Emma Platoff / Texas Tribune | KERA News

Emma Platoff / Texas Tribune

Emma Platoff is a breaking news reporter at The Texas Tribune. She previously worked at the Tribune as a reporting fellow and is a recent graduate of Yale University, where she studied English literature and nonfiction writing. She has also worked as the managing editor of the Yale Daily News and as an intern at The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Hartford Courant.

Judges of the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals Court at the state Capitol. Jan. 11, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

In a major blow to the state’s government transparency laws, Texas’ highest criminal court has struck down a significant provision of the Texas Open Meetings Act, calling it “unconstitutionally vague.”

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

In what state Sen. Angela Paxton describes as an effort to safely expand Texas’ burgeoning financial tech industry, the freshman Republican from McKinney has filed a bill that would empower the office of her husband, Attorney General Ken Paxton, to exempt entrepreneurs from certain state regulations so they can market “innovative financial products or services.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton attends an investiture ceremony at the Texas Capitol on Jan. 11, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

As he begins his second term, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is looking to expand the prosecutorial power of his office, asking the Legislature for more resources and expanded jurisdiction to go after crimes related to abortion and voter fraud.

Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo
Associated Press

State Sen. Kel Seliger has been stripped of his post as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, in an escalation of a feud with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the upper chamber.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick attends a Donald Trump rally on Aug. 23, 2016, in Austin.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, sits next to Gov. Greg Abbott as he speaks during a press conference at the Governor's Mansion on Wednesday.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / Texas Tribune

 

The “bathroom bill” won’t be back this session, its loudest champion suggested Wednesday morning.

At a Governor’s Mansion press conference on the second day of this year’s legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who last session was the top state leader championing the measure, which would have regulated the use of certain public facilities for transgender Texans — suggested there’s no need to bring back the divisive proposal that headlined the last legislative year in 2017, but failed to reach the governor's desk.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks at the Republican Party of Texas convention in San Antonio on Friday, June 15, 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick missed the first day of the Texas Legislature on Tuesday to attend a border security meeting at the White House.

Patrick, who attended a pre-session social event Monday evening in Austin and is scheduled for two public addresses on Wednesday, “is not going to be able to join us today,” said state Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican, who took the dais in Patrick’s stead.

Left to right: Outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus, presumptive House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a Legislative Budget Board meeting in Austin on Nov. 16, 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

This time two years ago, the stage was already set for a political rumble.

Months before the 85th legislative session even began in January 2017, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had started laying out a hefty list of priorities, perhaps most notably the “bathroom bill,” a measure that would have restricted the use of certain public facilities for transgender Texans.

Reynaldo Leal for The Texas Tribune

In a ruling that could throw the nation’s health care system into chaos, Fort Worth-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor on Friday ruled that a major provision of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional — and that the rest of the landmark law must fall as well.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

In the end, there were two, and neither was in Texas.

Campaign websites

Republican Deanna Metzger is something of a rarity this election cycle.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Months before he was arrested on allegations of mailing bombs to several prominent Democrats, Cesar Sayoc sent threatening messages over Facebook to U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, a spokesman for O'Rourke's U.S. Senate campaign confirmed Wednesday.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

The Trump administration is expected to send 800 or more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to support border enforcement already stationed there at a time the president has called a “national emergency.”

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

HOUSTON — President Donald Trump, speaking Monday evening here at an uproarious rally, cast his 2016 battle with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz as a thing of the past and blasted Cruz’s Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, as a “stone cold phony.”

Getty Images/iStockphoto/CAHKT

In an effort to restore public trust, all of Texas’ Catholic dioceses will release the names of clergy who have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors, stemming back at least to 1950, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops announced Wednesday.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The morning of Oct. 2, 2017 was not the first time that India Landry, a senior at Windfern High School outside Houston, refused to stand when the Pledge of Allegiance came on over the intercom.

Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/Pool Photo

At their first debate in Texas’ 2018 U.S. Senate general election campaign, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, and incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, traded blows Friday over a range of issues that included immigration and criminal justice. 

Rotten sandwich meat that’s turned green or black; noodle soup cooked so little that the noodles are still hard; drinking water that smells like chlorine, Clorox or “just bad.” Cramped, cold conditions; tearful separations of children and mothers; guards who said Mexicans won’t ever receive asylum in the United States.

Allison Shelley for the Texas Tribune

Andrew Oldham was confirmed to the federal bench Wednesday by a 50–49 vote, making him the the fourth alumnus of the Texas Attorney General’s Office to join the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals since President Donald Trump took office. That tally made his confirmation the narrowest of any Texas judicial nominee under Trump.

Oldham currently serves as Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s top legal adviser.

Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune

Families who were separated crossing the U.S.-Mexico border can't be deported immediately after they are reunited — at least for the next week, a federal judge told the federal government Monday.

Rachel Zein for The Texas Tribune

The federal government plans to meet a pair of ambitious court-ordered deadlines for reuniting families separated at the border — even though officials say doing so may mean relaxing government standards in the process of vetting those parents.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

More than a month after a deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School left 10 dead and 13 injured, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is taking steps to tighten security in the southeast Texas school district, part of an effort by the state’s Republican leadership to “harden” schools as targets.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

In a move that could expand the powers of his office, Gov. Greg Abbott has told Texas state agencies to submit proposed new rules to him before they are made available for public comment.

Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

Standing before a federal judge in a San Antonio courtroom on Tuesday afternoon, former state Sen. Carlos Uresti was contrite.

“I truly feel remorseful, ashamed, disappointed, disgraced, angry at myself and sad,” Uresti told the court, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The Supreme Court of the United States
Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

Texas stands to gain hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue after the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that states may force online retailers to collect sales tax even when they have no physical presence in the state.

The Supreme Court of the United States
Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

Seven months after an undocumented teenager under federal custody in Texas got an abortion over the objections of the state of Texas and the Trump administration, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a lower court order that cleared the way for the procedure. But the high court did not address some legal questions at the heart of the case.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Fifty-four percent of Texas parents who have children in public schools support arming teachers and other school officials, according to polling numbers from Quinnipiac University released Thursday. 

Courtesy of Stacy Bailey

Stacy Bailey has been employed as an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School for a decade, but she hasn’t been in the classroom since September.

Instead, she’s in limbo: She isn’t fired — her contract with the district has even been renewed — but she’s not working.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

In the hours after a deadly shooting at a southeast Texas high school left at least 10 dead and 10 more wounded, a familiar debate began to emerge — pitting the state’s top Republican leaders against some of the Democrats vying to take their spots in this year’s elections.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Told it was breaking the law, and asked to propose a fix, Texas seems to have mostly declined.

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