Jim Malewitz, Texas Tribune

Author
Bob Daemmrich

FBI and IRS agents raided the San Antonio law offices of state Sen. Carlos Uresti on Thursday morning — confiscating documents and other items.

A law enforcement source told the San Antonio Express-News, which first reported the raid Thursday, that it was connected to Uresti’s involvement with a now-bankrupt fracking sand company that he held a financial stake in.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman/Paul Hudson

Texas House and Senate leaders unveiled dueling budget proposals — starting nearly $8 billion apart — in separate moves Tuesday that foreshadowed remarkably different priorities in the two chambers during a legislative session that promises to be even more tightfisted than usual. 

Texas Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson on Tuesday proposed a $213.4 billion two-year base budget.

Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

ARLINGTON — North Texas was freezing during a three-day stretch last month, but Mary Garcia refused to turn on the heat in her cramped apartment. She feared that doing so would too quickly drain her pay-as-you-go account with Penstar Power, a Dallas-based electricity provider.

 

On Dec. 19, with just $15.31 in her account and the outside thermometer showing 27 degrees, Garcia composed a plea to Lite-Up Texas, a state program that had long helped low-income folks pay their electricity bills.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Chris Suprun, a Texas Republican elector, caused a stir this year by raising the possibility that he would cast his Electoral College ballot for someone other than President-elect Donald Trump.

Journalists bombarded the Dallas man with questions following his admission. Among them: For whom did he vote in November?

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Thousands of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's followers on social media might believe that terrorists are — in his words —preparing "for their jihad against the state and our nation” from a training compound outside of Houston.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Months after a federal appeals court ruled that Texas lawmakers discriminated against African-American and Latino voters in passing a strict voter identification law, the Obama administration and civil rights groups are asking a judge to go a step further — by finding that the lawmakers did it on purpose.

Homepage of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Houston.

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos has said no to Russian officials’ request to watch Texans vote, according to correspondence obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Cheryl Gerber for the Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas wants to take its voter identification battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the justices to hear his arguments about why the state’s photo ID requirements for voting do not discriminate against Hispanics and African-American voters. 

Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

The federal government is accusing Texas of circulating “inaccurate or misleading information” to poll workers and would-be voters about relaxed identification requirements for the November elections.

“Limited funds are being spent on inaccurate materials,” the U.S. Department of Justice wrote in a legal filing Tuesday.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In 2012, Greg Abbott caused a stir when he issued this warning to international election observers: Don’t set foot inside Texas polling places.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas struck a deal Wednesday that will soften its voter ID law for the November general election — a development that lawyers suing the state say will make it easier for minorities to cast their ballots. 

The state reached the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and minority rights groups just a few weeks after a federal appeals court ruled that Texas’ 2011 voter identification law was discriminatory.


Cheryl Gerber and Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas’ voter identification law violates the U.S. law prohibiting racial discrimination in elections, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, facing federal and state securities fraud charges, is getting more than a little help from his friends to foot his growing legal bill.

The Republican accepted more than $329,000 earmarked for his legal defense from donors and “family friends,” according to a newly released financial disclosure statement.

Alexa Ura / Texas Tribune

Texas universities can deny free tuition to veterans who gained state residency only after enlisting in the military, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday — a decision that could ease some, but not all, concerns about a prominent benefit program’s spiraling costs.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The criminal case against former Gov. Rick Perry was officially dismissed on Wednesday, weeks after Texas' highest criminal court ordered that it be dropped

Judge Bert Richardson, who presided over the case in Travis County and now serves on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, signed an order dismissing the abuse of power indictment related to a 2013 veto threat. 

Callie Richmond for the Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday to block President Obama’s Clean Power Plan has helped state Republicans — at least temporarily — dodge major action on climate change.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A year out of office, former Gov. Rick Perry has a new job: chief strategy officer at MCNA Dental, the largest privately held dental insurance company in the country, according to a spokesman for Perry.

The Florida-based insurer does business in Texas, and was a major donor to Perry’s presidential campaign.

Flickr user Señor Codo

In another lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state of Texas is taking aim at tightened standards on ground-level ozone — President Obama’s effort to cut down on smog that chokes the nation’s skies. 

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