Agenda Texas http://kut.org en For Texas' Ted Cruz, Shutdown Ends with Little Political Damage http://kut.org/post/texas-ted-cruz-shutdown-ends-little-political-damage <p>The <a href="http://kut.org/term/government-shutdown">federal government shutdown </a>is over, for now. But the battle over who gets the blame for the congressional meltdown will likely extend through the 2014 party primaries and general election. So how did the shutdown affect the political landscape in Texas?</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A recent Rasmussen poll found <a href="http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/october_2013/78_want_to_throw_out_entire_congress_and_start_over">78 percent of the country</a> would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start over. And yesterday, the <em>Houston Chronicle</em> <a href="http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Why-we-miss-Kay-Bailey-Hutchison-4898405.php">expressed regret</a> for its endorsement of Sen.Ted Cruz in the 2012 Senate race. Sounds like there are dark days ahead for our Congressional incumbents in Texas.</span></p><p>Actually &hellip; no, says <em>Texas Tribune</em> Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith.</p><p></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/115670547" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 13:10:10 +0000 Ben Philpott 8954 at http://kut.org For Texas' Ted Cruz, Shutdown Ends with Little Political Damage Texans Could Vote to Help Cut Veterans' Property Taxes http://kut.org/post/texans-could-vote-help-cut-veterans-property-taxes <p>When Texans go to the polls beginning Monday, they&rsquo;ll have the chance to vote on nine constitutional propositions. Two of them would cut property taxes for disabled veterans or their surviving spouse.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Both propositions have their origins in an oversight and look to tweak current laws to give returning Texas veterans and their families property tax breaks.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/115512578" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 15:17:14 +0000 Ben Philpott 8944 at http://kut.org Texans Could Vote to Help Cut Veterans' Property Taxes Women's Clinic Closed in Wake of Texas Law Offered More Than Abortions http://kut.org/post/womens-clinic-closed-wake-texas-law-offered-more-abortions <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F110729648" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A handful of clinics in Texas have closed, or are planning to, just weeks after a controversial&nbsp;<a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/832/billtext/pdf/HB00002F.pdf#navpanes=0">bill restricting abortions</a>&nbsp;passed the state legislature.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.plannedparenthood.org/greater-texas/">Planned Parenthood</a>&nbsp;says the closures will hurt the women who came to the clinics for general healthcare services.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Anti-abortion groups say there are other doctors for the women to go to.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So who's right?</span></p><p> Mon, 16 Sep 2013 14:33:47 +0000 Ben Philpott 8700 at http://kut.org Women's Clinic Closed in Wake of Texas Law Offered More Than Abortions The Abortion Debate is Affecting Texas Politics, Left and Right http://kut.org/post/abortion-debate-affecting-texas-politics-left-and-right <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F101331663&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Last week, the Texas Senate passed &nbsp;House Bill 2, restricting abortions in Texas. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it in coming days, and the <a href="http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/">Texas Department of Health and Human Services</a> is already gearing up to <a href="post/public-input-sought-rules-texas-abortion-clinics-upgrade">start implementing the changes</a>. But even with that battle lost, some Democrats have dared to dream about what the abortion battle could mean for the 2014 elections.</p><p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 8369 at http://kut.org The Abortion Debate is Affecting Texas Politics, Left and Right Rick Perry's Announcement and the Political Domino Effect http://kut.org/post/rick-perrys-announcement-and-political-domino-effect <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F100362260" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as you’ve no doubt heard, announced Monday he <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/gov-perry-i-will-not-seek-reelection">won’t seek a fourth term</a> in office.</p><p>Gov. Perry will stay in office until his replacement takes over in January 2015. But the scrambling to be that replacement – and the dominoes falling into place – has already begun.</p><p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 22:30:42 +0000 Ben Philpott 8324 at http://kut.org Rick Perry's Announcement and the Political Domino Effect Issue in Texas Abortion Debate: What's an Ambulatory Surgical Center? http://kut.org/post/issue-texas-abortion-debate-whats-ambulatory-surgical-center <p></p><p>A bill that would regulate and restrict abortion in Texas&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/house-committee-cuts-debate-passes-texas-abortion-bill-update">has been approved</a>&nbsp;by a House committee and is expected to be approved by the full House next week. Debate over the bill has played out between protestors in the halls and grounds of the Capitol as much as it has between lawmakers.</p> Fri, 05 Jul 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 8299 at http://kut.org Issue in Texas Abortion Debate: What's an Ambulatory Surgical Center? Rules Fight Looms Over Texas Legislature's Latest Special Session http://kut.org/post/rules-fight-looms-over-texas-legislatures-latest-special-session <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F98895087" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Gov. Rick Perry is fond of special sessions.&nbsp;</span>Since 2000, he's called for 11 special sessions as governor. And, after the legislative fireworks in the final hours of the last special session, Gov. Perry called yet another special session, bringing lawmakers back to Austin to address transportation, criminal justice and abortion regulations not covered last session's call.</p><p> Sat, 29 Jun 2013 01:41:31 +0000 Ben Philpott 8253 at http://kut.org Rules Fight Looms Over Texas Legislature's Latest Special Session Will Changes to High School Testing Affect College Readiness? http://kut.org/post/will-changes-high-school-testing-affect-college-readiness <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F97895353" width="100%"></iframe></p><p></p><p>The Texas Legislature passed several bills this year focusing on public education. But one garnered much of the attention: House Bill 5 reduced the number of State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests a student must pass to graduate high school. Instead of passing 15 different subject areas to graduate, now it’s just five.</p><p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 8198 at http://kut.org Will Changes to High School Testing Affect College Readiness? Is There a Future for Texas' Political Corruption Investigation Unit? http://kut.org/post/there-future-texas-political-corruption-investigation-unit <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F97470439&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Texas Governor Rick Perry has eliminated funding to the only office in the state that investigates and prosecutes political corruption cases.</p><p>It started with a mistake that <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/travis-county-da-arrested-drunk-driving-update">landed Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg in jail</a> for drunk driving.