Texas Legislature

Will Texas Secede?
11:05 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Texas Nationalists To Lawmakers: Let The Voters Decide On Secession

Supporters of the Nationalist movement are worried that the national debt will sink the country and Texas along with it.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

As lawmakers gaveled into session on Tuesday, a group known as the Texas Nationalists gathered peacefully outside the state capitol building.

Cary Wise, an active member of the group in his hometown near Beaumont, traveled with dozens of other people who want Texas to become an independent nation.

They feel government has gotten too big so Wise and fellow Texas Nationalists would like lawmakers to craft a bill that would put a secession option before voters.

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Texas State Senate
4:57 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Van de Putte Named Senate President Pro Tem

After the 83rd Texas Legislature was gaveled in, the Senate nominated Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, to the position of senate president pro tempore.

Longtime friend and Senate colleague Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, officially named Van de Putte to hold the third highest position in the state, after Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

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2:49 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Straus Re-Elected Speaker Of The House By Acclamation

Lead in text: 
For the last month it seemed like Republicans in the Texas house were looking for a change in leadership, but instead of a contest the floor got an anticlimactic surrender, and went back to business.
After the last of his challengers dropped out Tuesday, San Antonio Republican Joe Straus was elected to a third term as speaker of the Texas House. That last challenger, Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, never found enough support to threaten the incumbent. An earlier challenger, Rep.
Texas State Capitol
11:32 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Legislative Interns Get A Leg Up On Texas Politics

Dressed uniformly and walking in a large group, students from the Texas Legislative Internship Program learn the halls of the Texas State Capitol building and find out where the cafeteria is located.

They will soon become very familiar with the offices, and even more with proposed bills. But Tina Tran, who runs the program, said their job is also somewhat stereotypical of an intern.

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Texas House of Representatives
9:20 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Straus Needs 76 Votes to Hold Speaker Seat

State Rep. Joe Straus, Dist. 121 is seeking re-election as speaker of the house.
State of Texas

When the 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives gavel into session Tuesday, Republican Speaker Joe Straus will be looking to keep his seat as the top man; to do so he only needs a simple majority: 76 votes.

However, he does have a challenger: Republican David Simpson from Longview. It is only Simpson's second term as a representative, but the former businessman was also mayor of the City of Avinger in 1993.

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Texas Legislature
7:23 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Lawmakers Begin 83rd Legislature Mindful Of Last Session

Wikipedia Commons

Lawmakers are back under the dome of the Texas Capitol for a new session for a new age in politics, with the reminder of what happened two years ago in the back of their minds.

Two years ago, education funding was slashed by $5.4 billion, the use of the state’s emergency "rainy day" fund was frowned upon, and a controversial Voter ID bill got through both chambers but was found unconstitutional against minority voters by the court system.

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State Budget
3:44 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Combs Estimates $100 Billion In Revenue For 2014-2015 Budget

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Susan Combs
State of Texas

According to State Comptroller Susan Combs, Texas lawmakers will have will have $101.4 billion to work with during the next legislative session. Combs said the estimated $96 billion in revenue from taxes, fees and other sources is up nearly $20 billion from previous years.

"General revenue collections in 2008 and 2009 -- leading into the [legislative] session -- totaled $79.6 billion," Combs said.  "In 2010 - 2011, as we hit bottom and began to climb out the revenues were $4.5 billion less."

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Texas Legislature
9:44 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Some Texas Lawmakers Ready To Tap The Rainy Day Fund

capitol.state.tx.us

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:00 am

As the state legislature prepares to open its session Tuesday, lawmakers are hearing a word not spoken in the capitol for a long time. It’s ‘surplus.’ Unlike two years ago, when they faced a massive deficit and cut $15 billion from the budget, there’s talk of an increase in money for state programs and a growing Rainy Day fund. The state comptroller will release the official budget estimate this morning, but the debate over whether and how to spend the Rainy Day money has already begun.

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Texas Legislature
8:13 am
Mon January 7, 2013

StateWatch Texas: 2013 Legislature Preview

KUT News

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:30 pm

The 83rd Texas Legislative Session begins Tuesday. Let’s go over a short list of the expected session priorities.

It's Always the Budget

The recession and Republican opposition to raising taxes ended with about $15 billion cut from the last budget.

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Texas Matters
1:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Texas Legislature Opens & A Billonaire Gets Busted (Sort Of)

Texas state capitol in Austin where the 83rd Texas Legislature will convene on Jan. 8.
Wikipedia Commons

Texas Matters: It's finally here! The 83rd Texas Legislature will be sworn in and start on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Political Action Committees, or Super PACs as they came to be so heroically known in last year's election, enjoyed fairly easy regulations on both organization and donations. However, there are rules and stiff penalties if you break them; one Texas billionaire was caught and fined a shocking $6,450!

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