Week Passing Unemployment Drug Testing Bill

Both the House and Senate have started to pass bills in the 83rd Legislature, but nothing has made it to the governor's desk.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Similar to the bill mandating welfare recipients be screened for drugs, this bill mandates that Texans receiving unemployment benefits also be drug-tested.

Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, authored the bill that would force all unemployment applicants to go through a drug-screening process with a counselor from the Texas Workforce Commission.

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Texas Legislature
4:53 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Welfare Recipients To Be Drug Tested

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

On a unanimous vote, a bill authored by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to require all welfare recipients to take a drug test passed the Texas Senate. 

The bill requires every Texas Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient go through a drug-screen, which could include a one-on-one interview or questionnaire.

Nelson said her bill also provides $300 million towards rehab.

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School Vouchers
2:31 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Cardinal Testifies In Favor Of School Voucher Bill, Still Unlikely To Pass

With the House banning voucher funding for private and charter schools, it is very unlikely that this new effort will yield any results.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, testified in favor of Sen. Dan Patrick's bill that provides students with tax credits or vouchers to attend a private school.

"We have parents who are committed to their child’s education and want to get them out of poor performing schools," DiNardo said. "How could any of us look these parents in the eye and say that their children should be denied an opportunity for a better future simply because the system we have now, which in many cases is failed, is the only option we are going to allow them."

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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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