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Hate Crimes and Punishment
The Gay Debate
News Story  September 11, 1998, by Janet Heimlich
"...Since 1993, Ellis has been back to the legislature every session to try to pass updated versions of his bill, to no avail. But now, in light of the Jasper killing, he is optimistic that his bill has a chance in 1999..."

Naked City
Off the Desk:
News Story  May 9, 1997
"...Mark Friday, May 30 on your end-of-the-month calendar for an ACLU review of the Texas Legislature -- "The Good, the Bad, The Awful." Jay Jacobson, who heads ACLU Texas, will present his findings of the winners and losers among advocacy groups at noon, at Furr's Cafeteria in Northcross Mall. The talk is free, the food isn't..."

Reform on Hold
Want Telecom Reform? Hang Up and Dial Again
News Column  December 20, 1996, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...People outside of Texas wonder how our state government functions with a Legislature that only convenes for four months every two years. (Jealous they might be, but curious nonetheless.) We would be in trouble if we actually had new Legislatures with new issues..."

Spanked All Over
Top Ten Environmental Stories of 1995
News Story  January 5, 1996
"...Bradley takes a Wiz on Austin. Austin's $90 million man, Gary Bradley, convinced the Texas Legislature that he needed an independent fiefdom at Circle C, free of any of Austin's regulations..."

Ooh! Ooh! Mr. Kotter!
Will Dewhurst veto the ability to override vetoes?
DAILY News  May 23, 2009, by Lee Nichols
"...Wentworth is the Senate sponsor of House Joint Resolution 29, which (if approved by voters) would change the Texas Constitution to allow the Legislature to briefly reconvene after the regular session to consider whether to override the governor’s vetoes...."

Postmarks
Our readers talk back.
Columns  June 27, 2003
"...Instead of divisive debate over particular maps, let the Legislature adopt a bill that would provide the general specifications and whatever map the computer draws to those specifications. Let the software be fully disclosed for anyone to examine, and let the operation of the computer be supervised by the grand jury to guard against any undue intervention...."

Capitol Chronicle
The legislative fight over vouchers and school finance has a long history and deep roots.
News Column  February 28, 2003, by Michael King
"...The system allowed wealthy communities to maintain low tax rates yet spend lavishly on schools, while hundreds of property-poor districts like Edgewood could not raise similar revenues even at much higher rates. The courts eventually ruled the system unconstitutional, forcing the Legislature to design the system now called "Robin Hood" -- in theory, an equalization of revenue to provide the same educational opportunity to every child in Texas..."

Mr. Mom
More men are taking time off from work to enjoy fatherhood
News Story  June 30, 2000, by Jonathan David Carroll
"..."It obviously needs further review and extensive study to gauge its impact. If it were proposed it would be an idea that would need to be considered and approved by the Texas Legislature when they re-convene in 2001."..."

Squaring the Triangle
The Three Austins Collide at a Central-City Crossroads
News Story  July 4, 1997, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...And all three see the stakes as being higher than the fate of this one field. For the backers of the Triangle Square shopping complex, Austin opposes the project at the city's peril, inviting a nasty backlash from both the Texas Legislature and the real-estate industry, assuming that those are indeed separate entities..."

Funny Money
Campaign Finance Reform: Who Cares?
News Column  June 6, 1997, by Robert Bryce
"...During the just-finished session of the Texas Legislature, an effort was made to limit the amounts that individuals and political action committees can give to candidates. There was also an attempt to modernize the reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures..."

Agreeing to Disagree
The Cedar Park Lawsuit: Fighting on Principle
News Story  February 2, 1996, by Amy Smith
"...Still smarting from last year's whipping by the Texas Legislature, the City of Austin may be setting itself up for another beating. Only this time it could be worse..."

Like a Rose
The LCRA and Mark Rose: It's a Beautiful World
News Story  November 24, 1995
"...The LCRA also has a few lobbyists. According to the Texas Ethics Commission, the agency spent at least $80,000 to hire a dozen lobbyists during the last session of the Texas Legislature, including Mike Toomey, Gordon and Rob Johnson, and Nub Donaldson..."

The Hightower Report
'Texas – Third World and Proud of It!' and a job-busting and environment-exploiting agreement
News Column  June 3, 2005, by Jim Hightower
"...The Republican leadership in our legislature has hung a new slogan on our state capitol building: "Texas – Third World and Proud of It!" They have been so inadequate, so miserly in developing a budget that we rank down at the bottom of the 50 states in terms of providing even the most basic needs of our people, from public education to environmental protection...."

