Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune http://kut.org en Proposed Tax Break for Clubs Isn't Music to Some Ears http://kut.org/post/proposed-tax-break-clubs-isnt-music-some-ears <p><span style="line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; ">Although the crowd of clubs and concert halls on Austin’s famous Sixth Street is just a few blocks from the state Capitol, the worlds of live music and policymaking seldom meet. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; ">But this session, lawmakers are considering subsidizing live music.</span></p><p> Fri, 03 May 2013 16:25:00 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 7609 at http://kut.org Proposed Tax Break for Clubs Isn't Music to Some Ears Court of Inquiry Ends With Arrest Warrant for Anderson http://kut.org/post/court-inquiry-ends-arrest-warrant-anderson <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35; ">GEORGETOWN — A judge issued an arrest warrant for former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson Friday, after finding probable cause to believe Anderson withheld critical evidence in Michael Morton's 1987 murder trial.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Judge Louis Sturns concluded his court of inquiry by charging Anderson, who is now a state district judge, with&nbsp;tampering with government records (a misdemeanor), tampering with physical evidence (a felony) and failing to comply with a judge's order to turn over such evidence, for which he could be held in “contempt of court.”</p><p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 21:58:51 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 7433 at http://kut.org Court of Inquiry Ends With Arrest Warrant for Anderson Bill Would Restrict Use of Cell Phone Records by Police http://kut.org/post/bill-would-restrict-use-cell-phone-records-police <p></p><p class="body" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px;">Seeking to regulate the use of cell phone records in investigations by law enforcement, Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would force police and prosecutors to get a warrant before obtaining such records.</p> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 19:10:28 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 6892 at http://kut.org Bill Would Restrict Use of Cell Phone Records by Police Variety of Gun-Related Bills on Table for Session http://kut.org/post/variety-gun-related-bills-table-session <p></p><p>While December's fatal shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school led the Obama administration&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/16/us/obama-gun-control-proposal.html">to re-examine</a> federal gun laws, Texas lawmakers have been hard at work on gun-related legislation since November, when they were first able to file bills for the&nbsp;83rd&nbsp;legislative session. Most of those bills aim to widen rather than restrict access to guns.</p> Fri, 18 Jan 2013 01:18:09 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 6243 at http://kut.org Variety of Gun-Related Bills on Table for Session White House Responds to Texas Secession Petition http://kut.org/post/white-house-responds-texas-secession-petition <p></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif;">Responding to petitions from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2012/11/12/white-house-petition-renews-secession-talk/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Texas</a>&nbsp;and seven other states calling for the right to secede, the White House&nbsp;<a href="https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/our-states-remain-united" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">called for</a>&nbsp;healthy debate, but to not let "that debate tear us apart."</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif;">"In a nation of 300 million people — each with their own set of deeply-held beliefs — democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that's a good thing," wrote&nbsp;Jon Carson, director of the Office of Public Engagement, in a statement called "Our States Remain United." "Free and open debate is what makes this country work, and many people around the world risk their lives every day for the liberties we often take for granted."</p><p> Mon, 14 Jan 2013 18:54:40 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 6171 at http://kut.org White House Responds to Texas Secession Petition They Weren't in the Running, but They Still Won Votes http://kut.org/post/they-werent-running-they-still-won-votes <p>When 11 Travis County voters scribbled in "Mickey Mouse" for president on their ballots in November, the cartoon character didn't get any closer to becoming the first animated leader of the most powerful nation in the world. After all, counties don't count write-in votes for uncertified candidates.</p><p>In every presidential election, hundreds of names are written in by voters who choose not to vote for a major candidate. Among those names is a trove of living and deceased politicians, fictional characters and popular personalities. That trend continued in Texas in 2012.</p><p> Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:59:00 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 6030 at http://kut.org They Weren't in the Running, but They Still Won Votes Villalba: Allow Teachers to Carry Concealed Guns http://kut.org/post/villalba-allow-teachers-carry-concealed-guns <p>In response to last week's Connecticut school shooting, state Rep.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/jason-villalba/">Jason Villalba</a>, R-Dallas, says he will file legislation to allow public school teachers to carry concealed weapons while on campus.</p><p>The bill, which Villalba is calling the Protection of Texas Children Act, would permit Texas schools to appoint a member of their faculty as a "school marshal." The marshal, with training and certification, would be able to "use lethal force upon the occurrence of an attack in the classroom or elsewhere on campus," according to a press release from Villalba's office.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:55:00 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 5944 at http://kut.org Villalba: Allow Teachers to Carry Concealed Guns Report: Adjust Policy on Who Gets Sent to State Jails http://kut.org/post/report-adjust-policy-who-gets-sent-state-jails-0 <p></p><p>A new report argues that state jails aren't meeting their goal of helping to&nbsp;reduce crime by intensively treating short-term, nonviolent inmates, and it recommends that judges no longer be able to sentence felons to state jails without a rehabilitation plan.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texaspolicy.com/center/effective-justice/reports/putting-corrections-back-state-jails">report</a>, published Monday by the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texaspolicy.com/">Texas Public Policy Foundation</a>, a conservative think tank, says that those convicted of nonviolent felonies and normally sentenced to months in a state-operated jail should instead be released with community supervision. That can include treatment programs, community service, strictly enforced probation conditions and the threat of incarceration if certain conditions are violated. The report's suggestions were based on recent data concerning the number of felons who commit crimes after being released from state jails.</p><p> Mon, 03 Dec 2012 18:15:55 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 5807 at http://kut.org Report: Adjust Policy on Who Gets Sent to State Jails Willingham's Family Seeks "Posthumous Pardon" http://kut.org/post/willinghams-family-seeks-posthumous-pardon <p></p><p style="margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">The surviving relatives of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-dept-criminal-justice/cameron-todd-willingham/" style="color: rgb(0, 137, 144); ">Cameron Todd Willingham</a>&nbsp;gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday after sending an application to clear his name, 12 years after his execution for a 1991 fire that killed his three young children.</p> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:43:49 +0000 Maurice Chammah, Texas Tribune 5441 at http://kut.org Willingham's Family Seeks "Posthumous Pardon"