Elena Schneider, Texas Tribune

Business
3:35 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Beer Distributors, Craft Brewers Reach Tentative Deal

Brew pubs like Austin's Black Star Coop would be allowed to sell beer in stores under the tentative compromise.
Flickr/BackAmp http://www.flickr.com/photos/backamp/6036402206/in/pool-austinbeer

Following a week of tense negotiations, a divided beer industry reached a compromise Monday on legislation to amend the state's alcoholic beverage code, beating a deadline set by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, the Senate Business and Commerce Committee chairman. But the parties aren't disclosing any details until the official language is hammered out this week. 

“When I started working on this four years ago, no one would listen to me,” Scott Metzger, the legislative chairman of the Craft Brewers Guild, which is pushing to loosen restrictions on small brewpubs in the state. “Today, we have a deal.”

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Politics
7:39 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Craft Brew Bills Raise Questions Over Alcohol Code

Tim Stevens pours an Agave Wit at Uncle Billy's Brew & Que.
Jacob Villanueva, Texas Tribune

The Senate Business and Commerce Committee on Tuesday acted as legislative referee over bills that would allow craft breweries to sell on their premises and self-distribute in Texas, but critics said the legislation would hurt the state's system of alcohol production and distribution. 

“It’s two different visions of where the beer industry in Texas needs to go,” said Rick Donley, president of the Texas Beer Alliance.

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83rd Texas Legislature
11:58 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Bill Would Increase Punishment for Fatal Hit-and-Runs

Texas Tribune

The recent case of a former legislative staffer who was accused of the hit-and-run death of a 30-year-old Austin woman drew widespread attention, particularly after the staffer received a sentence of 10 years of probation and a $10,000 fine for her conviction on a criminally negligent homicide charge.

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Politics
1:14 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Ron Paul Turns to UN to Get Ownership of Domain Name

Gage Skidmore, Texas Tribune

Ron Paul wants a pair of domain names back from his fans, but he doesn’t want to pay for them.

The former presidential candidate and congressman filed a complaint Friday with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations agency, against the owners of RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org so he could gain control of the domains, according to a blog post published on the site. 

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Education
7:32 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

After Backlash, Changes in Store for CSCOPE

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, listens to an aide on the Senate floor on May 16, 2011.
Bob Daemmrich

CSCOPE, a controversial statewide curriculum delivery system that has come under fire from critics for its prescriptive structure and a perceived anti-American bias, will undergo a sweeping review process and ensure better transparency, state Sen.Dan Patrick, R-Houston, announced Friday.

As a result of a Senate hearing last week in which CSCOPE representatives faced tough questions from lawmakers, the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, the state-funded group that designed the system, will review the materials included in the lesson plans and open all future meetings to the public, said Patrick, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee. The group will also post the curriculum content online and eliminate civil and criminal penalties for teachers for releasing lesson plans.

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Business
5:37 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Perry Launches Pro-Texas Business Tour in California

Gov. Rick Perry at a State Board of Education meeting on Feb. 1, 2013.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Californians heard from Texas Gov. Rick Perry on radio airwaves this week. Next week, they can expect to see the man himself, pitching Texas as the business frontier to high tech, insurance and film industry leaders throughout the Golden State.

Perry will begin his recruitment road trip on Sunday, traveling to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Orange County. He will return to Texas on Wednesday, according to a schedule released Thursday.

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Education
4:05 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

School Finance Ruling Favors Districts

Todd Wiseman via Texas Tribune

In a decision certain to be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, state district Judge John Dietz ruled Monday in favor of more than 600 school districts on all of their major claims against the state's school finance system.  With a swift ruling issued from the bench shortly after the state finished its closing arguments, Dietz said the state does not adequately or efficiently fund public schools — and that it has created an unconstitutional de-facto property tax in shifting the burden of paying for them to the local level.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
3:46 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bill Would Allow Same-Sex Parents on Birth Certificates

Brian Stephens, left, and Andy Miller with their son, Clark, on Jan. 21, 2013, in Austin.
Spencer Selvidge, Texas Tribune

Andy Miller and Brian Stephens fell in love 12 years ago while they were training for a marathon on the trails around Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. As they began talking about starting a family, they knew of only one same-sex couple who had successfully adopted.

“There weren’t a lot of role models,” Miller said. 

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LGBT
2:15 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Bills Protect Gays In Employment Discrimination

Owen Parry/Texas Tribune

When Meghan Stabler first revealed her plans for a medical and physical transition from male to female to a co-worker in 2002, she was nervous and fearful. 

“I worked with Human Resources to explain my story [to the company], a secret I had lived with since I was five years old,” that she identified as a woman, not as a man, she said Thursday. "Over a 12 month period, I had conversations with other executives, my department and [company] lawyers, and it was finally OK." In 2006, as an executive at BMC Software, Stabler had surgery to become a female, with the support of her employer. 

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
3:25 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

House Rule Change Could Weaken Democratic Minority

Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

The Texas House's Democratic minority was dealt a blow Monday when the House passed an amendment to the chamber's rules to limit legislators' ability to derail a bill based on clerical errors. Calling "points of order” on such errors is a strategy lawmakers have often used to block measures they oppose.  

State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, authored the amendment to the House rules to limit abuse of typographical mistakes to kill legislation. Points of order on those types of mistakes send bills back to committee to be corrected before they can return to the floor to be voted on.

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