Texas Legislature | KERA News

Texas Legislature

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Two usual political allies — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the National Rifle Association — traded rhetorical blows Friday after Patrick continued to vocally advocate for requiring background checks for stranger-to-stranger gun sales.

Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio

Democrats in the Texas House are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to convene a special legislative session to address gun violence — a move designed to place even more pressure on the state’s top GOP official to act in the wake of two deadly mass shootings just weeks apart.

8 New Gun Laws Take Effect In Texas Sept. 1

Sep 1, 2019

At least seven people were killed and another 20 were injured in a mass shooting that stretched in and around Midland and Odessa, Texas, Saturday. The incident was the second mass shooting in that state in less than a month, following a shooting in El Paso, on Aug. 3.

courtesy of Aspergers101

Getting pulled over by a police officer can be unsettling for anyone. But it can be especially stressful for someone with a communication issue.

Not being able to answer an officer’s question could put that person at risk if the officer misinterprets their behavior.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

This Sunday, 820 new laws passed during the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature will go into effect. They range from the huge — a $250 billion two-year budget — to the symbolic — a number of bills to rename parts of Texas highways. 

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A new report from Gov. Greg Abbott says the state has taken steps to make schools safer.

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Earlier this summer, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson did something unusual for an elected prosecutor. She dropped the charges in 234 cases all at once.

Texas Raises The Legal Smoking Age, Exempting Members Of The Military

Aug 20, 2019
Callie Richmond / The Texas Tribune

Texans will soon have to wait until their 21st birthday to buy tobacco and nicotine products products — with the exception of young military members.

Image via the Texas Workforce Commission

After losing his last chief election officer over a botched review of the state’s voter rolls, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday appointed a new secretary of state: Ruth Ruggero Hughs.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dustin Burrows of Lubbock has resigned as chair of the Texas House GOP Caucus, according to two people familiar with the matter. Burrows’ departure comes amid allegations that he, along with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, planned to politically target members from their own party in the 2020 primaries — and it marks the largest fallout yet since the accusations surfaced.

Texans Get Ready For Beer To Go And Booze Delivery

Aug 13, 2019
Sergio Flores / The Texas Tribune

Starting Sept. 1, Texans will be able to leave brewery taprooms with a case of their favorite craft beer, and order wine and beer for delivery, thanks to two laws passed by the Legislature this year.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

Texas Democrats are suing over a June 12 meeting House Speaker Dennis Bonnen had in June with one of his top lieutenants and Michael Quinn Sullivan, a hardline conservative activist, saying the three were engaged in serious campaign finance violations and demanding that Sullivan produce a full recording of the gathering that he has shared with only a small group of Republicans.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Two members of the Texas House who listened Wednesday night to a recording of a meeting that has shaken up the Legislature refuted House Speaker Dennis Bonnen's denials that he offered a list of 10 GOP representatives for a hardline conservative group to politically target.

Texas is expanding its statewide missing person alert system to now include adults.  

Callie Richmond / The Texas Tribune

Just as they do every year, hundreds of county officials from all over Texas are packing a hotel ballroom in Austin this week for three days of all things elections.

On the agenda are a session on paying for primary elections and one on procedures for voting by mail. A half-hour is reserved for policy updates from the legislative session that wrapped up in late May.

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The scientists think they’ve come up with a solution to Texas’ pot problem.

Forensic and crime lab experts are optimistic state and local officials will support a new proposal that would allow for a faster, cheaper way to test suspected marijuana under the state’s new definition of the drug.

When Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 3 into law earlier this summer, in addition to increasing school funding and approving teacher raises, he also approved a requirement for all Texas high school seniors to fill out an application for federal or state financial aid for college.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

During this year’s legislative session, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price was among scores of city leaders who actively opposed yet another series of attempts by state officials to limit how much money local governments collect. But with lawmakers determined to reform the local property tax process, she and other mayors had little luck fighting off what many city officials considered attacks on local control.

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Legislature passed a multibillion-dollar school finance bill during its most recent session. The funds provide a pay increase for teachers and other members of school staff. But now comes the hard part: how to actually apportion those raises.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

Republican Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen has launched a political action committee to help defend the GOP majority as Democrats push to take the lower chamber in 2020.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

Last year, after a federal judge in Texas declared the entirety of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, throwing into question millions of Americans’ health coverage, the state’s Republican leaders promised they would come up with a plan to replace it.

Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

 

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.

Associated Press

Government agencies in charge of migrant children would be able to accept donations from do-gooders if a proposal bill filed Friday by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, becomes law.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Red light cameras have been going dark across Texas this month. State lawmakers passed legislation to ban the automated cameras, which snap a picture of vehicle license plates when vehicles enter intersections after the traffic light turns red. The red light system then automatically mails a $75 ticket.

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.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that the state will deploy 1,000 troops from the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border to aid the federal government with border security efforts.

Texans who get their health insurance from a large employer are more likely to get a surprise bill in an emergency compared to people with similar plans in other states, according to research published Thursday.

Jennifer Whitney / The Texas Tribune

  

State leaders have recently cheered record-low unemployment rates in Texas. But the economic success has made it that much harder for the state to run a crucial agency — it can’t keep its prisons staffed.

Texas is now among more than a dozen states that have cracked down on the practice of surprise medical billing.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed legislation Friday shielding patients from getting a huge bill when their insurance company and medical provider can't agree on payment.

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