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Texas Legislature Media Panel Tonight
Abortion, education, and more discussed by lege watchers
DAILY News  July 2, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Organized by the Texas Observer, the Texas Legislature Very Special Session Panel will talk about how the 83rd session and the resulting special sessions have gone/are going. Expect a lot of talk about the ongoing abortion fight, education funding, the rise of Democratic Sen..."

85th Texas Legislature Preview
Can the GOP-run House and Senate get along well enough to get anything accomplished?
News Story  January 12, 2017, by the News Staff
"...If any moment captured the underlying conflict leading into the 85th Texas Legislature, it came on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 5..."

83rd Texas Legislature Opening
January 8, 2013. 39 Photos.
PHOTO GALLERY  January 9, 2013
"...Opening day of the 83rd Texas Legislature..."

Lege Lines – The Texas Legislature: Not Enron
Passing a state budget when one side’s “cooking the books”
News Story  March 30, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...If such a complicated piece of double-entry bookkeeping doesn't make sense, that's because it shouldn't, and Straus has not refrained from saying so. "This is the Texas Legislature," he told reporters last week through gritted teeth, just as the Senate Finance Committee approved the trick..."

Anti-Bullying Bill Filed for Texas Legislature
San Antonio lawmakers open pre-filing season with David's Law today
DAILY News  November 14, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...With harassment swelling in the wake of the presidential election, Texas Democratic lawmakers are taking the bull by the horns. Two San Antonio legislators have announced they intend to file an anti-bullying bill, David's Law, today, the opening day of pre-filing for the 85th Legislature...."

Texas Legislature: A Beacon of Light?
Postmarks  May 5, 2005
"...Dear Editor, I just wanted to express the pure joy I felt when I heard about the Legislature's latest bill on cheerleading routines [“Naked City,” News, May 6]. I mean, they must have gotten a lot accomplished this session..."

1997 Texas Legislature Press Bills
News Column  August 15, 1997


Texas Legislature Passes Bad Legislation
Postmarks  June 15, 2011


The Future Is in Flux for the Texas Film Incentive Program
Texas loses productions to states with bigger and better incentive programs
Screens Story  January 26, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...When TMIIIP is adequately funded, the productions come, and the talent stays. Yet as the Texas Legislature considers its budget, the program is under threat of being severely underfunded..."

Behold the Texas Miracle!
The Texas Miracle has a very mixed record on state prosperity
News Story  March 19, 2015, by Michael King
"...Beeson called attention to some of the statistical categories gathered together on these pages, as illustrations of the kind of challenges faced by many poor and working Texans. (Year in and year out, CPPP diligently compiles many of these statistics, issues policy papers describing their causes and effects, and stoically lobbies the Legislature in support of legislation that would ameliorate the worst consequences.) "Texans have one of the highest rates of poverty in the country," Beeson noted..."

Judge Throws Out Texas Voter ID Law
Compares photo requirement to Jim Crow, poll tax
DAILY News  October 10, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...While Ramos said there were no "smoking guns" to prove discriminatory intent, she noted that the Legislature was a racially charged environment in the 2011 session in which SB14 was passed. Moreover, in a sweeping condemnation of the process, and the refusal by the bill sponsors and backers to even consider amendments, she found that the underpinning intention of the bill was discriminatory...."

Day Trips & Beyond: Texas Springs Under Threat
Visit these five watering holes while you can
DAILY Travel  April 20, 2017, by Gerald E. McLeod
"...The city is looking at ways to deal with the overcrowding in the riverfront parks, especially Rio Vista Park, by limiting already scarce parking and outlawing some types of cooking grills. The Texas Legislature is considering a water recreation district below the city to bring some semblance of order to the large number of tubers on the river...."

Texas Bathroom Bill Battle Officially Begins
Sen. Kolkhorst has filed the Texas Privacy Act
DAILY News  January 5, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"..."Any legislation that would attack transgender Texans — especially vulnerable transgender children — is not only morally wrong, but, as we've seen in states like North Carolina, will hurt Texas' economy and reputation around the world. Frankly, the Texas Legislature has real issues to address like adequately funding our schools, improving health care, and fixing our broken CPS system..."

Planned Parenthood Sues Texas Over Medicaid Exclusion
The provider claims the state is breaking federal law
DAILY News  November 23, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...The Texas health care system is far from equipped to handle the level of need, as providers are already overwhelmed and unable to absorb additional patients. As a result of funding cuts made by the Texas Legislature, more than 80 family planning clinics have shut their doors, according to research from the UT-Austin based Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP)..."

