Politics

Politics
3:55 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

Greg Abbott Announces Run for Texas Governor

Attorney General Greg Abbott begins his run for Governor in San Antonio.
Bob Daemmrich ,Texas Tribune

Long-time Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is running for the GOP nomination for governor in 2014. His official announcement has been anticipated in the days after Gov. Rick Perry announced he would not seek re-election.

A few hundred friends and supporters came to Plaza Juarez in downtown San Antonio to hear Abbott announce his run. A video shown at the announcement and his speech that followed focused on his life in office and on the accident 29 years ago that left Abbott paralyzed.

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Politics
12:30 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

Photos: Over Protest, Senate Passes Abortion Bill; Tampons Confiscated From Gallery Watchers

An unidentified woman has her bag searched by a DPS officer outside the Senate chambers. Those looking to get inside the gallery had tampons, along with
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: The Senate has given a final vote to pass House Bill 2, passing it 19-11.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst asked Senators that  "whether you're Christian, whether you're a person of faith, that we not forget to love each other." He said he felt goose bumps by seeing the orange and blue shirts in the gallery.

Update: The fate of House Bill 2 has been decided for now. The Texas Senate voted preliminarily 19 to 11 to pass the measure, without any amendments.

They need to give the bill a final vote before it would go to Gov. Rick Perry's desk for a signature.

In the last stretch of the night, senators gave most of their most impassioned statements when they gave their closing remarks.

  • View a photo gallery of the day's events in the slideshow player at the top of this page.
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Agenda Texas
5:30 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Abortion Bill Hogs Spotlight from Other Session Priorities

Based on stories coming out of the Texas Capitol, you might think the current 30-day special legislative session is about one thing, and one thing only: abortion.

But there are actually two other subjects on the agenda for this session:

  • Transportation Funding
  • Juvenile Justice
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Politics
7:14 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Texas Senators Push for Family Planning Support

Members of the Senate HHS Committee say restricting abortions still leaves lots of issues to address.
KUT News

Members of the Texas Senate committee that voted today to increase restrictions on abortion also say they want more support for preventive care, family planning and adoption services in Texas.

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Politics
6:17 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Both Sides on Texas Abortion Bill Welcome Future Legal Challenges

Opponents and supporters of House Bill 2, the Texas omnibus abortion bill, say they expect good to come out of a legal challenge in federal court.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

A familiar sound filled the Texas House on Wednesday morning – the voting bell, applause and protesters.

House Bill 2 passed, 96 to 49 nays, and it's also expected to pass the Senate, late this week or early next. Opponents of the new abortion restrictions say regardless, it will end up in court.

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Politics
11:17 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Texas House Approves Abortion Restrictions

State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, at the front microphone answers questions from a line of lawmakers during the July 9, 2013 debate on House Bill 2, a restrictive abortion measure.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Update: The House passed HB 2 on a vote of 96 to 49 this morning. The bill will be sent to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee this week for a vote, and the bill could be sent to the Senate floor for a full vote as early next week. 

Update (10:00 a.m.) Last night the House passed HB 2 on second reading by a vote of 98 to 49. The bill, which would limit access to abortions across Texas, is set for a third and final reading today in the House.

If passed, the bill will head across the Capitol rotunda to the Senate, and it could be sent to a committee as soon as this week. Below you can watch the live stream of the vote from our reporting partners The Texas Tribune.

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PolitiFact
6:20 am
Wed July 10, 2013

PolitiFact: Is Abortion the Second Most Common Surgery?

Gov. Rick Perry recently said that abortion is the second most common surgical procedure in the United States. But is abortion even medically considered surgery?
KUT News

Last week, Gov. Rick Perry said on a radio program that abortion was the second most common surgical procedure performed in the United States.

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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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Politics
4:55 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Watch: Abortion Rights Advocate Gets Personal - Then Gets Kicked Out

There's been countless explosive moments in Texas' ongoing legislative battle over abortion — but few moments like this posted to YouTube. 

Yesterday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 1, which would restrict abortions across Texas. Some 13 hours of testimony later, committee chair Sen. Jane Nelson called on abortion rights advocate Sarah Slamen, whose two minutes included pointed descriptors of the committee members themselves – language that got her ejected.

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Politics
9:06 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Comprehensive Sex Ed Proposed in Response to Texas Abortion Debate

As part of the abortion debate - galvanized by Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster - Democratic lawmakers want to teach Texas students comprehensive sex education.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Texas has one of the highest teen birth rates in the country.  According to a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, in 2008, Texan teens had 85 pregnancies per 1,000 women 15-19 years old.

And while protests and hearings continue around Senate Bill 1 — the bill that would limit access to abortions in Texas — some Democratic state lawmakers have filed two bills that would make changes to health and sex education.

