Veronica Zaragovia

State reporter

Veronica Zaragovia reports on state government for KUT News, and gets to team up with an extraordinary group of KUT journalists on how legislation affects the people of Texas. She's reported as a legislative relief news person with the Associated Press in South Dakota and has worked as a freelancer and intern with  the Agence France Presse, TIME, WDET Detroit public radio and PBS NewsHour, among others. She's dedicated much of her adult life to traveling, learning languages and drinking iced coffee. 

Pages

Texas
3:41 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Activists Against U.S. Surveillance Programs Rally at Texas Capitol

Bo Dresner from San Antonio, left, and Mona Medy from Austin were among the people at the Texas Capitol for a rally against U.S. surveillance programs on July 4, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

More than 100 people rallied today on the south steps of the Texas Capitol, demonstrating against recently-publicized U.S. intelligence gathering methods such as PRISM, the digital surveillance program of the National Security Agency.

Read more
Politics
12:01 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

House Committee Cuts Off Debate, Passes Texas Abortion Bill (Update)

Stephanie Argos, left, and Griselda Melgares of Katy, Texas, came to the Capitol to support House Bill 2 on July 2, 2013.
Veornica Zaragovia for KUT News

Update: A Texas House panel voted early this morning along party lines to pass a bill to put more restrictions on abortion in the state. While the committee heard hours of testimony, more than one thousand people who signed up to speak, weren’t given the opportunity.

Read more
Politics
7:15 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Abortion Bill Scheduled for Texas House Panel Hearing Tuesday

Taria Hollett of San Antonio, left, and Jessa Barniol of Austin, came to the Texas State Capitol on July 1, 2013 to show support for the abortion legislation of the second 2013 special session.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

After the sound of the gavel, the Texas House marked the start of the second 2013 special session, adjourning less than an hour later. 

But, before the lower chamber adjourned, a number of Democrats lined up at the back microphone to question what lies ahead for HB 2, a bill that would restrict abortions in Texas.

Read more
Politics
3:59 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Photos: Protests at the Capitol (Updated)

Vicky Whynott of Houston prays near a tapestry showing the Virgin Mary as Anna Meadows of Austin, wearing blue, looks on in the rotunda of the Texas Capitol on July 1, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

As the Texas Legislature's second special session begins, protestors have descended upon the Capitol to demonstrate both for and against new abortion restrictions that lawmakers will consider. Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protestors have been milling around the Capitol to let lawmakers know where, and with which side, they stand.

Read more
Politics
5:42 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Passion Around Abortion Debate Sparks Support for TX Politicians

State Sen. Wendy Davis and Gov. Rick Perry are reaching out to supporters around the abortion legislation debate.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

What happens when the whole world tunes in to watch the end of a Texas legislative session? In the few days since the first 2013 special session ended last week -- and the new one that starts today, Texas politicians have been using the abortion issue to raise money or assess how much support they have.  

Read more
Politics
10:01 am
Thu June 27, 2013

After Filibuster, Texas Abortion Restrictions Back for Round 2

Abortion rights protestors at the Capitol this week. Another special session will deal with abortion, as well as transportation funding and juvenile sentencing.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry has added abortion restrictions, transportation funding and criminal justice legislation to his call for the second 2013 special session, on the heels of the abortion bill’s failure a day ago.

Republicans tried to get a vote out on Senate Bill 5 before midnight Tuesday, the session’s last day. But they attributed the failure of the abortion-related measure to the activists in the galleries.

