Texas Legislature

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.

A group of Republican lawmakers, business alliances and tea party activists are hoping to gather enough support ahead of the 2015 legislative session in order to do away with the Texas franchise tax.   

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

After a year of investigating the lead up to the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas, one state lawmaker announced his intention to author a bill to make such chemical facilities safer.

State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, chairman of the Texas House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee, made the announcement during a committee hearing Tuesday.

Flickr user TN Drum Guy / cc

Last month's Texas republican party platform aimed to rouse the base, inspiring action. Blowback inside and outside the party of endorsing reparative therapy for homosexuals and the party's abandoning a guest worker program had party leaders walking back the importance of the document.  As the democrats wrapped up their own convention this weekend, we want to know how important these conventions and platforms really are. 

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

A committee of House lawmakers heard the reasons why the state of Texas would be better served with an online voter registration system, but some groups remain skeptical about the possibility of voter fraud.

As of April, 19 states offer online voter registration. Last legislative session Texas came very close to passing their own version but it was not added the calendar for a final vote. In this period between sessions, lawmakers are re-considering the same thing.  

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