Matthew Watkins, Texas Tribune

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Legislation that would create a statewide texting-while-driving ban overcame a last-ditch attempt in the Senate on Friday to gut the bill. The bill's author, state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said he will concur with the changes the Senate made. The measure will then head to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

Brandon Formby

The University of Texas System has decided to scrap its controversial plans to build an educational and research facility in Houston.

The System announced the decision Wednesday, saying opposition to the project was overshadowing the work being done to develop the 300 acres of land the system had bought. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Saying Texas government needs to live within its means, Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday imposed an immediate hiring freeze on state agencies through the end of August.

The freeze bans agencies from posting new jobs or filling ones that are currently vacant, according to a memo from the Republican governor’s office.  

“Just as families have to balance needs versus wants, so must we,” Abbott said during his State of the State speech in the Capitol.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

From the Texas Tribune: The Texas Longhorns' old football coach has a new job. That's good news for him, and it's even better news for budget-conscious University of Texas at Austin.

The University of South Florida announced Sunday that Charlie Strong, who was fired by UT-Austin at the end of this season with two years left on his contract, will be the school's new football coach. That means UT-Austin will hold on to some of the millions of dollars that it still owes him. 

Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

COLLEGE STATION — When white nationalist Richard Spencer took the stage at Texas A&M University on Tuesday, about two dozen of the 400 people in the room stood and applauded. Many others hissed.

“That means you love me,” he said to the hecklers. “Hisssss back to all of y’all.” 

Shelby Knowles/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Facing outrage on social media and among students, faculty and alumni, Texas A&M University officials said Wednesday that they didn't invite a white nationalist leader who is scheduled to speak on campus next month. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

From the Texas Tribune: If the University of Texas at Austin fires football coach Charlie Strong this month, he'll join a growing list of coaches who have earned big dollars being told they can't coach the Longhorns anymore. 

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall's public fight with the chancellor of the system he oversees isn't over yet. 

With the clock ticking on his time on the board of regents, Hall has filed an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court to get access to confidential student records that Chancellor Bill McRaven has denied him. 

Sean K. Harp via Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: In an impassioned memo sent three days after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited national controversy by refusing to stand for the national anthem before a football game, University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven urged his athletes not to repeat the gesture of protest. 

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From the Texas TribuneThree University of Texas at Austin professors sued their university and the state on Wednesday, claiming Texas' new campus carry law is forcing the school to impose "overly-solicitous, dangerously-experimental gun policies" that violate the First and Second Amendments.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Days after he was stripped of his job as Baylor University president over a scandal about how the school handled accusations of sexual assault, Ken Starr said he will also resign as chancellor of the private Baptist school. 

In an interview with ESPN published Wednesday, Starr said he will remain as a law professor at the university. It's unclear when the resignation will go into effect or it has been submitted.

Mike Davis via Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Baylor University has fired head football coach Art Briles and reassigned President and Chancellor Ken Starr after months of scrutiny over how university administrators handled allegations of sexual assault against football players. 

Starr, who was previously chancellor and president, will now be chancellor and professor. Briles is suspended with intent to terminate. And Athletic Director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation.

klndonnelly/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Amid reports that Kenneth Starr, Baylor University's high-profile president, was fired this morning over a scandal related to the university's response to sexual assault allegations against football players, university officials said they expect to announce the results of an internal inquiry by June 3. They declined to directly address Starr's future.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

Update 12 a.m. With voter turnout hovering around 1 percent, Texans decided Tuesday which Democratic and Republican candidates they want to see in office.. 

In the race for Travis County Commissioners Court Precinct 1's Democratic nomination, Jeff Travillion won out over opponent Arthur Sampson, with 67 percent of the vote. As the Austin Monitor reports

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

About a year ago, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett posted a haiku on Twitter:

Who would the Donald/Name to #SCOTUS? The mind/reels. *weeps — can't finish tweet*

Maybe those were tears of joy. 

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Members of the University of Texas System Board of Regents met Thursday expecting to approve new rules for guns on their 14 campuses. Instead, they raised new worries about the proposed guidelines and signaled intent to try to change them, especially at the flagship UT Austin.

In a 45-minute discussion, regents became bogged down in debate over issues like trigger guards, bullets in gun chambers, and if and how faculty should be able to ban weapons in their individual offices. Practically every regent seemed to have a unique opinion. A consensus seemed out of reach. Ultimately, the regents delayed a vote on the issue and will take it up again at a future meeting.

Todd Wiseman for the Texas Tribune

Save for some narrow exceptions, guns will be allowed in classrooms but not in dorms at the University of Texas at Austin next school year under guidelines issued by university President Greg Fenves on Wednesday.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: A Nobel Prize-winning physicist at the University of Texas at Austin declared Monday that he will try to ban guns from his classroom this fall, even if university rules and state law say he can't. 

From the Texas Tribune

A "winter solstice" display by the Freedom From Religion Foundation has been ordered removed from the Texas Capitol after Gov. Greg Abbott called it a "juvenile parody."

The display had been approved by the State Preservation Board, of which Abbott is chairman, after it was sponsored by state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin. 

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