Read more
Politics
7:24 am
Wed June 26, 2013

How Cheering Activists Defeated the Texas Abortion Bill

State Sen. Wendy Davis in the Senate chamber last night. A raucous crowd disrupted the last 10 or so minutes of the Legislature's special session, after Sen. Davis' filibuster ended.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Hundreds of supporters in orange shirts were at the Texas Capitol throughout the day on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, hoping to watch State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, successfully filibuster Senate Bill 5

Read more
Politics
5:30 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Wendy Davis Filibuster Ends; Abortion Bill Defeated (Update)

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, beginning her filibuster this afternoon.
Credit Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Update: It's clear this morning that the vote to pass SB 5 came too late. The filibuster by State Sen. Wendy Davis was successful. Davis took to twitter with the news:

Read more
Politics
7:35 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

After Warnings, Texas Senator Keeps Filibuster Going Against Abortion Bill

People of all ages lined up throughout the floors of the Texas Capitol for a chance to step inside the gallery and see the filibuster in action on June 25, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

The filibuster of the 2013 special session filibuster took an emotional detour, temporarily.

Earlier today, Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, helped State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, with a back brace. Sen. Davis has been standing because she launched a filibuster this morning to kill an abortion-related measure, Senate Bill 5.

Read more
Politics
6:54 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Texas House Tentatively OKs Abortion Restrictions

People against proposed abortion restrictions gathered in the rotunda of the Texas Capitol.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

The Texas House gave preliminary approval to one of the most controversial bills of the 2013 special session – Senate Bill 5. The House is reconvening this morning.

Among its provisions, the measure would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and would only allow abortions to take place at facilities that meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.

Democrats offered a number of amendments – stalling the vote until after 3 a.m. One amendment related to scientific evidence that disputes the claim that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks.

Read more
Politics
2:39 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Abortion Bills Draw Scores of People to Texas Capitol

People filled the rotunda floor of the Texas Capitol on June 23, 2013, on the day the House is slated to take up abortion legislation.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Before the Texas House gaveled in this afternoon to take up measures related to abortion, people streamed onto the rotunda floor to get a T-shirt from Planned Parenthood. Then they filled up the House gallery and the space between the Senate and House on both floors.

Jan Soifer of Austin was wearing an orange dress as she waited in line to get her shirt. She is the chair of the Travis County Democratic Party. 

Read more
Politics
7:39 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Austin's Black Voters Hope Youth Keep Momentum Going

African American voters exceeded white voters in the last presidential election, but in Austin, elders wonder if youth will keep casting their ballots.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Last Saturday, on June 15, Brian Lemons took a clipboard in his hand, hoping to register voters at a Juneteenth event, where people were commemorating the end of slavery in Texas. Lemons volunteers with Battleground Texas, a group that wants to get more Democrats elected in the state. But here in East Austin, everyone he approached was already on the rolls.

Read more
Politics
11:44 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Abortion Bill Gets OK From Texas Senate After Hours of Debate

The Texas Senate passed an abortion measure, Senate Bill 5, on June 18, 2013.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Texas Senate voted, about 30 minutes before midnight, to pass an abortion bill, Senate Bill 5, with a vote of 20 to 10.

Before debate began roughly 6 hours earlier on the Senate floor, SB 5 got a significant change.

The bill's sponsor, State Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, filed a substitute version, removing the provision that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.

That may be to give other provisions a better chance of passing the Legislature.

Read more
Politics
7:49 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Deadline: Redistricting, Abortion Bills, More Have Week Left at Lege

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus on the last day of the regular 83rd legislative session in May 2013. He expects abortion legislation from the Senate to make its way to the House this week.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Seven days remain in the current Texas special legislative session. Lawmakers are not finished debating bills on redistricting, abortion, transportation and criminal justice. 

Read more
Politics
7:09 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Texas Senators Push Redistricting, Transportation Bills Forward

State Sens. Kel Seligerand Royce West during a June 14, 2013 floor vote on redistricting bills.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

After substantial debate, the full Senate passed three redistricting bills that would adopt voting maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio ahead of the 2012 elections.  They set up district boundaries for the Texas House and Senate and U.S. House.

The Texas House is expected to take the maps up next week.

Also today, Senate lawmakers moved forward with a plan to come up with more dollars for roads and highways.

Read more

Pages