Point Austin: It's Rainin' Down in Texas
Marking Texas time and history by rising floodwaters
News Column  May 28, 2015, by Michael King
"...In these parts, it never rains but it pours, and we console ourselves with mordant reassurance like that of Doug Sahm's lyric, "You just can't live in Texas, if you don't have a lot of soul." One blessing of the rains is the brief distraction they offer from the slow-motion disaster that is the 84th Texas Legislature; as Molly Ivins liked to point out, one thing we learn early in covering Texas politics is that things can always get worse. Texas politicians have not yet met the Florida standard of officially outlawing the words "climate change," but they do know it's easy enough to make such inconvenient knowledge inaudible under the noisy pandering of constricting women's reproductive rights while promoting the ever-expanding rights of gun owners...."

Austin Film Festival: The Texas Promise
Oscar-winner Vanessa Roth finds the lie and the hope in Texas schools
DAILY Screens  October 28, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...There are actually a couple of seconds in the opening of The Texas Promise during which I'm fairly sure I could see the back of my own head. It's definitely filled with Texas Legislature regulars, as documentarian Vanessa Roth uses parts of the live feed from the State House floor from the debate in 2011, during which lawmakers sliced out $5.4 billion from the public school finance funds..."

State Can Ban Planned Parenthood from New Texas Women's Health Program – For Now
Injunction hearing scheduled for January
DAILY News  December 31, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"..."We are pleased the court rejected Planned Parenthood's latest attempt to skirt state law. The Texas Attorney General's office will continue to defend the Texas Legislature's decision to prohibit abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving taxpayer dollars through the Women's Health Program."..."

Federal Court Rejects Texas Voter ID Law
New Texas Voter ID law undermines minority votes
DAILY News  August 30, 2012, by Michael King
"...That law will almost certainly have retrogressive effect: it imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty. And crucially, the Texas legislature defeated several amendments that could have made this a far closer case."..."

D.C. Court Tosses Texas Voting Maps
Court tosses out key redistricting maps
DAILY News  August 28, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement that the court's decision "extends the Voting Rights Act beyond the limits intended by Congress and beyond the boundaries imposed by the Constitution. The Attorney General's Office will continue defending the maps enacted by the Texas Legislature and will immediately take steps to appeal this flawed decision to the U.S..."

Court Rules: Texas Voter ID Still Racist
Second ruling finds GOP deliberately suppressed minority vote
DAILY News  April 11, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...Echoing Ramos' finding that the bill's Republican authors rejected amendments that would have at least reduced the bill's discriminatory impact, Rodriguez continued, "Although this ruling is gratifying, let me be clear: the Mexican American Legislative Caucus told the Texas Legislature in 2011 that SB 14 would discriminate against Latinos. Republicans shoved it down our throats anyway."..."

HBO Going Under the Dome for 'God Save Texas'
Lights, camera, point of order in new political drama
DAILY News  June 18, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...For those of you who believe there isn't enough drama in the Texas legislature: HBO has announced it is developing a new political fiction series, set under our famous Capitol dome...."

District Judge Strikes Down Texas Same-Sex Marriage Ban
Stay issued until appeal
DAILY News  February 26, 2014, by Brandon Watson
"...“Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” Orlando said, “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S..."

Why Pride Marches in India Matter in Texas
Pride parades recently swept the subcontinent, and we should care.
DAILY The Gay Place  November 26, 2013
"...Texas case, which also invalidated the laws of 13 other states. However, since that decision in 2003, the Texas legislature has refused to strike the unconstitutional law from the books...."

Texas Faith and Freedom
Samantha Smoot recounts her work with the Texas Freedom Network
News Story  October 15, 2004, by Rachel Proctor May
"...Ten years ago, the last time the health textbooks were approved, it was a fiasco. It took the State Board of Education more than a year, hundreds of changes were submitted to the commissioner by individual board members, and it was such an embarrassment for the state that the following year the Legislature took away the State Board of Education's power to determine content, and confined them to considering factual accuracy in the books...."

Judge: Texas School Finance System Unconstitutional
Now what? Legislators, education advocates and think tanks respond
DAILY News  February 5, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...It's been months in the coming, but when Judge John Dietz finally released his ruling yesterday on the Texas public school finance system, it was no surprise to anyone: The current system of "Robin Hood" recapture is unconstitutional on multiple levels, create a de facto statewide property tax, and is underfunded by the legislature...."

