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Nonprofits and the City's Quest for Affordable Housing
Helping usher Austin out of a quagmire of inequality
News Story  July 13, 2017, by Joseph Caterine
"..."This Texas Legislature is segregationist, reactionary, and punitive toward working families in a way that is just incredible," said Henneberger. "These people just don't care..."

Exploring the Charm of the Hill Country Film Festival
Small town Texas, big movie experience
Screens Story  April 27, 2017, by Joseph Caterine
"...At a time when the state Legislature is actively defunding the Texas Movie Industry Incentive Program, Mathews said it is partly the responsibility of smaller festivals like HCFF to keep independent films relevant. "We're always force-fed what Hollywood wants us to see," he said..."

The 85th’s State Something
Taking stock at the Lege's midway point
News Story  March 16, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...It's almost halfway over. On March 20, the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature will pass the midpoint of its 140-day deadline..."

Lawmaker Files Bill Penalizing Male Masturbation
HB 4620 highlights absurdity of intrusive anti-choice bills
DAILY News  March 13, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...“Frankly, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said Farrar, pointing to the misplaced priorities of the Texas Legislature when it comes to women's health. For instance, she noted, lawmakers have placed heavy focus on anti-choice bills like HB 35, a rule forcing women to bury or cremate their fetal remains following an abortion or miscarriage, instead of directing legislative efforts to fix the alarmingly high state maternal mortality rate...."

Point Austin: Through the Lege Looking-Glass
Alice's tea party was never as mad as the Lege this session
News Column  March 9, 2017, by Michael King
"...It's not exactly news that the Texas Legislature's biennial to-do list is filled with bills that shouldn't be discussed in rational company, let alone enacted into law. The "bathroom bill" and "fetal remains" bill are just extreme examples of the Lege's upside-down sense of what matters to most Texans, and of what is most important for the state's economic development, political equality, public safety (for all Texans), and our quality of life...."

Austin Transportation Guide
How to get around Austin, with or without your own wheels
DAILY Chronolog  March 3, 2017, by Katie Walsh
"...After residents voted against Proposition 1 in 2016, Uber and Lyft dramatically left the city. But Uber and Lyft’s strenuous lobbying efforts at the Texas Legislature paid off – the May 2017 signing of HB 100 dismantled our city’s rideshare regulations and replaces them with statewide rules – and so the TNC giants are back in operation in Austin, and managed to push out of business many of the smaller, largely local ride-hailing companies that filled the void they left..."

Changing Your Name and Gender Marker in Trump's America
A guide to doing it yourself and where to find help
DAILY Qmmunity  March 3, 2017, by Maddox Price
"...Although Trump has most queers worried, Sánchez believes the “real villain” is the Texas Legislature. “In some states they are very pro [gender marker change] and make it easy, and there are some states that are very anti and they block it..."

Gay Place
Turning a trash pile into something beautiful
Columns  February 23, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"...Days before the inauguration and barely a week into the 85th Texas Legislature, my mentor told me, "Now is not the time for fear, so put away the tears." Gay Place – the queer community – has always persisted in the face of political shitstorms. So as immigration bans and bathroom bills and religious freedom laws loom over our city, state, and country – we will not cry..."

Planned Parenthood's Standoff to Save Medicaid Continues
Hearing concludes Thursday, with a ruling expected before the weekend
DAILY News  January 19, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...Mikeal Love, an Austin OB-GYN provider, claimed Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast violated medical ethics, yet wasn’t in attendance to hear the previous day’s testimony refuting the interpretation of the footage from the employee in question. However, Love, while at least holding expertise in OB-GYN care, is hardly a neutral witness – the physician testified at the Texas Legislature in support of HB 2 and the 24-hour pre-abortion sonogram law and admitted that his personal beliefs of abortion (only acceptable if the mother’s life is in danger) surely influenced “some element” of his testimony...."

Gay Place
Saying 'Eff You' to the new administration by raising money for women's organizations
Columns  January 19, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"...LGBTQ Human Rights Rally Join the LGBTQ community in protesting the incoming presidential administration and current Texas Legislature. Afterparty at Mohawk..."

Satanists Say Fetal Burial Rule Violates Religious Freedom
Satanists vs. Texas over abortion rights? It’s a possibility.
DAILY News  December 5, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...Blackmore’s intention is to highlight the regulation’s hypocrisy: “Fetal tissue has the potential to become human, but it’s not human yet, in [the] same way semen and ova has potential to become human life – but we don’t mourn every ejaculation,” she told the Chronicle. “This is really about the Legislature attempting to establish fetal personhood at the expense of vulnerable women.”..."

