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Politics

Political news from North Texas, across the state and beyond.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

State Rep. John Wray, a Waxahachie Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election to the Texas House in 2020.

Castro Emphasizes Immigration, Education In Frisco

Jul 1, 2019
Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro says he wants to boost legal immigration in the U.S. -- and that immigrants play an important role in the country.

Angela Hsieh/NPR

Round 2 of the first Democratic primary debate in Miami was a fiery one. The stage was headliner-heavy with former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

Wild0ne via creative commons

This week, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office dismissed about 235 misdemeanor marijuana possession cases. It was an unusual move, and a response to changes in state law earlier this month.

On Wednesday and Thursday, 20 candidates will take the Democratic debate stage to talk about a wide range of policy topics. And 20 candidates times dozens of policies equals a lot to keep track of.

It's true that, these being Democratic candidates, there's a lot they all agree on — taking action on climate change, for example, or improving the health care system. But this debate is the first time we'll see them next to each other, coming into direct conflict over what, exactly, they disagree on.

Associated Press

State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, a firebrand conservative Republican from Bedford and one of the most vocal members of the Texas House, announced Monday he will not run for reelection in 2020.

From Texas Standard:

The list of notable Texans to serve in the U.S. House is a long one. Names like Sam Rayburn, "Cactus Jack" Garner, Barbara Jordan and Lyndon B. Johnson have been lionized through history. But that parade of names often leaves someone out: Congressman Jack Brooks.

Half of the registered voters in Texas would vote to reelect President Donald Trump, but half of them would not, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Robin Jerstad: Castro / Jorge Salgado: O'Rourke for The Texas Tribune

 

The state's two Democratic presidential candidates will face off on the same debate stage later this month, NBC News announced on Friday.

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will appear on the stage on June 26, the first of two nights of debates hosted by MSNBC in Miami.

Aaron Jacobs / distributed under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.5 license

Denton County voters may find themselves voting in new districts for members of the county commissioners court next year. The Denton County Commissioners Court is planning to redraw their districts this summer. Commissioners say it’s an effort to make sure their precincts are equal in this fast-growing county, but critics of the plan says it’s being rushed unnecessarily and will have a discriminatory effect.

Texas Governor Signs Bill To Allow Women To Pump Breast Milk In Public

Jun 11, 2019
Reynaldo Leal for The Texas Tribune

A bill that would allow women to pump breast milk in public has been signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Scott Griggs and Eric Johnson go head-to-head for the Dallas mayor's seat beginning with early voting on Tuesday, May 28.
Candidate Facebook pages / Christy Robinson, KERA / Shutterstock

Dallas voters will cast final ballots for their next mayor on June 8, after whittling down the original field of nine candidates to two. Early voting ended June 4, with more than 50,000 ballots cast.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

Capping off a yearslong effort to prevent another school shooting like the Santa Fe High tragedy, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a series of bills into law Thursday that would, among other things, strengthen mental health initiatives available to children and allot money to school districts that can go toward “hardening” their campuses.

Associated Press photos

Texas hasn't gone blue in a presidential race since 1976, but a new poll indicates that at least early on, it could be a 2020 battleground. The latest survey from Quinnipiac University shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a four-point edge over President Trump in a hypothetical one-on-one matchup.

For roughly 40 million Americans, SNAP benefits are a lifeline.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, delivers about $60 billion in aid each year. And retailers that accept SNAP benefits are required to stock a variety of staple foods — including a minimum number of fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy and grain options.

Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET

New tariffs against Mexico will begin to bite next week, President Trump vowed Tuesday, unless the White House is satisfied that Mexico's government is acting with new alacrity to stop migrants from crossing into the United States.

"This will take effect next week, 5%," Trump said during his visit to London.

Trump said he is open to continuing negotiations with Mexican leaders, including at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday between its foreign minister and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Gov. Greg Abbott claimed Tuesday he can keep Texas' plumbing board alive without calling a special legislative session, as he reassured plumbers who were worried their profession will no longer be subject to state regulations.

Holly McDaniel is the executive director at the Austin Diaper Bank, primarily working to distribute diapers and menstrual products to partner agencies around the city.

Usually, she sits in an office or packages supplies in a warehouse overflowing with diapers and menstrual products. But, in the last few months, she headed out to the Texas Capitol to testify at the House Ways and Means Committee.

When lawmakers ended this year’s legislative session, they had addressed their biggest goals: They tamped down property taxes, overhauled school finance laws and gave teachers a pay raise. By various measures, the session was a success.

To health care advocates in the state, however, it was a missed opportunity.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

 

Texas lawmakers left the Capitol this week with some hits and some misses for a state special education program that has faced intense federal scrutiny in the past few years.

Associated Press

In a surprise announcement that could derail a major trade deal, President Donald Trump says he is placing a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports, effective June 10, to pressure the country to do more to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross the U.S. border.

Sixty-three bills related to marijuana or hemp were filed at the beginning of the 86th Texas legislative session in January. Four measures passed out of the House, including bills that would establish a hemp market in Texas, reduce penalties for low-level marijuana possession and expand the list of Texans who can access medical marijuana.

Future Of Texas Plumbers' Licensing, Regulation Uncertain After Legislative Impasse

May 29, 2019
Shutterstock

Plumbers in Texas will no longer be subject to state regulations after lawmakers this week flushed the state plumbing code and the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, a state agency that employed dozens and generated $5.2 million in revenue in 2017.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping immigration plan to seek a pathway to U.S. citizenship for 11 million people in the country illegally, deploy thousands of immigration lawyers to the southern border to help with asylum cases and earmark $5 billion to bolster the rule of law in Central America.

Eric Johnson (foreground) and Scott Griggs (distant) face each other in the runoff to be the next mayor of Dallas. Here, debate moderator is The Dallas Morning News' Gromer Jeffers. Early voting runs through June 4, and election day is June 8.
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

After a packed field of nine candidates, it's now down to two for Dallas mayor: State Rep. Eric Johnson, who got the most votes in the general election, and Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs, who came in a close second.

Early voting runs through June 4. Election Day is June 8.

Lauren Johnson speaks at a rally for legislation to address the issues affecting women in the criminal justice system.
Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Texas incarcerates more women than any other state. The number of women in Texas prisons has ballooned since 1980, growing by nearly 1,000% – twice the rate of men. 

Courtesy photos

The two survivors in the race to be the next Dallas mayor faced off Thursday night in a debate a little more than two weeks before the June 8 runoff.

The Texas Republican Convention at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio. Bob Parks salutes the flag from the front row on June 14, 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Today’s Texplainer question was inspired by reader Al Schlieske: If the Texas Republican Party platform supports marijuana decriminalization, how can Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick say it’s dead in the Senate? Are party platforms not binding for elected officials?

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are very much on each other's minds.

At his campaign rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, the former vice president went off script — twice — to deride a protester with a whistle.

"That must be Bernie or somebody," Biden apparently said, raising eyebrows and drawing laughs.

(The line is at 8:21 into this video. You can decide for yourself what he said.)

Anita Hill has never really been one for compromise.

The lawyer's decision not to do so first propelled her into public life nearly three decades ago, when she came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas in his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings. And she doesn't intend to begin compromising now.

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