Agenda Texas

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Filipa Rodrigues

President Barack Obama's trip to a high school and technology company in Austin today was, on the surface, all about creating jobs. But his visit was also an morale boost for Texas Democrats still looking for any statewide win to turn its fortunes around in the state.

Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune

President Barack Obama will be in Austin tomorrow. The stop is part of his "Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour.”

KUT News

When the Texas legislative session started in January, lawmakers came to Austin with money to spend and a specific set of priorities. House Speaker Joe Straus laid out those goals during an opening press conference with Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

It’s so close folks: There's just three weeks until the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature comes to an end.

But for many lawmakers, this week is the real end of all the work to turn campaign promises into legislation. Because for most bills that originated in the Texas House, it’s pass or pass away Thursday night at midnight.

photo by KUT News

It’s been a tumultuous week in the Texas Capitol. A House bill that would have spent $2 billion from the state’s rainy day fund on water infrastructure projects was sunk Monday night on a procedural point of order.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Texas is a gun-friendly state. I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know. That fact is easy to see during any given legislative session, when bills are often filed expanding where people can carry in the state.

Alright class: get out your pencils, it’s quiz time. 

True or False: If a bill is brought up for debate in the Texas House, and a majority of lawmakers support the bill, nothing can defeat it.

Time’s up.

Who said True? O.k. none of you get pudding after dinner.

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

You might have heard a major effort to pay for water projects went down in flames last night in the Texas House. House Bill 11 would have spent $2 billion out of the state’s rainy day account to finally fund the state’s 50-year water plan.

KUT News

Only four weeks until the end of the 83rd Legislative session. As the days wind down, we’ll see more and more bills hitting the House and Senate floors.

Budget, Budget Everywhere...

The only must-pass bill, the state budget for the next two years, will garner much of the attention this week, even though that bill has already passed the House and Senate.

Filipa Rodrigues

Yesterday we talked about how the opening of the Bush Museum and Library in Dallas begins the rehabilitation of the former President’s political past. Today, let’s look at how the Bush Institute, the policy think-tank section of the Bush Center might affect the country’s political future. 

Filipa Rodrigues

You've probably heard there was a little ceremony in Dallas today to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The event included speeches by all the living U.S. Presidents, to officially open the 43rd President’s library, museum and policy think-tank.

Filipa Rodrigues

The George W. Bush Presidential Center will be officially dedicated tomorrow on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. Dignitaries from across the political world will be on hand to get a peek at the 13th official Presidential library.

It’s been called the Texas Miracle: Hundreds of thousands of jobs added, millions of people and thousands of companies moving here from other states.

But that sense of pride inside Texas isn’t shared outside the state. Critics say the majority of jobs created don’t pay well and the state’s low tax-low service model has led to crumbling schools, inadequate roads and a water crisis.

Calendar by Texas Legislative Council

Over 6,000 bills were filed in the 2013 legislative session. And historically speaking, only about 20 percent of them will be signed into law.

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Last Thursday we talked about the origins of the embattled Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, or CPRIT. Today, in the midst of continued efforts to reform the way the agency works, let’s take a look at what the agency’s actually done.

Tracy Olson/Flickr

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

When you hear pretty much any speech by Governor Rick Perry you’re almost guaranteed to hear about economic prosperity in Texas. The thousands of people moving here each day, the hundreds of companies leaving some other state to set down low tax, low regulation roots in Texas.

Photo by KUT News

We’ve still got a few weeks left in the Texas Legislative session. And while the bills have begun to fly around the Capitol, Spring is also the time when a young lawmaker’s mind turns to other things: the next election.

But is it too soon to be thinking about 2014 and beyond?