Who's Texas?
The story of Texas history says a lot -- about the storytellers
News Story  September 6, 2002, by Lucius Lomax
"...As early as 1996, when the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum -- now bigger than life down on Martin Luther King Boulevard (or, depending on your point of view, "19th Street") -- was still in the conception stage, the decision had already been made to produce a "signature film" to be shown in the museum's IMAX theatre. The first proposal (dated July 2000 and tentatively titled This Land Called Texas) would have required seed money from the Legislature, followed by private donations, and a production that would feature voice-overs by six well-known narrators (Dan Rather, Tish Hinojosa, Lance Armstrong, Sissy Spacek, Chuck Norris or Tommy Lee Jones, and Barry Corbin)..."

Ralph Nader's Open Letter to the Legislature
News Column  June 20, 2003
"...May 20, 2003 Members of the Texas Legislature Capitol Building Austin, Texas, 78701..."

Bills Grant Texas Doctors Legal Cover to Mislead Pregnant Women
Is the Lege giving doctors a license to lie?
News Story  April 13, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...However, if two bills pending in the Texas Legislature make it through both chambers, patients who don't receive full information about fetal abnormalities from their physicians would not be able to recoup the vital economic and legal recourse needed to care for their disabled child. Senate Bill 25, by Sen..."

Texas Supremes: Not Our Job to Fix School Finance
Long-awaited ruling says school funding system constitutional
DAILY News  May 13, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...Aptly released on Friday the 13th, the ruling is terribly unlucky for the 600-plus school districts and multiple civil rights groups that have been challenging the system ever since the Legislature slashed funding in 2011...."

"If Texas' value drops, we can just sue the Lege."
Molly's Column: Not Fit for Austin Consumption
  May 19, 1995
"...AUSTIN - In this rapidly changing and uncertain world, is it not grand to know that we can always count on the Texas Legislature to show us how to really screw things up?..."

How Texas Is Texas Wine?
What “Truth in Labeling” means for Texas winemakers and vineyards
Food Story  April 27, 2017, by Veronica Meewes
"...Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) could soon require that, over a phase-in period of five years, 100% of a wine's volume come from Texas-grown fruit in order to claim the state as an appellation of origin. House Bill 1514 and Senate Bill 1833, the "Truth in Labeling Act," were filed in February and are currently making their way through the 85th Legislature...."

Will Texas Do Better?
Lege preview Part II – the wonders and the horrors
News Story  December 14, 2012, by Michael King
"...As is customary, the big battles are likely to be fought over the budget, and even though this session's revenues are anticipated to be much better than the last, Gov. Rick Perry and the Republican leadership have already declared their determination to govern by austerity – and if possible, to lock that approach directly into the Texas Constitu­tion – thereby making it much more difficult for future Legislatures (no matter what the economic and social conditions at the time) to act responsibly and flexibly in addressing the state's needs..."

Court: Texas House Districts Unlawful, Unconstitutional
Panel of judges rules 2-1 against drawing of 2011 maps
DAILY News  April 20, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...In a 153-page opinion and 151-page finding of fact, the court’s panel split 2-1 against the state. In the majority opinion, District Judge Xavier Rodriguez and Chief District Judge Orlando Garcia found that the 2011 maps drawn by the GOP-dominated Legislature deliberately suppressed minority voting...."

Texas Lawmaker Wants to Make Abortion Completely Illegal
NARAL Pro-Choice says bill "most extreme" abortion measure at the Lege
DAILY News  January 12, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...“Rep. Tinderholt would tell you Texans can decide, and the Legislature can decide if every human should be protected..."

The Common Law: Strange Brew – Interesting New Texas Laws
New Texas laws affect eating, drinking, weapons, and tanning
Columns  October 4, 2013, by Luke Ellis
"...Farmers' markets and their related food and cooking demonstrations had previously fallen into a gray and murky area of food regulation. The Texas Legislature promulgated a variety of different regulations intended to address health and safety compliance at farmers' markets...."

Laws of Texas Inaccessible
Postmarks  October 1, 2003
"...I recently became aware that there currently is no publicly available source to be able to read the current laws of Texas. The "Texas Legislature Online" Web site at www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/statutes.html states, "Changes enacted by the 78th Legislature are not expected to be received from the West Group until June 2004, after which this site will be updated. Until then the Index to Sections Affected can be used to identify these changes." Can lawmakers expect Texans to understand and follow the law when there isn't an accurate copy available for approximately one year out of every two? It's ludicrous that in today's high tech world, Texas will not have an accurate version of its laws available online until sometime after June 2004. However, the more serious problem is the potentially dangerous trap Texas sets for the unwary..."

Texas Lege: The Shape of Things to Come
Wentworth predicts redistricting disaster
News Story  January 15, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...Democrats and Republicans both claim they can reshape the Texas Legislature in 2011, but Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, predicts the next session will be a disaster in one key area – the scheduled redistricting of legislative seats..."

