We Have an Issue: Another Lege Gavels In

Previewing the 88th Texas Legislature

Cover by Zeke Barbaro / Getty Images

Reader Jeff Farris sent us a letter this week praising the News section's recurring "Headlines" column, which typically has some sneaky theme: surf rock and Nineties bops, horror movie taglines, the one that mimicked Friends episode titles. The person behind those playful themes is Assistant News Editor Maggie Q. Thompson, who's been producing the "Headlines" column (among a gazillion other weekly job duties) since she started at the Chronicle last February.

Maggie's a relatively new transplant to Texas – she moved here from the Pacific Northwest a couple years ago – so this will be her first time covering the Texas Legislature in session. I asked Maggie, who was part of the team that produced this week's Lege preview, how optimistic she was feeling about the upcoming session.

"It seems like we could potentially have some progressive wins," she told me, "but only because Republicans are on board for the wrong reasons.

"For instance, we're almost certainly going to get 12 months' postpartum access to health insurance for women … which Republicans are only on board with because they were able to block abortion access.

"Another example is mental health care," Maggie said. "I think we're probably going to see some gains for mental health care access … but only because Republicans want to do that instead of gun control."

Check out our preview of those issues – and more to be tackled by the 88th Texas Legislature – here.


The Carina Nebula as captured by the James Webb Space Satellite (Photo by NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI)

Cosmos Collides With SXSW: South by Southwest announced additions to its March programming lineup with a keynote centering on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope; featured speakers Boots Riley, Cheryl Strayed, RZA, and Killer Mike; and opening night film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

Fitzhugh Concert Venue Controversy: Chad Swiatecki reports on neighbor opposition to a proposed 5,000-capacity amphitheatre near Dripping Springs.

Jonathan Majors Conquers All: The 21st annual Texas Film Awards will celebrate the native Texan and newly minted Marvel star, as well as indie champions Janet and John Pierson and Oscar-nominated producer Michael De Luca, at a March 3 ceremony at Luck Ranch.

Hannibal Buress aka Eshu Tune performs at the Creek & the Cave on Jan. 8 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Hannibal Buress Blurs the Lines: Clara Wang reviews the comedian's dexterous rap and stand-up integration at Creek & the Cave.

Serving Texas Cxnt: Coco Cxnts throws a special show Saturday that includes RuPaul's Drag Race's Mistress Isabelle Brooks.

Everything Everywhere All of the Awards: The Austin Film Critics Association bestowed nine awards on Daniels' metaphysical action-comedy.

"Yours," Truly: Qmmunity Editor James Scott reviews the new queer art show in the unique garage gallery of Goodluckhavefun.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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88th Texas Legislature

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