Texas Legislature

7:07 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Van de Putte Leads Charge On Veteran Issues In 83rd Legislative Session

While most of the focus on the legislature thus far has been on issues like education funding, gun control and women's rights, Texas is also faced with the growing needs of veterans who return home; the two most vital being employment and medical care.
State legislators intend to lay out their bills for the 83rd legislative session over the coming months. Veteran's organizations will be waiting to see if they are part of lawmaker's plans. Most notably they'll look for legislation that works on reducing the disability claims backlogs that are continuing to rise in Texas.
Government
4:22 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Texas Legislature: Rep. Lavender Proposes Open Carry Law

A bill in the Texas House proposes removing the concealed portion of Texas gun laws allowing license holders to freely display their weapons.

State Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, proposed HB 700, which alters the code that says a firearm can’t be seen, but does require it be in a belt or shoulder holster with dual points of resistance.

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Texas Legislature
10:15 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Education Budget-Building Begins For Legislature

Lizzie Chen/KUT News

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:06 am

When the House and Senate filed base budgets last week, advocates for programs that were cut in 2011, including public education, were upset the budgets didn’t restore funding. Lawmakers countered that the budget was expected to grow.

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Texas Legislature
9:20 am
Wed January 23, 2013

If the Texas Legislature Were a Symphony, This is What it Would Sound Like

Each 140-day legislative session begins slowly, before reaching a frenetic pace at the end.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:38 am

Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of a story that originally ran in January 2013.

The Texas Legislature is back in session, though the casual observer might not know it.

This week, the highlights included the swearing in of Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The Senate made changes to its rules yesterday. But you might notice that things are quiet when it comes to actual law-making. The clock is ticking: There’s 131 days left in the 140-day session.

And while it might seem like a slow start to the every-other-year meeting, actually, it’s all part of the plan.

In musical terms, each session has its own rhythm and tempo.

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Texas Matters
1:15 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Standardized Tests - Behind The Scenes & Calls For Reform

Arlington High School student Taylor Griffin and mother Nikki Griffin say new state testing standards are stressful for students.
Shelley Kofler KERA-Dallas

Standardized testing in Texas: Are changes on the way? And what happens to the test papers when students have filled in the last bubble? How do you teach the bible in public schools without promoting a religious viewpoint? The Texas Legislature tries to figure out education funding (again), and now that the president has been re-elected for a second term, Latinos are asking about immigration reform.

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Texas Legislature
12:34 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Will Texas Allow Liquor Sales On Sundays?

Grocery stores cannot sell alcoholic beverages before noon on Sundays, the proposed bill would allow liquor stores the same privilege.
Chris Eudaily TPR

A bill filed by State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D) of Houston would allow liquor stores to join its supermarket brethren in allowing alcohol sales after 12 p.m. Liquor stores across Texas must lock their doors on Sundays, and grocery stores cannot sell alcohol before noon.

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School Vouchers
10:08 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Sen. Patrick To Push For School Voucher System

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Flickr user TN Drum Guy cc

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is pushing for a school voucher system called Taxpayer Savings Grants that would allow students to pick a private school if they are unhappy with their public school.

Now that he’s the chair of the Senate Education Committee, Patrick could use the platform to champion the program, and he has two words for a school voucher system: "Why not?"

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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

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.

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