Politics

2013 Legislative Sesssion
5:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Creating Marshals to Watch Over Schools

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Story as heard on KUT 90.5

Texas lawmakers have rallied around the idea of making elementary schools safer. There have been calls to allow anyone with a concealed handgun license to bring guns onto public school campuses. Or for teachers to get concealed carry licenses.

The latest idea comes from a bill filed by State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas). He wanted to know what schools and professional school security organizations wanted.

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Politics
4:25 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Bill Would Cut Back on Standardized Tests

The House education committee wants fewer tests for students.
Rune Mathisen, Texas Tribune

Texas high school students would have to take just five standardized tests to graduate instead of 15, under a bill filed today in the Texas House. State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock,  R-Killeen, says House Bill 5 would give students more flexibility to pursue vocational careers.

“Hoping that stimulates kids to find the areas that they find interesting and challenging in life, and that they begin to choose areas they want to go into, not necessarily areas the state’s trying to press them into,” Aycock said.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

5 Questions About Justice Department Memo On Targeted Killings

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:48 am

A confidential Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News outlines legal theories the Obama administration has used to justify killing American citizens abroad. Here are five key questions and answers about the document:

1) What is it?

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Politics
10:08 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Obama Calls For Small Package Of Cuts, Tax Changes To Head Off 'Sequester'

President Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:02 am

(We updated the top of this post at 1:30 p.m. ET.)

Looking to head off deep, automatic spending cuts set to kick in on March 1, President Obama on Tuesday afternoon said that to avoid the negative economic effects that come with "political disfunction," Congress should move quickly to pass "a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms" that won't hurt the economy.

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Politics
5:17 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Bill Filings Down in 2013 Texas Legislature

The number of bills filed in the Texas legislature has dropped 27 percent in the 2013 session.
Liang Shi, KUT News

The 2013 Texas Legislature is running behind last session when it comes to bill filings, according to legislative reporting service Telicon.

The firm reports 476 fewer bills have been filed this legislative session, compared to this time in the 2011 session. The 27 percent drop is partially to blame on 2011 being a big year for ideological legislative filings, said UT government professor Jim Henson.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

On the Air, Perry Looks to Lure California Businesses to Texas

Gov. Perry is calling for California businesses to take advantage of the low tax rates of Texas.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Governor Rick Perry has made a habit of saying businesses from other states would be better off in Texas. Now, he’s bringing that message to the airwaves in California.

Governor Perry is courting Golden State companies with a 30 second radio spot that will run for the next week on stations in 5 cities – including San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. His message, as always, focuses on the low-tax, low-regulation climate in Texas.

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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

Agenda Texas as heard on KUT 90.5

  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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Economy
9:56 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Losses Are Actually Gains, And Other Weird Facts From The Jobs Report

bgottsab Flickr

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 12:25 pm

What's today's big jobs report say?

The U.S. economy lost 2.8 million jobs jobs in January.

What?!

Don't panic. The U.S. economy loses millions of jobs every January, in good times and bad, largely because tons of seasonal holiday jobs always wind down after Christmas.

So if you set aside the normal, seasonal stuff, how is the job market doing?

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Politics
5:18 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Andrew Young to Speak in Austin

Former congressman, Atlanta mayor and ambassador Andrew Young will speak tonight at the LBJ library.
courtesy flickr.com/edra

Andrew Young was a friend of Martin Luther King Jr., a U.S. congressman, ambassador to the United Nations and mayor of Atlanta, to name just a few of his titles. 

Tonight at 6, Young will be giving a lecture at the LBJ Auditorium on Red River. The event is free and open to the public.

KUT’s Nathan Bernier spoke with Young today about cities that, like Austin, are addressing the legacy of segregation.

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Immigration
4:01 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Rep. Joaquin Castro: A Path to Citizenship is Coming

Texas has the most at stake in the immigration debate, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro said at the TAB conference in Austin.
Ann Choi/KUT News

With immigration reform on the agenda in Washington, U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro of San Antonio predicted today that some sort of path to citizenship will be created for undocumented workers. 

At the annual Texas Association of Business conference today, Castro said the current immigration system creates a second class of people who can never gain citizenship. However, he believes that society's changed views on immigration ultimately will lead to change in policy. 

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Politics
2:34 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Straus Makes House Committee Assignments

House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

House Speaker Joe Straus announced committee assignments for the Legislature's lower chamber on Thursday, ending speculation over key chairmanships and giving lawmakers the go-ahead to start considering bills. 

Of the standing committees, 32 are chaired by men, six by women. That's one more female chair than the 2011 session.

Among the committee chairs, 26 are white, five are black and seven are Hispanic, one more than last session.

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Politics
1:38 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Hagel: 'No One Individual Vote, Quote Or Statement Defines Me'

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., during his Senate nomination hearing earlier today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 11:53 am

(Scroll down for updates.)

Responding to those who have questioned his views on Israel, Iran and defense spending, former Sen. Chuck Hagel said Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing on his nomination to be secretary of defense that:

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Politics
7:33 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Perry: Abbott Won't Run If I Seek Reelection

Gov. Perry in Jefferson, Iowa during his presidential campaign last year
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Governor Rick Perry says Attorney General Greg Abbott will not challenge him in the 2014 Republican primary if Perry decides to seek re-election.

“Greg is a dear friend. He has said clearly that if I ran again, he’s not going to be running against me," Perry said in an exclusive interview with Dallas TV station WFAA. 

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Politics
5:32 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Poll Finds Texas Support for Ban on Assault Weapons

Measures under debate could restrict the sale of some firearms.
KUT News

A new survey of Texas voters reveals support for a ban on assault weapons: 49 percent of those surveyed supported a ban on military-style rifles, while 41 percent opposed a ban, according to an automated telephone survey of 500 Texas registered voters, conducted by the North Carolina firm Public Policy Polling.

Immigration
4:32 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Cornyn Calls for Stricter Immigration Enforcement, Opposes Amnesty

Sen. John Cornyn wants more immigration law enforcement.
flickr.com/musicfirstcoalition

With President Obama and some legislators from both parties pushing immigration reform, Texas’s Sen. John Cornyn says he does not support a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s immigration laws.

Instead, he advocates stricter enforcement of existing laws.

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