Agenda Texas

Agenda Texas
8:10 am
Thu October 17, 2013

For Texas' Ted Cruz, Shutdown Ends with Little Political Damage

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has made it through the shutdown without hurting his support in Texas.
KUT News

The federal government shutdown 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?

A recent Rasmussen poll found 78 percent of the country would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start over. And yesterday, the Houston Chronicle expressed regret 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.

Actually … no, says Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith.

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Agenda Texas
10:17 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Texans Could Vote to Help Cut Veterans' Property Taxes

Voters could give property tax breaks to soldiers and their families on November 5th.
Photo by KUT News

When Texans go to the polls beginning Monday, they’ll have the chance to vote on nine constitutional propositions. Two of them would cut property taxes for disabled veterans or their surviving spouse. 

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.

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Agenda Texas
9:33 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Women's Clinic Closed in Wake of Texas Law Offered More Than Abortions

Cadence King stands at the gate of the now closed Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan.
Ben Philpott for KUT News

A handful of clinics in Texas have closed, or are planning to, just weeks after a controversial bill restricting abortions passed the state legislature.

Planned Parenthood says the closures will hurt the women who came to the clinics for general healthcare services. Anti-abortion groups say there are other doctors for the women to go to. So who's right?

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Abortion Debate is Affecting Texas Politics, Left and Right

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is one of a handful of Texas politicians using their recognition from abortion debates this legislative session to further upcoming campaigns.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Last week, the Texas Senate passed  House Bill 2, restricting abortions in Texas. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it in coming days, and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services is already gearing up to start implementing the changes. But even with that battle lost, some Democrats have dared to dream about what the abortion battle could mean for the 2014 elections.

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Agenda Texas
5:30 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Rick Perry's Announcement and the Political Domino Effect

Both Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (left) and Attorney General Greg Abbott will be affected by the domino effect following Gov. Perry's decision.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as you’ve no doubt heard, announced Monday he won’t seek a fourth term in office.

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.

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Agenda Texas
8:41 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Rules Fight Looms Over Texas Legislature's Latest Special Session

Se. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, addressing abortion-rights supporters after Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster. Lawmakers will head back to the Capitol on Monday to continue the debate of controversial abortion regulations that ended the first special session.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry is fond of special sessions. 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.

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Agenda Texas
5:30 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Will Changes to High School Testing Affect College Readiness?

Educators are debating the effect Texas' lowered reliance on the STAAR test will have.
flickr.com/foshydog

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.

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Agenda Texas
5:30 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Is There a Future for Texas' Political Corruption Investigation Unit?

Governor Perry vetoed Public Integrity Unity money on Friday.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

Texas Governor Rick Perry has eliminated funding to the only office in the state that investigates and prosecutes political corruption cases.

It started with a mistake that landed Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg in jail for drunk driving.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Agenda Texas: Texas Monthly Picks 10 Best Lawmakers

The Texas Monthly Best List
Graphic Courtesy Ronald Kurniawan from Texas Monthly

We talked about the people on Texas Monthly's 2013 list of worst lawmakers. Now, now let’s hear about the best. All picked using Texas Monthly Senior Executive Editor Paul Burka’s guiding principle.

“It’s a lot about how you play on the playground with the other children," Burka said.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Agenda Texas: Texas Monthly Picks 10 Worst Lawmakers

Who made the worst list, and why.
Graphic Courtesy Ronald Kurniawan from Texas Monthly

You may have heard, this week Texas Monthly magazine released its list of best and worst lawmakers for the 2013 Legislative session. So I sat down with their writers to go over who made which list and why.

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Politics
9:03 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Putting Together Texas Monthly's Best and Worst List

Texas Monthly's Best and Worst Lawmakers List
Graphic Courtesy Ronald Kurniawan from Texas Monthly

At the end of every legislative session, Texas Monthly releases lists of the best and worst lawmakers 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.

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Politics
12:57 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Texas Monthly Names the Best and Worst Legislators of 2013

Texas Monthly has released its list of best and worst lawmakers from the 2013 session.
Lizzie Chen for KUT News

Texas Monthly has released its list of the 10 best and 10 worst lawmakers during the 2013 legislative session.

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:

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Agenda Texas: Water and Education Bills Take Next Steps

KUT News

This week marked a beginning and an end for some major legislation from the 2013 session. On Monday House Bill 5 ended as Gov. Rick Perry signed the legislation to revamp the state’s public education accountability system and graduation requirements.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Agenda Texas: Higher Education Missing Construction Bonds

Property tax breaks for veterans leads this year's list of 10 propositions.
KUT News

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.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Agenda Texas: Legislature Tweaks Women's Health Program

Texas Lawmakers Have Ideas to Keep the Healthcare Law Out of Texas
Texas Tribune

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.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Agenda Texas: Redistricting Never a Quick Fix

Illustration by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

It was supposed to end last Monday.

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.

It was a week some thought might be the last for a short special session. But there's nothing quick or easy about redistricting.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Post Session Horse Race Begins

Election Day is never far off for lawmakers
Photo by KUT News

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.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Agenda Texas: Another Chance for Transportation?

Traffic is expected to only get worse after this session's inaction on transportation.
Daniel Reese

We all know traffic and road conditions are issues across Texas​ – from monster traffic jams in our cities to disintegrating rural roads in heavy oil and gas production areas.

Heading into the just completed legislative session, the Texas Department of Transportation reported just how much more money it needed just to keep things from getting worse.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Agenda Texas: Can Water Pass?

Will the need for water projects carry the election in November?
Lower Colorado River Authority

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.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Agenda Texas: Redistricting Court Battle

Texas is required to re-draw its electoral maps, to not run afoul of the Voting Rights Act
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

It was a busy final day in the Texas Legislature. The House adjourned at a couple minutes past five Monday. The Senate joined them about ten minutes later.

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