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Top Stories: Texas Senate Scheduled To Vote On Ethics Laws, 'Sanctuary Cities'

The Texas Senate chambers.

The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

The state Senate today will take up two of the Governor's emergency items: reforming ethics laws and banning so-called "sanctuary cities."

The ethics legislation would require lawmakers to reveal more of their private business dealings. Senate Bill 4 would punish local government entities and college campuses that don't hand over immigrants already in custody for possible deportation.

Correction: a version of this story that aired misidentified the 'sanctuary cities' bill as Senate Bill 6. That bill covers use of public restrooms according to the sex listed on a person's birth certificate. The bill the Senate's voting on today is Senate Bill 4.  

Other stories this morning:

  • Meanwhile, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a campaign finance lawsuit. The Texas Democratic Party alleges a tea party group called the King Street Patriots broke state campaign finance laws by training and dispatching poll watchers on behalf of the Texas Republican Party during the 2010 general election. The Patriots group argues key provisions of the state campaign finance law are unconstitutional.
  • U.S. Senator Ted Cruz spoke at the Southwest Ag Issues Summit in Fort Worth yesterday. A dozen people protested outside the hotel as Cruz spoke. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the senator – after his speech - walked over to the protesters, shook each person’s hand, listened to their concerns — and posed for pictures with the group.
  • Many rural districts oppose vouchers – giving families state money to remove children from public schools and send them to private and religious alternatives. But rural districts face other issues, from competition for teachers to providing special services to students.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.