Texas Legislature

Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

Nearly a year ago Travis County District Judge John Dietz ruled that the system used to fund schools in Texas was unconstitutional, but didn’t reduce that order to writing. The same trial is once again underway but this time with different evidence to consider.

Dietz gave the Texas Legislature another chance to replace the $5.4 billion that was cut from public education funding in the 2011 session.

"It has been the consistent desire of this court to present the most up to date data to the Texas Supreme Court for their consideration," Dietz said.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Republican lieutenant governor hopefuls are promising to boost the party’s presence in the Texas Senate and all four candidates say they will get rid of the two-thirds majority rule.

This would scale back traditions that allow Senate Democrats to have a say and keep Republicans from going to the far-right on issues like immigration, guns and education.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said he will not allow a minority to control the Senate’s agenda:

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Freshman state Rep. Scott Turner, a tea party-backed Republican from North Texas who used to play in the NFL, announced that he had filed with the state to be considered for speaker of house in 2015, but one political expert isn’t surprised by the challenge.

Professor Jim Henson with the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project said this type of tea party challenge against current Speaker of the House Joe Strauss, R-San Antonio, has happened so often that it has become expected.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

In order to maintain a balance of power in the Texas Senate, Democrats are planning to recover the seat that will be vacated by Wendy Davis as she leaves it to run for governor.

State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, has confidence his party will be able to fill that seat or possibly one of the other five vacant Republican seats in the Texas Senate.

Flickr user Adam Fagen (afagen) / cc

Texas Matters: The United States Supreme Court is wrapping up its session and decisions continue to come down. A ruling has been made in a Texas-Oklahoma water dispute, and a decision is expended soon on a case involving the Voting Rights Act, which could have major implications in Texas. Also on this show: An inside look at Texas Monthly's Best and Worst Legislators 2013 list, and a look at how Mexico's drug war killings are effecting both sides of the border.

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