Austin Excels in LGBTQ Scorecard
Austin continues to lead the nation in offering inclusive policies to the LGBTQ community, according to a new report
News Story  October 20, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...In a statement, Equality Texas CEO Chuck Smith echoed those concerns, saying municipal protections are especially important in Texas because there are no statewide nondiscrimination rules. "In the coming year, it will be critically important to ensure that any attempts by the Texas Legislature to roll back any existing municipal protections are defeated."..."

Austin Earns Top Grade in LGBTQ Scorecard
HRC report: Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, most LGBTQ-friendly in state
DAILY News  October 18, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...In a statement, Equality Texas CEO Chuck Smith echoed those concerns, saying municipal protections are especially important in Texas because there are no statewide nondiscrimination rules. “In the coming year, it will be critically important to ensure that any attempts by the Texas Legislature to roll back any existing municipal protections are defeated.”..."

The Buzz on Local Bees
A swarm of local activity seeks to protect pollinators
Food Story  October 13, 2016, by Jessi Cape
"...Courtney Ray Goodson, executive director of AHBPA, said via email, "It felt so perfect and fun to combine two of the best Queen Bee Communities in Austin!" Sabel Scities, Colleen Deforrest, and Cupcake will perform, and the funds go primarily to support the org's pro-bono bee removals. This summer, CEO Walter Schumacher helped pass a resolution in the Texas Legislature that made the honeybee the official state pollinator of Texas...."

Dan Patrick: Ignore Obama's Transgender Policy
Parents of transgender students speak out against Patrick
DAILY News  May 31, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...Patrick signaled he and other lawmakers would delve into the transgender restroom issue during the next legislative session (but in what capacity is unclear). "When we have a rogue, runaway superintendent, and a rogue, runaway school board, then the Legislature this session will have to look at this issue," said Patrick during a Tuesday morning Capitol press conference..."

Fighting Family Detention
On June 1, a judge will consider whether to allow detention centers to be licensed as child-care facilities
News Story  May 26, 2016, by Dina Samir Shehata
"..."For the past sixty years, DFPS and its predecessor agencies have understood the Texas Legislature to intend that child-care licenses are only required from and issued to facilities whose 'primary function' is child-care," the lawsuit argues. "DFPS's order makes no attempt at all to explain what change in law or facts, if any, could justify DFPS's current view that a child-care license is required of immigration detention facilities."..."

State and Local Elections
No new taxes!
News Story  November 5, 2015, by Richard Whittaker and Michael King


After Defunding Breast Cancer Services, State Hosts Breast Cancer Awareness Event
Event participant doesn't support cutting services
DAILY News  October 13, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...Considering this and the Legislature’s systematic defunding of family planning and basic preventative health care over the years, it’s hard not to wonder if those participating in the event actually endorse the cuts or are even aware of them. So, the Chronicle decided to ask...."

The Post-Marriage Equality Fight
Same-sex couples mount fight to ensure accurate birth, death certficiates
News Story  August 13, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...As it stands, birth certificate forms in Texas only have two spaces for parents' names – one for a mother and one for a father – one member of a same-sex couple must formally adopt the child to be considered a parent in the eyes of the state. This adoption process is rife with anti-gay bias – in 1997, the Texas Legislature amended the law to ensure that supplemental birth certificates issued to adoptive parents also only have gender-specific categories..."

Abbott Launches Investigation Into Planned Parenthood
Texas GOP jump to attack PP after sting videos surface
DAILY News  July 24, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...Texas indeed harbors a “longstanding political agenda” against Planned Parenthood – in 2011 the Legislature slashed funding to keep state dollars away from the network and in 2012 state officials banned the provider from a Medicaid program for low-income women (a challenge to that rule was defended in court by the office of then Attorney General Abbott). In their latest attack, lawmakers booted PP out of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program this past session, compromising care for thousands of uninsured women, explicitly because the organization provides abortion care...."

Lege Lines: Kill Bill(s)
Abbott vetoes more than 40 bills
News Story  June 25, 2015, by Richard Whittaker


Patrick Goes on Offense Post-Session
Patrick reflects on his first term as lite gov
DAILY News  June 4, 2015, by Brittany Shulman
"...Patrick deflected questions about apparent tension between the two chambers of the Legislature by passing it off as a construction of the media. He says that the House and Senate both had successful sessions..."