Naked City
The City Council adopts a legislative agenda focused on protecting the city’s right to govern itself.
News Story  February 2, 2001, by Emily Pyle
"...Some city insiders, recalling the passage of the repealed pro-developer House Bill 1704 two years ago, say they aren't expecting the 77th Legislature to throw Austin as many punches as it has in sessions past. Still, the city's official legislative program, passed by City Council last Thursday, anticipates an almost-all-defensive battle...."

There's Something About Mary
Mary arnold gets down to brass tacks on bradley deal
News Story  March 10, 2000, by Jenny Staff Johnson
"...We were also supposed to get water quality controls by Circle C -- adherence to the city's watershed ordinances "as amended from time to time." Because Mr. Bradley was successful in getting the Austin City Council and the State Legislature to prohibit enforcement of that provision, the citizens of Austin have not gotten the control of development that they were promised in exchange for extending utilities to the original Circle C MUDs...."

Council Watch
City Council considers status of various development-related lawsuits in executive sessions.
News Column  October 22, 1999, by Jenny Staff Johnson
"...Raging in the courts, that is. If the 1999 session of the Texas Legislature wasn't enough to convince you, and if the recent, um, shift in Statesman editorial policy hasn't given you pause, then consider this: The council's executive session agenda at its most recent meeting contained no fewer than four items pertaining to land development on the aquifer. As it happened, many of the items on the executive session agenda were not even discussed at the last meeting, Oct..."

S.o.s. 101
News Column  April 29, 1999, by Jenny Staff
"...Alliance) and agitate for the Save Our Springs Ordinance. It was around the same time that, in response to all Austin's environmental wrangling, the 1991 Legislature passed HB 4, the granddaddy of the SB 1704 under which we currently chafe..."

Just the Facts
Bills to Watch
News Column  April 1, 1999, by Lee Nichols
"...SB 1046 by Wentworth, which would require the Sunset Advisory Commission to give a report card on how well an agency has encouraged public participation with its rules and decisions, and on what kind of response an agency has had to requests for public information. The Sunset Commission is the state government agency which reviews government bodies every 12 years and forces them to justify their existence, and then recommends to the Legislature that the body in question be continued or abolished..."

Prop 7 Surprise
Postmarks  October 27, 2017
"... One of the problems this program would help solve is that 46% of Americans do not have enough money to cover a $400 expense. In 2015, working with Rep. Johnson from Dallas, we were successful with the Texas Legislature approving legislation allowing financial institutions to offer prize-linked savings accounts..."

Painting by Numbers
Wherein we recall how we got here ... and contemplate the baleful map-drawing future
News Story  January 28, 2011, by Lee Nichols
"...Before this session of the Texas Legislature ends, however, there could be at least 49 people under the Capitol dome wishing very much that such a road trip were an option. That's the number of House Democrats currently serving in the 82nd session of the Lege – an almost completely powerless minority of the 150-member body..."

GOP Takes Travis Seat in House Rout
Bolton loses while Howard squeaks by
News Story  November 5, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...There was one bright spot in the torrent of darkness for Democrats in the Texas Legislature from the Nov. 2 election: With Republicans holding 99 seats, no matter what they do or say, the GOP will be fully accountable for everything that happens under the dome next session...."

Coleman: Perry Slow on State Schools
Legislative Study Group chair asks why governor has left fixing state residential facilities to legislature
DAILY News  February 5, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...While Coleman said he is "glad that the Governor has realized the importance of this pressing policy issue," he questions Perry for not acting already, since the Legislative Study Group Committee on State Schools sent him a report demanding urgent action. "The sad fact," he wrote, "is that these issues could have been addressed by administrative action during the interim instead of waiting for the Legislature to change statutes."..."

The TAKS Is Dead! Long Live the TAKS!
Students continue to cram for slow-to-expire high-stakes tests
News Story  June 29, 2007, by Michael May
"...Just about everybody – including the Texas Legislature, which officially killed the exit-level TAKS in May – thinks the high-stakes testing system is bad for the kids. But TAKS is dying a very slow death..."

Postmarks
Our readers talk back.
Columns  July 29, 2005
"...We hope to have this up and running in the near future. Thanks again for your considerate comments, and please know that we're on the job.]Getting the Legislature to WorkEditor:..."

Welcome to Tomstown
In the burgeoning Tomstown scandal, you can't tell the players or the plot without a program
News Story  March 19, 2004, by Michael King
"...(The nickname "Hot Tub Tom" rings a bell.) Elected to Congress in 1984, DeLay has steadily become the ideological dictator of the national Republican Party and, as majority leader, the real power in the House, at the apex of an unprecedented campaign-cash machine. Meanwhile, Tom Craddick, a taciturn man who made his fortune in oil-field drilling supplies, has served in the Texas Legislature since 1968, committed to little else but the goal of making that body a GOP stronghold...."

