Texas Legislature

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.  

Green Fire Productions via Flickr / cc

Typically, money slated for the state budget is handled by the Legislature.

But yesterday the Texas House Appropriations and Natural Resources Committee found out about $5 million paid to the state of Texas by British Petroleum following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened in April 2010, and in September of that same year the governor’s office received $5 million from BP without informing the Legislature of the funds. 

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