Court Rules Texas School Finance Unconstitutional
Dietz says current system fails students, must be rebuilt
DAILY News  August 28, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...In a 13-page summary of his 440-page ruling, he found that the current system is a de facto state property tax, and therefore unconstitutional. Dietz continued, "The court further finds that the Legislature has failed to meet its constitutional duty to suitably provide for Texas public schools because the school finance system is structured, operated, and funded so that it cannot provide a constitutionally adequate education for all Texas schoolchildren."..."

MPP: Ready to Roll on Pot in Texas
The Marijuana Policy Project is rolling out a Texas legalization campaign
News Story  February 28, 2014, by Jordan Smith


Will Texas Do Better?
As the 83rd Legislature slouches toward Austin, hope dances a two-step with apprehension
News Story  December 7, 2012, by Michael King


The Destruction of Texas Health Care
The GOP crusade against Planned Parenthood is devastating basic care for Texas women
News Story  February 3, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...While cuts to the state's budget for women's health is alarming providers across the state, Perry, on the presidential campaign trail, boasted to Politico about the state's targeting of PP: "I was really proud to be able to sign legislation that we worked on with our Legislature to defund Planned Parenthood in the state of Texas," he said. "There are 12 abortion clinics that aren't open in the state of Texas today because our members of the Legislature had the courage, the wisdom to do that."..."

People of Texas Need To Be Aware of Judge Keller
Postmarks  July 20, 2010
"...Keller should be removed from office. The public warning tells us that if you seek justice in Texas, proceed with caution because Keller is the presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Texas Legislature can help restore integrity to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals by impeaching and removing Keller from office..."

New Pollution Rules for Coal-Crazed Texas
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality takes up two federal EPA air quality measures to hopefully reduce mercury and carbon dioxide pollution
News Story  March 10, 2006, by Daniel Mottola
"...4 emitter of sulfur and nitrogen oxide, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality took up two federal EPA air quality measures at its meeting last Wednesday: the Clean Air Interstate Rule and the Clean Air Mercury Rule. Both are designed to create control measures and enforcement mechanisms to reduce air pollutants; in HB 2481, the Texas Legislature in 2005 agreed to adopt the rules statewide, taking aim at coal-burning power plants..."

Funeralgate Hits Texas
What Did Bush Know?
News Story  July 8, 1999, by Robert Bryce
"...Within 10 months, May was fired by the TFSC. And within a year, SCI had hired a lobbyist who helped pass a bill through the Texas Legislature overhauling the TFSC and ousting board chair McNeil..."

Texas Budget Ping-Pong Begins
Chambers now start carving away at each other's proposals
DAILY News  March 24, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Budget rubber met the spending road this week at the House of Representatives got its hands on Senate Bill 1, the Senate's draft budget for the next biennium. In the proposals out of both chambers, Texans saw what they expected: A legislature that has seemingly never heard of inflation, and forgot about its 2011 cuts...."

Back by Popular Demand: Save Texas Schools
Public schools march and rally set for March 24
News Story  March 23, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...Ultimately, the plan is to build what Weeks called "a pro-education, pro-public schools Legislature." Last year, it was all about lobbying sitting lawmakers. This year, the group's energy is going into the elections..."

House Calls for Statewide Broadcasts of Legislature
Letter signed by 97 members goes out to cable companies
DAILY News  February 2, 2009, by Lee Nichols
"...Earlier today, a bi-partisan group of 97 House members, led by State Representative Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), sent a letter to Texas cable and satellite providers asking them to cooperate with the legislature to televise the Texas legislative sessions across the state...."

Fiddling While Texas Burns
The fight over "tort-reform" is masking a bigger battle over state priorities.
News Column  March 28, 2003, by Michael King
"...During the long and bitter debate, there has been plenty of hypocrisy to go around, but let us not deny Rep. Wilson his latest moment in the sun.When Elephants Battle -- Under current world circumstances, it's understandable if regular Chronicle readers have lost pretty much all interest in the proceedings of the Texas Legislature..."

Save Texas Schools Gets Back in the Game
Protesters call foul on education funding
DAILY News  March 24, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...And we get back to that huddle and they say, 'You've got to complete your passes, teacher.' We're aware of that. You've got to make your blocks, Legislature..."

How to Get the Legislature to Work
Postmarks  July 25, 2005
"...Editor: The aging process could be slowed down if it had to work its way through the Texas Legislature. School finance should be the only thing the latest special session finishes..."

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