Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

Tony Fischer/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Tango Blast – the name brings to mind, perhaps, a soda or bubble gum flavor. But Tango Blast is actually considered to be the greatest gang threat in Texas, according to a new, in-depth Texas Department of Public Safety gang activity assessment report.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Members of the House and Senate are scrambling to plug a $212 million hole in the teacher retirement system, which provides health benefit for retired educators. Changes made to the TRS-Care system during the regular legislative session could cause some retirees' health care costs to increase tenfold.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

A Texas lawmaker is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to add ethics reform to his special session call. Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) heads the House General Investigation and Ethics Committee, which is tasked with scrutinizing wrongdoing at the state level. Most recently, she led an investigation into the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission after reports of misconduct and mismanagement of funds within the agency.

bigbirdz/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

On Tuesday, the New York Times published a bombshell report that could rekindle the debate over affirmative action in Texas colleges and universities. A document shows the U.S. Justice Department plans to investigate and even sue colleges over their affirmative action policies. It was only a year ago that the U.S. Supreme Court took up this question in Fischer versus the University of Texas. The judges ruled that colleges could consider race and ethnicity as part of the admissions process.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, declined a deal from the Travis County District Attorney's office Tuesday that would have allowed the 12-term representative to have all corruption charges dropped against her if she had agreed to resign immediately.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

From Texas Standard:

The state's controversial "campus carry" law took effect one year ago. The law allows students with concealed handgun licenses, and who are 21 years old, to carry a firearm in certain places on public university campuses.

 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas House has approved taking money from a state emergency savings fund to pay to temporarily bolster the state-run health insurance program for retired teachers.

Austin Price / Texas Tribune

Janeera Nickol Gonzalez was shot on a Wednesday in May, in the late morning. She died in a study room in Performance Hall, a multistory brick structure on the campus of North Lake College, outside Dallas. Gonzalez was 20 years old; she would have been the first in her family to graduate from college.

A.Davey/ Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Authorities say 10 people were killed in clashes between protesters and law enforcement in Venezuela on Sunday. The nation's president, Nicolas Maduro, called elections to choose a constituent assembly, which would have the power to rewrite the constitution and more.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Travis County District Attorney's office has told state Rep. Dawnna Dukes it would drop corruption charges against her if she agrees to resign from office and agree to a drug and alcohol assessment by the end of business Tuesday.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump’s border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it’s already received from Congress.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The deaths of 10 migrants in a sweltering 18-wheeler in San Antonio has raised a lot of questions. One of them: Why transport people in the back of a tractor-trailer, especially after they have already crossed the border?

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Texas House added a potential wrinkle to Gov. Greg Abbott's special session agenda on Thursday, giving early approval to a bill that would allow property owners to plant new trees to offset municipal fees for tree removal on their land.

Dan Patrick's Day Off

Jul 27, 2017

From Texas Standard:

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants Texans to know that the Texas Senate is making history. Patrick says the chamber's passage of 18 bills in the first seven days of the current special session represents a record pace for either chamber of the Legislature, in either a regular or special session.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas House has given early approval to a bill requiring physicians and health care facilities to report more details on abortions complications to the state — and fine those that do not comply.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Retired Texas teachers are closer to seeing some relief from higher health care deductibles, and current teachers may be seeing more money in the near future, too. But some teacher groups are worried the push to help teachers is more political than substantive.

Tim Park for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate on Wednesday gave tentative approval to a measure that pre-empts local ordinances on drivers’ mobile phone usage, effectively rolling back safety laws in the 45 Texas cities where local governments enforce stricter regulations than the state. 

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

From Texas Standard:

Texas A&M–Corpus Christi is going from the Gulf Stream to the TV screen.

The coastal university will be featured on the  "Shark Week" television series Wednesday, displaying artificial reefs for the Gulf Coast that are designed to attract wildlife in areas where the ocean floor is largely made up of mud or sand.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Fifteen immigrant rights activists were arrested Wednesday after blocking traffic at the intersection of 15th Street and Congress Avenue during a sit-in to protest Attorney General Ken Paxton's push to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Terry Ross/Flickr CC (BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Mayors from across the state headed to Austin on Wednesday to meet with Gov. Greg Abbott over concerns about efforts to pass measures that would replace local laws and regulations with statewide ones. 

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