The House Gives DeLay His Map
Republicans push redistricting through, public opinion be damned
News Story  July 11, 2003, by Michael King
"...Dozens of Democrats, many who seldom take the floor, proceeded to the front mic to denounce the bill, calling it devastating to rights of minority and rural Texans; an unjustified GOP "power grab" personally directed by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land; a leap toward D.C.-style partisanship in a Legislature that had once been proudly cooperative and moderate, and an offense against the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 -- perhaps even a brazen attempt to ensure that Congress will not re-authorize the VRA in 2006..."

Postmarks
Our readers talk back.
Columns  May 23, 2003
"...From your paper: "On June 17, 2001, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed 78 bills passed during the recently adjourned 77th session of the Texas Legislature..."

Postmarks
Our readers talk back.
Columns  August 23, 2002
"...Chapter 245 (1704) illustrates how hard and how effectively the state Legislature has stepped on Austin, and the water toxic build out of those areas is positive proof. If the Axis is so certain of a legal overturn, why seek City support?..."

Capitol Chronicle
In the battle of the budget, the weakest go to the wall.
News Column  May 10, 2002, by Michael King
"...Amid the noisy euphoria of the Tony ("Scrub the Budget!") Sanchez victory celebration six weeks ago at the Hyatt, I asked Austin state Rep. Elliott Naishtat for some early speculation about the look of next year's Legislature in the wake of redistricting, which had generally gone badly for the Democrats..."

Mystery Train
Light Rail's narrow defeat at the polls has probably spared Capital Metro an assault by legislators in January. But the agency is trying to figure out how to keep rail on track while satisfying Republican legislators who want sales tax returned.
News Story  December 22, 2000, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...Before the Nov. 7 election, conventional wisdom had the agency "assuming the position and waiting for the Legislature" -- unless voters approved light rail..."

Altered States
Daryl and His Other Brother Daryl
News Column  May 15, 1998, by Lee Nichols
"...standards, although the council could have forced developers to do so. The column observed that fear of the Legislature was one of the factors motivating this concession to developers..."

A Peek Into the New Lege's Anti-Choice Plan
It can surely be worse
News Story  November 21, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...The Texas Legislature has spent the past decade crafting draconian abortion restrictions that inevitably prompt prolonged, costly, and controversial legal challenges. Even when the U.S..."

Protecting the LGBTQ Community When the State Attacks
From the bathroom bill to marriage equality, can Austin fight back?
News Story  August 24, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"...LGBTQ communities in Texas, and across the country, have spent the better part of 2017 under attack from state and federal lawmakers looking to strip away rights and protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in the name of conservatism and religious freedom. By the time the Texas Legislature gaveled in back in January, Lt..."

Looking at the Lege After a Flaccid Special Session
Alpha males Abbott and Patrick can't get their red meat passed
News Story  August 17, 2017, by the News Staff
"...The first special session of the Texas Legislature is over and done, with the House and Senate calling sine die on Tuesday, Aug. 15, with a full day still to spare..."

DPS Troopers Push Undocumented Immigrants Into a Deportation Pipeline
Spike in traffic stops raises concerns about racial profiling, faulty record keeping, and the damage done to families
News Story  June 1, 2017, by Debbie Nathan
"...No terrorist has ever crossed into the United States over the Rio Grande (or, for that matter, anywhere over the southern border). And, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board, which advises the Texas Legislature on the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies, DPS does not provide quantitative measures of border security..."

Numbers Don't Lie, Film Rebates Work
Which films and TV shows quit Austin over lack of rebates?
DAILY Screens  May 25, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...With the Legislature's budget arguments almost done, the film, TV, and video-game industries nervously await the fate of the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP). Many fear that, having already lost TV shows like American Crime and The Leftovers, more productions will quit the state...."

HB 2 Oral Arguments
Justices press both sides of Texas abortion law
DAILY News  March 2, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...Justices Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor highlighted the double standard set by the law: Clinics that perform outpatient procedures with higher complication rates than abortion, such as colonoscopies and liposuction, aren’t forced to adhere to the same ASC requirement. Why, then, would the Texas Legislature seek to regulate a safer procedure? As Ginsburg put it plainly, “What is the legitimate interest in protecting their health? What evidence is there that the prior law was not sufficiently protective of the women's health? … As far as we know, this is among the most safe and the least risk procedures..."

Let's Go Gun Crazy
UT working group recommends allowing guns in classrooms, while a "mock mass shooting" and a "mass farting" protest in response bring out the national media
News Story  December 17, 2015, by Mac McCann
"...But perhaps what's most surprising is the fact that even pro-gun activists slammed Pizgatti and his fellow protesters. The College Republicans at Texas, in their statement condemning the event, wrote that "these tactics only fuel anti-gun rhetoric," adding that, "Staging a protest with fake blood and cardboard guns not only impairs our arguments but discounts the work of countless members of the Texas Legislature and gun rights activists who have worked endlessly to pass the first legislation of this kind in Texas."..."

