2:34 pm
Thu March 17, 2011

Federal Healthcare Law Unwelcome in House Committee

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

The Texas House Committee on State Sovereignty took up a handful of bills today - all with the stated goal of protecting Texas from the Federal Healthcare law.  The bills use different tactics to nullify the federal law.  With one by Rep.

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2:17 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Busy Day Under the Dome

The Texas Capitol is abuzz with activity this afternoon.
Image by Liang Shi for KUT News.

A pair of House committee hearings are attracting a lot of interest at the State Capitol this afternoon.

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up debate on whether to tap the state's Rainy Day Fund to help fill the budgetary shortfall facing Texas for the current fiscal year.  Thanh Tan of KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune, tells us the committee room is packed. 

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9:25 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Former Speaker Craddick Falls at Committee Hearing

Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland)
Photo by KUT News

Former Speaker Tom Craddick fell to the ground during a House Transportation committee hearing this morning at the Capitol.  The Dallas Morning News is reporting Craddick was at the meeting to lay out his bill banning texting while driving when he apparently fainted and fell to the ground.

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1:58 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Former City Council Member Max Nofziger To Challenge Randi Shade

Max Nofziger, a former council member from 1987 to 1996, returns. He will run in the city council election scheduled on May 14, 2011.
KUT News

Michael “Max” Nofziger, who was a former council member from 1987 to 1996 and a well-known flower salesman, will run for the 2011 City Council election. He will have to unseat incumbent Randi Shade, who is running for re-election.  Shade is also facing challenges from Kris Bailey and Chris Nielsen.

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2:45 pm
Mon March 7, 2011

House Passes Sonogram Bill

The House gives final passage to sonogram bill
picture by KUT

The Texas House easily passed a controversial sonogram/abortion bill on 3rd reading today.  The bill now goes back to the Senate.  Senators there can either agree with the House changes to the bill or ask for a House/Senate conference committee to hammer out the differences.  The committee is the most likely route.  The bill would require all women to view a sonogram and hear the fetus heartbeat before having

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4:29 pm
Fri March 4, 2011

Is There a Cost to the Abortion Sonogram Bill?

Lawmakers debate the abortion sonogram bill.
Photo by KUT

Last night the Texas House gave initial approval to the abortion sonogram bill by a 103-42 vote. House Bill 15 requires a woman seeking an abortion to receive a sonogram within 24-hours before the procedure. The bill would also require to show the image of the fetus while explaining to the patient what's on the screen and playing the audio of the heartbeat.  

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5:18 pm
Thu March 3, 2011

House Continues Debate on Sonogram Bill Amendments

Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston proposes an amendment to kill the sonogram bill.
Photo by Ryland Barton/ KUT.

The debate over HB 15—which would require physicians to provide a detailed description of a fetus to its would-be mother—continues to drag through the House this afternoon as Democrats put up a gaggle of amendments and arguments against the bill.

The bill is expected to be approved by the House sometime this evening.

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12:40 pm
Thu March 3, 2011

House Expected to Take Up Sonogram Bill Again Today

Rep. Doug Miller, R-New Braunfels thanks GOP support from New Braunfels.
Photo by Ryland Barton/KUT.

Today the so-called "Sonogram Bill" returns to the Texas House, after being sent back to committee yesterday by Democrats. House Democrats took issue with a technicality in how the bill moved from the State Affairs committee to the full House. Barring additional delays, the House is expected to vote on the Bill today.

The bill is one of five pieces of emergency legislation that are being fast-tracked through the Capitol. Pro-choice advocates probably don’t have the votes to stall the bill any longer; though it’s possible more procedural stalling could ensue.

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4:28 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Capitol Press Corps Twitter-pated Over Governor Perry's Block

Gov. Perry celebrates on Election Night
Picture by KUT News

Here's a story that's been around the world and back again in just a couple of days.  

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2012 Presidential Election
1:18 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Gov. Perry Lags Behind in Tea Party 2012 Straw Poll

Gov. Perry talking at 2010 State GOP convention
Picture courtesy The Texas Tribune

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Governor Rick Perry didn't fair very well in a Presidential straw poll taken over the weekend at a Tea Party event in Arizona. 

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10:37 am
Sat February 26, 2011

City Officials Release Revealing Email Exchanges

Austin City Hall
KUT News

City officials released thousands of documents Friday under an Open Records Request, including unflattering email exchanges between Mayor Lee Leffingwell and city council members.

The emails expose what goes on behind the scenes and what city council members say and think about city staff members and residents.

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2:36 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Texas AG Responds to President's DOMA Decision

Attorney General Greg Abbott
Photo courtesy Texas Attorney General

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has weighed in on President Obama's decision to no longer have the U.S. Justice Department defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act banning recognition of same-sex marriage. 

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11:43 am
Fri February 25, 2011

Mayor Leffingwell Sets Goals in 2011 State of the City Address

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell gives his State of the City address to a full house at City Hall
Image by KUT News/Mose Buchele

It was a packed house at Austin City Hall this morning, as Mayor Lee Leffingwell gave his state of the city address.  KUT’s Mose Buchele reports a lot of what the mayor talked about could be labeled, "Coming Attractions."

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11:13 am
Thu February 24, 2011

Texas Advice To Lawmakers On The Lam in IN, WI

Van de Putte and other senators stayed in New Mexico for more than a month
picture courtesy Sen. Van de Putte

Man...I had a GREAT idea for a story on Texas Lawmakers giving advice to lawmakers in Wisconsin and Indiana who are dealing with legislative walkouts.  BUT - Sam Stein over at the Huffington Post beat me to it (by a week...darn it!).  You may remember in 2003 Democrats in the Texas House fled to Okl

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4:47 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Sonogram Bill Passes Senate

A bill passed in the Texas Senate would require doctors to conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion.
Image courtesy Daquella Manera at flickr.com

The Texas Senate passed a bill this Thursday that would require doctors to perform a sonogram at least two hours before an abortion takes place.

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3:54 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Initial Report Gives HD 48 to Rep. Howard by 4 Votes

Rep. Howard gets initial nod in election challenge
Picture Courtesy The Texas Tribune

A state lawmaker tasked with investigating an election challenge in a Travis County House District says Donna Howard (D-Austin) is the winner by 4 votes over her GOP challenger Dan Neil.  Howard won re-election to the Texas House on Election Day by 16 votes.  A recount lowered the margin to 12.

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3:01 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Eminent Domain Bill Passes Senate, 31-0

The Texas Senate gives its okay to a new eminent domain protection bill
Image by Liang Shi for KUT News

The Texas Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would give property owners more rights, when the government wants to exercise eminent domain.  The bill was one of a handful of issues that Governor Rick Perry designated "emergency legislation," to bring it to the senate floor within the first two months of the legislative session.

2:24 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Texas House Committees Posted

Speaker Straus had plenty of changes in the new committee list
Picture courtesy of The Texas Tribune

House Speaker Joe Straus has released his list of committees for the 82nd Texas Legislative Session.  The list has dozens of changes from the last session.  Which was expected after Republicans gained 25 seats since 2009 and now have a supermajority in the House.  Democrats lost chairmanships on high profile committees like Ways and Means (where tax bills originate) and Transportation (which is were road bills originate).

Here's the list and demographic breakdown:

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10:57 am
Tue February 8, 2011

Follow Governor Perry's State of the State Address

Governor Rick Perry will deliver his State of the State address this morning
Image by KUT News.

Governor Rick Perry delivers his sixth State of the State address at 11:00 am today, before a joint session of the Texas Legislature.

Our political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune, is live-blogging the event.  You can also watch the speech online here.

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