Texas Legislature

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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12:21 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Success After Prison: Business Behind Bars

Lead in text: 
As the major metropolitan counties in Texas push the state legislature to rethink the criminal justice system and reduce recidivism, one program is already seeing results. This special four-part series from KUHF in Houston takes a look at the ups and downs of the Cleveland Correctional Center program.
One in every four inmates released from the Texas prison system is back in prison within three years. But an hour north of Houston, an experiment is unfolding that could slash the rate of recidivism. In the first of our four part series, KUHF business reporter Andrew Schneider looks at the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.
Texas Matters
10:13 am
Fri December 28, 2012

How Premont ISD Beat The Odds And The TEA To Stay Open

Premont ISD has struggled with attendance, academic performance and mismanaged finances for years, and are now under strict TEA monitoring to get the district back on track and keep the doors open.
David Martin Davies TPR

Premont ISD has struggled with low attendance, low test scores and poor finances for years, but when a letter from the TEA came threatening to close the school, everyone knew that something must be done.

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