Labor: Failure to Thrive
Fallout from the 84th Texas legislative session
News Story  June 4, 2015, by Amy Kamp
"...Labor bills weren't high on the Legislature's agenda this session: None of the bills mentioned in the Chronicle's Lege preview – from those that aimed to increase minimum wage to those that aimed to curtail employment of the undocumented – made it out alive. However, the Lege came very close to passing SB 1968, authored by Sen..."

LGBTQ Rights: Hate Defeated
Fallout from the 84th Texas legislative session
News Story  June 4, 2015, by Mary Tuma
"...Chalk it up to dedicated LGBTQ activism, business community resistance, Democratic procedural maneuvering, or the evolution of public attitudes toward sexual orientation (or perhaps all four) but only a single, fairly innocuous piece of LGBTQ-related legislation managed to squeeze its way out of the Legislature and into law. In its original form, the so-called "Pastor Protection Act," a measure allowing pastors the right to refuse same-sex marriages, was troubling to LGBTQ advocates, but was amended to appease concerns..."

Senate Approves Judicial Bypass Restrictions
Senate OKs bill restricting abortion access for abused minors
News Story  May 28, 2015, by Mary Tuma


Republicans Swap Marriage Ban for Angry Letter
Political cover after failure of gay marriage bill
DAILY News  May 15, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...It's a belated line in the sand. With the end of the session imminent, under House rules the measure needed to pass second reading before the end of business yesterday, the 122nd day of the 84th Legislature..."

Lege Lines
Jonathan Stickland annoys his colleagues
News Story  May 7, 2015, by Richard Whittaker


Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 2065
Anti-LGBT "religious freedom" laws piling up at the Lege
News Column  May 7, 2015, by Mary Tuma


Immigrants' Future Uncertain
With Obama's executive actions halted for now, undocumented Texans are unsure of their fate
News Story  March 5, 2015, by Tony Cantú
"...Similarly, the Austin Chamber of Com­merce issued a statement in support of in-state tuition and financial aid eligibility for eligible non-U.S. citizens, even as conservative lawmakers have filed bills in the Texas Legislature trying to block access...."

Lege Lines: House Committees, Revenue Estimates ... & Snacks
The Lege appoints House Committee members, offers revenue estimates, and ensures lawmakers are well fed
News Story  February 12, 2015, by Richard Whittaker


Lege: Here Comes the Culture War
The culture war begins as conservative lawmakers file "religious freedom" bills
News Story  January 22, 2015, by Mary Tuma


Headlines
News Story  January 15, 2015
"...The 84th Session of the Texas Legislature began with a lengthy speech by Secretary of State Nandita Berry that got Twitter giggling with constant references to fast food joints around the state. Now the laughter stops, as serious business begins (see "Unsettled Business," Jan..."

Keeping It Weird: Bills on the Fringe
Early bills show reliable signs of Texas Weird
News Story  January 8, 2015, by Amy Kamp


Welcome to the 2015 Elections
That is, if you live in San Antonio, Bastrop, or Brenham
DAILY News  January 5, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...With the 84th Legislature just around the corner, there are still four – potentially five – seats up in the air. A trio of special elections in Central Texas will decide most tomorrow...."

The Road to Urinetown
Composer Mark Hollmann on the show's creation and success
DAILY Arts  August 30, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...AC: A big issue with the Texas Legislature this session has been water rights and preparing for droughts. We have this incredible Rainy Day Fund, and our beloved governor seems to think that no matter what the emergency is, it's never a rainy enough day to break into that fund..."

Hornography
Sports Column  August 28, 2014, by Eric Sollenberger
"...Upon its inception, the Texas Legislature had given UT 1 million acres to use as it saw fit, but most of it went to a plot of land within the Permian Basin, then considered an unusable wasteland with no oil. In fact, the university was only successful in selling one oil lease on the plot..."

Davis Bops Abbott's Insider Deals
Davis finds new traction with a full-frontal assault on Abbott's ethics
News Story  August 7, 2014, by Richard Whittaker


Council Weighs Film Incentives Deal
City looks to keep film and digital production inside city limits
News Story  April 25, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...No one in the industry says they like film incentives (well, no one except for producers and accountants), but they've become standard for states that want to attract productions: For example, without its 30% giveaway, Louisiana would be an industry afterthought, rather than the bustling film hub that it has become. That's why the Texas Legislature introduced the Film Industry Incentive Pro­gram (now the Texas Moving Image Indus­try Incentive Program) in 2005..."

More HB 2 Fallout: Abortion Doctors Sue Dallas Hospital
HB 2 politics hits doctors unlawfully discriminated against by UGHD
DAILY News  April 17, 2014, by Jordan Smith
"...For more than 30 years, obstetricians Lamar Robinson and Jasbir Ahluwalia provided legal abortion care at licensed women's clinics. And after the legislature last year passed House Bill 2, requiring that all abortion doctors receive hospital admitting privileges, the doctors sought and received privileges at University General Hospital Dallas...."

