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Sen. Kirk Watson on the 86th Texas Legislature
“In Texas, we don’t focus on what our needs are; we focus on what we want to pay”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Michael King
"...KW: Unfortunately, I don’t feel as optimistic there. I don’t think the Legislature is thinking about health care from the perspective of what we need, instead of what we are willing to pay..."

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: Only 139 Days to Go for the 86th Texas Legislature
House, Senate gavel in with new leadership
News Story  January 10, 2019, by Mary Tuma
"...It was nothing but jovial, halcyon times at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, the first day of the 86th Texas Legislature..."

Rep. John Bucy III on the 86th Texas Legislature
“We’ve got to do everything we can to keep attention on Medicaid expansion”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Michael King
"...JB: We’ve got to stand in the way of infringing on local control, when it comes to taxes. That’s why we have local elections; the people pick local officials to make those decisions, and it shouldn’t be our job at the Legislature...."

Rep. Vikki Goodwin on the 86th Texas Legislature
“I worry when people talk about property tax caps [and not] where the revenue is going to come from instead”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Austin Sanders
"...I'm not in favor of the A-F [accountability] rating system. It hasn't been around long enough [for the Legislature] to make the decision on whether or not it's good for districts, but I personally am not in favor...."

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..."

Rep. Donna Howard on the 86th Texas Legislature
“Let’s target some new money toward childhood literacy, toward high school success, toward teacher quality – the kind of things that research shows make a difference”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Austin Sanders
"...I think that should encourage a move toward the middle from the right. There might be more willingness to look at what we can do that would be acceptable to the more conservative members of the Legislature...."

Rep. Erin Zwiener on the 86th Texas Legislature
“We were always very clear that being progressive and being tribalist weren’t the same thing”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Nina Hernandez
"...A lot of folks often don’t really know anything about Hays County politics, or were just new voters in general, or very infrequent voters. And we talked to a lot of folks who were unlikely to turn out, and the main issue we would talk about is the connection between their property taxes and the legislature’s funding for public schools..."

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...."

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez on the 86th Texas Legislature
“I’ll be working against issues that will unfairly treat Latinos in the state”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Mary Tuma
"...ER:I’ve been at the Legislature for 16 years and served with Dennis. We’ve gone head to head on several issues, but we’ve also worked together on bills..."

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..."

Rep. Gina Hinojosa on the 86th Texas Legislature
“We need to have the state pay its fair share into the school finance system”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Mary Tuma

Rep. Sheryl Cole on the 86th Texas Legislature
“We’ve always been on defense, and we’ve got to learn how to play offense”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Nina Hernandez

Joe Straus, Voice of Moderation in Texas Legislature, Won't Seek Re-Election
House speaker doesn't rule out future run for governor
DAILY News  October 25, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...His departure means the Texas Legislature has lost a much needed and increasingly rare voice of moderation in a leadership role amid growing conservative fanaticism. [image-1-right]..."

Rep. Celia Israel on the 86th Texas Legislature
“Pandering to 3% of the electorate is not in anyone's best interest”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Austin Sanders
"...My political sensibilities tell me it's all about timing. The Legislature keeps shedding its responsibility [on] property taxes and support for public schools, [and] the timing is right for us in the House to make a statement about that No..."

Rep. James Talarico on the 86th Texas Legislature
“There isn’t a blue or red way to fix public education – there’s only a right way”
News Story  January 3, 2019, by Austin Sanders
"...AC: What about that experience prepared you for the 86th Legislature?..."

1997 Texas Legislature Press Bills
News Column  August 15, 1997

Texas Legislature Passes Bad Legislation
Postmarks  June 15, 2011

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..."

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..."

What Happens When Texas Blocks Planned Parenthood? Abortions Rise.
Study: Lege's family planning cuts led to an increase in abortion
DAILY News  July 12, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...While at Texas A&M University, economics professor Analisa Packham found that when the Texas Legislature cut family planning funding by two-thirds, or $76 million, in 2011 and simultaneously defunded Planned Parenthood, teen abortions increased 3.1% in the following three years while teen births spiked by 3.4% in the following four years...."

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' Big, Bad Week for Voter Suppression and Gerrymandering
Within two days, courts reject second election map, voter ID bill
DAILY News  August 25, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...First congressional redistricting; then, in short succession, voter ID and the state House maps. In less than two weeks, the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature has been dealt three critical blows to their legal fights to retain voter laws and districts that the courts have now found discriminate against the state‘s minority voters...."

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."..."

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..."

BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Anti-Abortion Law HB 2
In a 5-3 ruling, SCOTUS says HB 2 creates an undue burden for women
DAILY News  June 27, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...The conservative appeals court erred by not taking into account the burden the law imposes on abortion access together with the medical benefits the law ostensibly provides, as Casey requires. It also failed at checking evidence from the Texas Legislature to justify the law’s necessity, giving uncritical deference to the Lege: “Explicit legislative findings must be considered, but there were no such findings in HB 2.” SCOTUS makes clear they, like the federal district court that struck down HB 2, have “placed considerable weight upon evidence and argument presented in judicial proceedings,” including research on increased travel times, distance, number of women and providers affected, and inability to handle increased capacity when clinics close...."

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."..."

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..."

Texas Dems Want Stronger Immigrant Detention Oversight
More than 5,000 immigrant children in detention centers
DAILY News  July 31, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...Among their suggestions, MALC encourages increased transparency over youth detention facilities, including unannounced site visits from the Health and Human Services Commission, to ensure that basic standards are met and for visits from members of the Texas Legislature. As allegations of abuse and assault in detention centers have crept up, MALC implores HHSC and the Department of Family and Protective Services to rework their allegation response processes and provide better communication with migrant children and families..."

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 Qmmunity  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...."

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."..."

Central Texas Lawmakers Speak Out About the 86th Legislative Session
Interviews with the team representing 2.1 million Austin metro residents
News Story  January 3, 2019, by the News Staff
"...It's hard to imagine the 86th Texas Legislature being any crazier than the last three, or four, or five sessions, but as our state grows ever larger and more bumptious, so do the built-up political pressures under the pink dome. With a new speaker, a much purpler House, an electorally chastened Senate (and lieutenant governor), and an awful lot of new faces, the Legislature faces many possible outcomes as it wrestles the greased anaconda of school finance and deals with the rest of the state's business..."

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..."

National Law Group Ditches Texas Over Lege’s Anti-LGBTQ Hate
American Assoc. of Law Libraries bans TX because of discrimination
DAILY News  July 14, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...In a July 14 letter to Mayor Steve Adler, the American Association of Law Libraries announced that following its 110th annual meeting and conference in Austin (scheduled for July 15-18), the Chicago-based group will no longer host events in Texas, “due to recent moves by the Legislature to discriminate against LGBTQ people.” The event, which draws 3,000 attendees, has been held in San Antonio twice...."

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...."

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...."

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