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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.