Abortion Regulation Trial Concludes
Judge will rule "as quickly as I can"
DAILY News  October 23, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...Because they're challenging the law before it takes effect, and asking the judge to nullify it – a "facial" challenge to its legality – the providers carry the burden of showing that "every application" of the provisions would be unconstitutional: Just because some doctors don't like the medication abortion provision doesn't do that; arguing that the admitting-privilege provision would prohibit doctors for practicing abortion doesn't do that; and arguing that it's simply "bad public policy" doesn't get there either, Oldham argued. In the first instance, that's a question "for the FDA," in the second, "that's a call for the hospitals," and in the third, "that's a call for the Legislature," he said...."

Headlines
News Story  August 30, 2013
"...› In one of the most significant departures from the Texas Legislature in years, longtime House Appropriations Committee Chair Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, has announced he will not run for re-election. Pitts was one of the few ranking Republicans to say the Texas budget needs to raise more revenue...."

Special Assembly
Thousands rally at the Capitol
News Story  July 5, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...Lisa Cuddy from TV's House, told an appreciative crowd that she only played a doctor on TV and had no medical training whatsoever. Thus, she said, "I'm about as qualified to make a decision about women's health as Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature."..."

Thousands Rally at the Capitol
Supporters of women's rights energized to continue fighting bad bills
DAILY News  July 1, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...Lisa Cuddy from TV's House, told an appreciative crowd that she only played a doctor on TV, had never diagnosed or treated anyone and, indeed, had no medical training whatsoever. Thus, she said, "I'm about as qualified to make a decision about women's health as Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature."..."

A Change of Circumstances: Judge Reopens School Finance Lawsuit
New legislation could be discussed in court in January
DAILY News  June 19, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...However, the judge had held back on making a final full ruling until he could see what the legislature did in the session. Will an extra $3.9 billion in the state's contribution to public schools, plus some shifts in how it's distributed soften his opinion? Expect to find out some time in 2014..."

Bill of the Week: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
Companion bills aims to give more local control of wire taps
DAILY News  May 4, 2013, by Brandon Watson
"...In the waning days of the 83rd legislature, a companion pair of bills is passing through committee with little opposition. The bills – HB 530 by Allen Fletcher, R-Tomball, and SB 188 by Joan Huffman, R-Houston – would broaden the authority to conduct wiretaps to Texas' six largest police departments and the Harris County Sheriff...."

Scratch That: Lege Ends Lottery, Then Changes Mind
House avoids $2 billion school funding hole by saving scratch cards
DAILY News  April 23, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...It's effectively a big performance review, and it's usually a fairly harmless procedure. Once in a while, some tires take a severe kicking from the Legislature, like every time Texas Department of Transportation comes up for inspection..."

Women's Coalition Wins Fed Family Planning Funding
Title X funds stripped from state health department
DAILY News  March 25, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"..."No one is going to be excluded based on any political consideration," Hagerty told us in February. "When you're not beholden to the Legislature, or to politicians calling you and saying, 'do this, do that,' when you don't have anything else to consider, it's pretty simple: getting women served."..."

Death Watch: Racial Bias Infected Sentencing Hearing
Saga to secure new hearing for Duane Buck continues
DAILY News  March 21, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...That's the message of a statement of support for death row inmate Buck released Wednesday and signed by 102 individuals – including 10 members of the Texas Legislature, civil rights and faith leaders, a former governor, a victim who survived being shot by Buck, and a former Harris County prosecutor who tried Buck for double murder in 1997...."

Bill of the Week: Laying Pipe Across the State
Texas spending money on infrastructure? Not impossible.
DAILY News  January 19, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Now, in normal circumstances, this would go nowhere. The Legislature has talked a good game about water policy for years, but little of significance has been done since the Colorado was dammed..."

After a Fashion: Hobnobbing
So, where should Your Style Avatar cram all these daisies he was supposed to be pushing up by now?
Columns  January 18, 2013, by Stephen MacMillan Moser
"...25, 7pm, at 400 Congress, Equality Texas presents its annual three-sheets-to-the-wind Merry Merry Martini Mixer (www.merrymartinimixer.org), with this year's theme being Rock the Casbah. This very well-attended event is in its ninth year (have I been to all of them?) and raises money for Equality Texas to continue to bring a LGBT voice to the Texas legislature..."

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