Budget Deal Evicts Planned Parenthood From Cancer Program
Under new budget deal, Planned Parenthood ousted from life-saving cancer program
News Story  May 28, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"..."This decision will mean fewer women will be able to detect and treat their cancer early. The Texas Legislature has, without shame, put the lives of Texas women at risk."..."

Budget Deal Evicts Planned Parenthood From Cancer Program
Under new budget, Planned Parenthood removed from cancer program
DAILY News  May 21, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...The Texas Legislature’s agreed-upon budget does what Senate budget writers intended from the outset. "There are many members that feel very strongly that the facilities that receive that funding should not be facilities that are performing abortions, so the answer is: Don't perform abortions and you get the money," chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Sen..."

Lege Lines
School finance debate heats up, HHSC consolidation on hold?, and more
News Story  April 2, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Abbott found the agency may be so badly malfunctioning that the integration may take years, not months. Last October, the Sunset Com­mis­sion recommended the consolidation, continuing a process begun in 2003 when the Legislature reduced the total number of health departments from 12..."

Point Austin: Adios, Mofo
The governor's legacy of negligence and contempt
News Column  July 12, 2013, by Michael King
"...The conventional political wisdom describes Texas as a "low-tax, low-service" state, in part because of the governor and Legislature's institutional objection to higher (state) property taxes and virtually all social services. But public needs don't disappear simply because state officials refuse to budget for them; they're just pushed down onto local jurisdictions with fewer resources..."

Point Austin: Explaining Austin
Understanding Austin requires a cultural primer
News Column  March 15, 2013, by Michael King
"...Many of the same changes have come to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Fort Worth – meaning those still-dominant Republicans at the Legislature see the political future and now spend much of their time figuring out ways to keep it at bay. Enter Tom DeLay – the one-time exterminator and Katy legislator who ended in disgrace, but not before he had rewritten the Texas congressional map to maintain GOP power for another decade..."

Point Austin: Backstage at the Circus
The Lege melodrama can be a hard act to swallow
News Column  January 11, 2013, by Michael King
"...After a couple of decades of following the Texas Legislature, I admit I find it increasingly difficult to embrace the return of the biennial circus. Oh, they're entertaining enough, I suppose..."

Point Austin: 'No Bueno'
Court says the Lege still trampling on voting rights
News Column  September 7, 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."..."

SCOTUS: Back to the Redistricting Drawing Board
State, local politicians respond to latest shifts on the maps
DAILY News  January 20, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...That court used the old maps passed after the 2001 redistricting, since they were the last precleared maps: That was based on Texas having a population that required 32 congressional seats. Now SCOTUS has said, no, no, you need to use the Legislature's map, which works from a 36-seat population, even thought that is still awaiting preclearance (and, frankly, stands basically no chance of passing.) The one digression in the ruling was from Justice Clarence Thomas, who took the opportunity to argue that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional (even though Chief Justice John Roberts told the rest of the court that the merits of Section 5 were not up for discussion.)..."

SCOTUS Listens to Redistricting Fight
Oral arguments heard in DC Monday
DAILY News  January 9, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...This afternoon, representatives of the State of Texas and the United States government presented oral arguments to SCOTUS. There was talk about specific districts, like the 'deer and two antlers' plan for El Paso's Congressional district 16, but it all came down to a simple argument: What base plan should the three-judge panel that drew the interim maps have used? The state argues that they should have just tweaked whatever problems they perceived in the legislature's map, approved last session..."

Doggett, Travis Returned to Normalcy
New congressional map gives Travis a three-way split, which is a lot better than five
News Story  December 2, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...A three-judge federal panel released new maps for the state Legislature on Nov. 18 (see "New Map Tweaks Local House Seats," Nov..."

Public Ed's Future Hangs in Balance
It's Teacher Appreciation Week, but you'd never know it at the Lege
News Story  May 6, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Beyond the crippling multibillion-dollar cuts to school funding pending in the state Legislature, Texas AFT and other education advocates are watching two job bills in particular. Senate Education Committee Chair Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, has called her Senate Bill 12 a mandate relief bill, as it would give school districts contract flexibility on issues like unpaid furloughs and salary cuts..."

Day One on the Floor
Liveblogging from the House in the 82nd Legislature
DAILY News  January 11, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...And so it begins: The 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas begins today. We'll be keeping track of events throughout the day, so check back here for regular updates...."

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