Texas Legislature

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State lawmakers at the capitol received an update on how state health officials would respond in the event of a full-blown outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness known as the Zika virus. 

Texas Tribune

Underage Texas women seeking abortions without their parents' consent will face a tougher set of legal hurdles in the new year.

State law already requires minors — those under age 18 — to get sign-off from at least one parent before receiving an abortion, unless doing so could put the young woman in danger of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. In those cases, a judge can be asked to approve the procedure.

From Texas Standard:

The Texas legislature meets for 140 days every two years, but lawmakers are already starting to get to work. In 14 months, the 85th legislative session begins. Both Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus have given legislators some homework before the start of the session. These interim charges suggest in-depth studies of what top state officials think are the most important issues for the next legislative session.

Texas House of Representatives

After nearly 20 years in the Texas House, state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon of San Antonio says she won’t run for reelection next year.  

McClendon’s retirement follows a battle with lung cancer and an operation last year to remove water on her brain.


Though she often had to use a wheelchair, McClendon remained active throughout the recent legislative session where she succeeded in a longtime goal- passing legislation that creates an innocence commission to will help prevent wrongful convictions.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune


State lawmakers grilled Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw on Thursday, voicing concerns about arrest procedures used by the state police and pressing the agency head to explain the July 10 arrest of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged three days later in the Waller County Jail.