Texas Legislature

From Texas Standard:

The Texas legislature meets for 140 days every two years, but lawmakers are already starting to get to work. In 14 months, the 85th legislative session begins. Both Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus have given legislators some homework before the start of the session. These interim charges suggest in-depth studies of what top state officials think are the most important issues for the next legislative session.

Texas House of Representatives

After nearly 20 years in the Texas House, state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon of San Antonio says she won’t run for reelection next year.  

McClendon’s retirement follows a battle with lung cancer and an operation last year to remove water on her brain.


Though she often had to use a wheelchair, McClendon remained active throughout the recent legislative session where she succeeded in a longtime goal- passing legislation that creates an innocence commission to will help prevent wrongful convictions.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune


State lawmakers grilled Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw on Thursday, voicing concerns about arrest procedures used by the state police and pressing the agency head to explain the July 10 arrest of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged three days later in the Waller County Jail.

Ryan E. Poppe

A bill signed into law this week requires all police agencies operating in Texas to submit an account with the state attorney general of any police shooting.  

The bill’s author, Dallas Democratic Rep. Eric Johnson says he got the idea following the police shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri as well as others happening around that time.

Cut “It made me look into the issue more from a policy standpoint wondering what we can do as policymakers to make sure we don’t have incidents like that in Texas, and I realized there’s no data,” Johnson said.

Ryan E. Poppe

A panel of judges at the US 5th Circuit Court has upheld most of the restrictions contained within Texas’ 2013 controversial abortion law, but this is not the end of the road for clinics that have sued the State of Texas.