</p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 8160 at http://kut.org Is There a Future for Texas' Political Corruption Investigation Unit? Agenda Texas: Texas Monthly Picks 10 Best Lawmakers http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-texas-monthly-picks-10-best-lawmakers <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F96909857" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>We talked about the people on Texas Monthly's 2013 list of <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/agenda-texas-texas-monthly-picks-10-worst-lawmakers">worst lawmakers</a>. Now, now let’s hear about the best. All picked using Texas Monthly Senior Executive Editor Paul Burka’s guiding principle.</p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 8128 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Texas Monthly Picks 10 Best Lawmakers Agenda Texas: Texas Monthly Picks 10 Worst Lawmakers http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-texas-monthly-picks-10-worst-lawmakers <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F96776873" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>You may have heard, this week <a href="http://www.texasmonthly.com/">Texas Monthly</a> magazine released its list of <a href="http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/best-and-worst-legislators-2013">best and worst lawmakers</a> for the 2013 Legislative session. So I sat down with their writers to go over who made which list and why.</p> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 8114 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Texas Monthly Picks 10 Worst Lawmakers Putting Together Texas Monthly's Best and Worst List http://kut.org/post/putting-together-texas-monthlys-best-and-worst-list <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F96714952&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At the end of every legislative session,&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.texasmonthly.com/">Texas Monthly</a></em>&nbsp;releases lists of the <a href="http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/best-and-worst-legislators-2013">best and worst lawmakers</a> from the 140 days under the dome. It’s a tradition that’s both praised and scorned by lawmakers, often based on which list they find themselves on.</span></p><p> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 14:03:18 +0000 Ben Philpott 8105 at http://kut.org Putting Together Texas Monthly's Best and Worst List Texas Monthly Names the Best and Worst Legislators of 2013 http://kut.org/post/texas-monthly-names-best-and-worst-legislators-2013 <p><a href="http://www.texasmonthly.com/"><em>Texas Monthly </em></a>has&nbsp;released its list of the 10 best and 10 worst lawmakers during the 2013 legislative session.</p><p>For now, there's no explanation of why people ended up on either list. That comes later as the magazine hits newsstands. So without further ado, here's the list:<br> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 17:57:53 +0000 Ben Philpott 8082 at http://kut.org Texas Monthly Names the Best and Worst Legislators of 2013 Agenda Texas: Water and Education Bills Take Next Steps http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-water-and-education-bills-take-next-steps <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F96467429" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week marked a beginning and an end for some major legislation from the 2013 session. On Monday <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB5">House Bill 5</a> ended as Gov. Rick Perry signed the legislation to revamp the state’s public education accountability system and graduation requirements.</span></p><p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 8077 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Water and Education Bills Take Next Steps Agenda Texas: Higher Education Missing Construction Bonds http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-higher-education-missing-construction-bonds <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F95902842" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Everything was going so well for higher education during the 2013 legislative session. With less than a week left in the session, House Higher Education committee chairman Dan Branch (R-Dallas) was pleased.</span></p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 8040 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Higher Education Missing Construction Bonds Agenda Texas: Legislature Tweaks Women's Health Program http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-legislature-tweaks-womens-health-program <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F95437829" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The battle over funding the Women’s Health Program was one of the most contentious fights in the 2011 Texas legislative session. The program provided family planning and healthcare services for low-income women who, if they became pregnant, would qualify for Medicaid.</span></p><p> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7992 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Legislature Tweaks Women's Health Program Agenda Texas: Redistricting Never a Quick Fix http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-redistricting-never-quick-fix <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F95281476" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>It was supposed to end last Monday.</p><p>After 140 days, lawmakers were supposed to pack up and head home. Instead we’re now a week into a special legislative session on congressional and legislative redistricting.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It was a week some thought might be the last for a short special session. But there's nothing quick or easy about redistricting.</span></p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7974 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Redistricting Never a Quick Fix Agenda Texas: The Post Session Horse Race Begins http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-post-session-horse-race-begins <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F94843316" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The end of a legislative session usually triggers the beginning of the next election cycle. But before anyone could throw his or her hat in the ring, we had an incumbent exit the arena.</p> Fri, 31 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7953 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: The Post Session Horse Race Begins Agenda Texas: Another Chance for Transportation? http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-another-chance-transportation <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F94701257" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We all know traffic and road conditions are issues across Texas​</span>&nbsp;– from<span style="line-height: 1.5; "> monster traffic jams in our cities to disintegrating rural roads in heavy oil and gas production areas.</span></p> Thu, 30 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7936 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Another Chance for Transportation? Agenda Texas: Can Water Pass? http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-can-water-pass <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F94542542" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Lawmakers across the Texas Capitol are tearing rotator cuffs patting themselves on the back for finding a way to pay for desperately needed water infrastructure projects.</p> Wed, 29 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7926 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Can Water Pass?