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Politics
6:53 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Senate Committee Wraps Testimony on Texas Abortion Bill

The line of those wishing to testify in the Capitol Extension. DPS estimates over 1,700 people waiting in line, some of whom have been waiting since early this morning.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Update: The Senate Health & Human Services Committee public hearing on Senate Bill 1 wrapped up just before 2 a.m. Tuesday. Senators did not vote on the bill.

Original Story (July 8, 10 a.m.): The Senate Health & Human Services Committee is holding a public hearing today on a bill that would limit access to abortions in Texas.

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Politics
1:59 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Texas Senators Wrap Abortion Testimony After March, Rally (Photos)

A line of state troopers blocks hundreds of protestors (primarily abortion-rights advocates) from the Capitol steps as an anti-abortion rally comes to a close Monday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

For the first time since State Sen. Wendy Davis' historic Senate filibuster last month, Texas senators revisited the abortion debate at a committee hearing that ended at almost 2 a.m. Tuesday.

There won't be a vote on this bill for now. Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, says the Senate will wait on the Texas House to approve its version of the bill. The full House is taking up the issue today.

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Politics
11:02 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Gov. Perry: 'I Will Not Seek Reelection'

Gov. Rick Perry delivering the 2013 State of the State in January. Perry announed plans for his political future today.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry – the longest serving governor in Texas history – has announced he will not seek reelection to a fourth term.

After first being elected to the Texas House in 1984 (as a Democrat), Perry ascended to Lieutenant Governor, and then moved up when George W. Bush left for the White House in December 2000.

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Politics
2:21 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Perry Leaving Governor's Office: Texas Politicos React

Attorney General Greg Abbott (L) and Gov. Rick Perry at a press conference in 2012. Abbott is widely considered a Republican frontrunner for governor.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement this afternoon that he will not seek another term in office has created an outpouring of reactions from Texas politicians  on both sides of the aisle.

KUT News is compiling those reactions, primarily from the Texas politicians Perry’s announcement is affecting deeply – those seeking higher office. 

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Politics
6:30 am
Mon July 8, 2013

After Abortion Bill Hearing, Rally, March Planned at Texas Capitol

Melissa Tucker, left, signs up to testify at the hearing for Senate Bill 1, a restrictive abortion bill, on July 8, 2013 at the State Capitol.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

A Texas Senate committee will take up a bill this morning that regulates and restricts abortions, which has sparked people on both sides of the bill to organize events at the Capitol to express their opinions.

Participants at a rally this evening on the south steps of the Capitol this evening have a message.

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Agenda Texas
5:30 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Issue in Texas Abortion Debate: What's an Ambulatory Surgical Center?

A surgical suite in the San Antonio ASC abotion clinic.
Ben Philpott

A bill that would regulate and restrict abortion in Texas has been approved by a House committee and is expected to be approved by the full House next week. Debate over the bill has played out between protestors in the halls and grounds of the Capitol as much as it has between lawmakers.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Poll: Most Texans Still Don't Want You to Mess with Them

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling found while Texans are becoming more liberal on some issues, most agree they don't want people messing with Texas.
flickr.com/amarilloposters

A recent poll from Public Policy Polling found 78 percent of Texans agree:

Don't Mess with Texas.

Nine percent say people should mess with Texas, and 13 percent are unsure.

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Politics
12:09 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Texas Passes 50 Justice Bills, Covering Death Row to Juvenile Hall

Texas is now required to preform DNA testing on cases seeking the death penalty. The requirement is one of 50 reforms passed in the regular legislative session.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The 2013 regular session ended with  50 new criminal and juvenile justice bills passed and signed into law.

Legislators passed bills focused on reducing the number of individuals wrongfully convicted or incarcerated in Texas. That included Senate Bill 344, which will "require state to perform DNA testing in any capital offense where the state is seeking the death penalty."

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Audio: Filibuster Fallout and Gov. Perry's Exciting Future Plans

The Tribcast Crew review the week's big political moments
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

TribCast: Filibuster Fallout and Exciting Future Plans by KUT News

On this week's Texas Tribune Tribcast, Reeve Hamilton, Evan Smith, Ross Ramsey and KUT's Ben Philpott discuss the fallout from last week's filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), the Voting Rights Act, the effort to impeach a university regent, and Governor Rick Perry's coming announcement of "exciting future plans."

Politics
2:33 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Egypt's President Morsi Is Ousted From Power By Military

Protesters gather at Tahrir Square. Morsi remained defiant as the military pressed the president and his political opponents to strike a compromise.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 6:27 am

(Click here for most recent update: 7 p.m. ET.)

A huge celebration has begun in Egypt's Tahrir Square, after army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi proclaimed that Mohammed Morsi is out as president and the country's constitution has been suspended. The new plan calls for Egypt's chief justice to lead an interim government and set a date for early presidential elections.

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