Agenda Texas

Politics
5:30 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Agenda Texas: CPRIT's Creation Story

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

Now you may have heard about the current troubles the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas is going through. Lead scientists have quit over what they claim were inadequate reviews of grant recipients.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Agenda Texas: UT Regents Battle the Legislature

Is a new day dawning for the UT Regents and the Lege? Or will a meeting tomorrow hasten already stormy weather?
Nicolas Raymond / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

It’s a battle that’s enflamed passions on both sides and even brought one lawmaker to tears.

No, it’s not school funding, or abortion.  On its face, it’s an investigation over how the UT-Austin Law School Foundation ran a forgivable loan program.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Agenda Texas: Another Run at Casino Gambling

Rob Boudon/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/robboudon/5817404296/

As Yogi Berra would say, it’s déjà vu all over again in the Texas Legislature for supporters of casino gambling in Texas.

For the 27th session in a row (that's our unofficial estimate) there’s a push to create casino gambling in Texas. 

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Politics
5:30 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Agenda Texas: Gambling, Education Headline the Week Ahead

Here's what's happening under the dome.
Lizzie Chen, KUT News

As your guide to everything under the dome and how it hits home (yes that's our tag line) Agenda Texas will try to keep you in the loop on the big bills moving through the Legislature each week.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Agenda Texas: A Freshman Reflects on the Session So Far

Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) on the floor of the Senate in 2013
Ben Philpott

Have you ever watched a debate at the Texas Capitol? It’s not always the easiest thing to follow. With all the speakers and amendments and votes that it takes for just one bill to pass, it’s not hard to get lost.

Well what if you were one of the lawmakers, trying to navigate these legislative waters for the first time?

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Politics
5:30 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Agenda Texas: Behind the Scenes of the House Budget Debate

State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, explains an education funding amendment to SB 1 the budget bill during debate on April 4, 2013.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

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Politics
5:30 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Agenda Texas: House Budget Debate Preview

Texas House takes up the budget Thursday.
photo by KUT News

Thursday the Texas House will take up the only bill lawmakers are constitutionally required to pass: The state budget.

The debate could easily last well into the night. There have been 267 amendments filed.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Agenda Texas: Abortion Regulations Could Close Clinics

One of the surgical suites at the Whole Woman's Health ASC clinic in San Antonio.
Ben Philpott

Last week we talked about the renewed push to pass a couple bills that would increase state regulations for abortion clinics. Supporters, like Texas Right to Life director Elizabeth Graham, said the measures would make abortions safer.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Week Ahead

Gov. Perry, Sen. Cornyn, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Sen. Cruz at Medicaid press conference
Filipa Rodrigues

It’ll be another busy week for the Texas Legislature. With a take on what to watch for this week, here's Texas Tribune executive editor, Ross Ramsey.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Tax Cut Debate

Texas Governor Rick Perry
Filipa Rodrigues

The Texas Legislature started the session with more than $8 billion of dollars left over from the last session and almost $12 billion projected to be in the state’s rainy day fund.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Agenda Texas: Abortion Bills Gain Steam

Gov. Perry at Faith and Family Day at the state Capitol
Filipa Rodrigues

In last week's show we got a legislative review from the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith. One thing he pointed out: Socially conservative issues had not yet played a prominent role.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Agenda Texas: Water Bill Hits the House Floor

The Lower Colorado River Authority is considering reducing or cutting off water to farmers because of dropping lake levels and the ongoing drought.
KUT News

Texas lawmakers roll up their sleeves and get down to some serious work this week. From here on out, bills will be flying out of committee to the House and Senate floors for debate.

Finally Funding Water Projects:

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Agenda Texas: Halftime Under the Dome

Just a couple more months in the session.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

We’re halfway through the 2013 legislative session. And with only one bill making it to the governor’s desk so far, there’s plenty of work ahead. To look into future at what the final two months of the session may hold, Agenda Texas talked with Evan Smith, the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Agenda Texas: Cutting Tests, Keeping Standards in STAAR

Photo by Rune Mathisen, Texas Tribune

How many tests are too many?

If you’ve got kids, you know the state rolled out a new testing system last school year called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR. It includes 15 end-of-course exams that high school students must pass in order to graduate. A number State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) wants to cut.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Agenda Texas: Waiting for Expansion

Alexandria Garza plays with her 6-year-old daughter Lasselia
Texas Well and Healthy Coalition

A new Gallup poll out this morning says almost 29 percent of Texans don’t have health insurance. That easily puts Texas at the highest percentage of uninsured in the country. And the highest Gallup has ever recorded in Texas.

About a million of those uninsured could find coverage under Medicaid expansion, if Governor Rick Perry were to allow it. So let’s meet a couple of the people hoping he’ll change his mind.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Agenda Texas: Citizen Lobbyists Walking the Halls

Sisters Jennet, Katy and Elizabeth Dillard went over strategy before heading off to visit lawmaker offices.

There’s a perception, not unjustified, that it takes a high-priced high-powered lobbyist to get a bill passed in the Texas Legislature. But people still try to get something done with an army of volunteers. Some who are still in elementary school.

Around 100 kids from across the state came to Austin for the Texas Home School Coalition's rally day. The kids spent the day learning about the legislative process, yes they got school credit for participating, and to help support home school legislative efforts.

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Agenda Texas
5:30 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Agenda Texas: Will Safety Bills Make Schools Safer?

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

The December school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut left the nation stunned and  grief-stricken – and scared it could happen again.

Texas lawmakers have filed a handful of bills they say could increase security for students and peace of mind for parents. But some say those bills are more show than substance.

"A couple of bills are obviously just designed to appeal to the NRA while making it appear that they’re trying to make schools safer, when in fact they wouldn’t," says Texas State Teachers Association spokesman Clay Robison.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Agenda Texas: Restoring Education Cuts

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio)
Ben Philpott/KUT News

The Texas legislature cut more than $5 billion from public education in 2011 to help balance the state budget. Then last month lawmakers were told previous revenue estimates were wrong – and that they had more than $8 billion left to spend on that budget.

Spending That Money

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Agenda Texas
7:54 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Agenda Texas: Transportation Needs Mounting in Texas

Austinites are spending less time stuck in traffic, according to a new study from the Texas Transportation Institute.
Photo by KUT News

The 83rd Texas Legislature has already called for spending to improve the state’s water infrastructure. Now, Governor Rick Perry’s saying the economy depends on another major investment:

“We’ll have to deal with our transportation needs if we want to keep our winning streak going," Perry said. "I mean that is just the facts.”

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Politics
5:45 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Agenda Texas: Medicaid Expansion in Texas

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

  To Take...or Not To Take

Will Texas expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act? That’s the $100 billion question at the Capitol this session. The state’s Republican leadership says "no". But supporters for the Affordable Care Act continue to gain ammunition. A recent report by former Deputy Comptroller Billy Hamilton indicated that if the state spent $15 billion on a Medicaid expansion over 10 years, it would get $100 billion back. And about 231,000 new jobs by 2016. 

“To look at something that helps to create jobs in Texas. That helps improve the health of Texans, their ability to work. And then to have a more dependable way to access healthcare, are all plusses in our minds on this," said Maureen Milligan, president and CEO of the Teaching Hospitals of Texas.

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