Texas Legislature

Texas Education
6:36 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Martinez Fischer Pushes Legislature To Restore Education Cuts

Ben Philpott/KUT News

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:35 pm

The Texas legislature cut more than $5 billion from public education in 2011 to help balance the state budget. Then last month lawmakers were told previous revenue estimates were wrong – and that they had more than $8 billion left to spend on that budget.

Spending That Money

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LGBTQ Rights
2:20 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage/Civil Union Bills Filed In Legislature

Minnesota protesters ahead of the state legislature's anti-gay amendment vote in May 2011; the amendment failed.
Flickr user Fibonacci Blue cc

As some states across the U.S. approve same-sex marriage by voters or legislatures, many are asking when conservative Texas will move forward on the issue. Several lawmakers filed bills this week that can be seen at least symbolic victories of progress.

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Water Conservation
2:34 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Texas In Need Of A Long-Term Water Plan

Is the water glass in Texas half-full or half-empty? It depends on who you ask.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

When it comes to water in Texas, unless you’re a farmer, most people in the state don’t care.

A public opinion poll conducted by faculty members at the University of Texas in association with the Texas Tribune found that the economy, immigration and education are top of mind for most, yet water registers as a top issue with only 4 percent.

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Texas Education
1:53 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Will Surplus Revenue go to Public Education?

The Texas Tribune

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 7:24 pm

One of the men who controls the state’s checkbook is leaving the door open to restoring some of the $5.4 billion in public education cuts enacted two years ago.

House Appropriations chair Jim Pitts took questions from lawmakers on the House floor today, including one from Austin Democrat Donna Howard.

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Texas School Safety
9:11 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Creating Marshals to Watch Over Schools

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:22 am

Story as heard on KUT 90.5

Texas lawmakers have rallied around the idea of making elementary schools safer. There have been calls to allow anyone with a concealed handgun license to bring guns onto public school campuses. Or for teachers to get concealed carry licenses.

The latest idea comes from a bill filed by State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas). He wanted to know what schools and professional school security organizations wanted.

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State Park Funding Shortfall
11:53 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Putting Money Back Into Texas State Parks

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texas lawmakers are looking to save Texas state parks from closing down by making sure that taxpayer funds intended for state parks get there. 

When you go to a sporting goods store and buy a canoe there is a little tax that supports the Texas park system, since a person would be likely to enjoy paddling that canoe on Texas state waterways.

Over the years the state diverted that park tax money and held it in order to balance the state budget on paper.

In the current state budget, $184 million pegged for parks was diverted to help balance the overall budget.

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Texas Matters
12:08 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Following State-of-the-State, What Are Gov. Perry's Next Steps?

Rick Perry gets ready to take the podium for his 2013 State-of-the-State address where he outlined his goals for the legislative session.
Texas Tribune

Texas Matters: Gov. Rick Perry uses the State-of-the-State address to propose giving tax breaks, but should the state use the extra money to restore education funding instead? A new poll shows that a majority of Texans disapprove of the job he is doing and 62 percent think he should not run for re-election. Since he is a primary torch-bearer for the conservatives in the state, what will he do next?

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Texas Education
4:18 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

What Parents Should Know About Education Cuts

During the last year, Children at Risk conducted a comprehensive research study to provide an objective assessment of the impact of state budget cuts on Texas’ schools and students.
Children at Risk

Lawmakers cut $5.4 billion to public education during the last legislative session, which meant districts had to act fast.

"We have looked at turning lights off, adjusting air conditioning systems, redoing transportation bus routes," said North East ISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Gottardy, who said that 85 percent of his budget is education.

Gottardy didn't have to cut positions and instead reduced his staff through attrition, which still meant larger class sizes.

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Texas Legislature
1:24 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

State-of-the-State Analysis: Will Lawmakers Buy Perry's Tax Cut?

Texas Tribune

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:00 am

Two SMU political science professors disagree on whether Governor Rick Perry’s call for a tax cut will sail through the legislature. We asked professors Cal Jillson and Matthew Wilson to watch the governor’s state-of-the state speech yesterday and tell us what impressed them.

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Texas Legislature
11:46 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Texas Lawmakers, Families Push For Texting While Driving Ban

KUT News

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:12 pm

State lawmakers gathered Tuesday at the Capitol in support of a bill that would outlaw texting while driving. 

Both Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 63 would ban all forms of cell phone use while driving a vehicle—including texting, emailing and talking. This is the second attempt at a texting ban for both State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and State Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland). Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the last attempt in 2011

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