Texas

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

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Urban Texas leaders on Tuesday criticized the legislation Gov. Greg Abbott wants from a 30-day special session, saying his list of priorities could hurt city economies and undercut how local residents influence their communities.

John Rogers/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Steve Earle. Beyonce. Buddy Holly. Geto Boys. Ornette Coleman. Ernest Tubb. Bun B. Selena. Van Cliburn. Johnny Mathis. Stevie Ray Vaughan. Did I mention Willie? If ever there were a no-brainer for Texas tourism, surely a museum of Texas music history would fit that description.

Defence Images/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the wake of last weekend’s terrorist attack in London that left seven people dead, Prime Minister Theresa May has gone beyond asking social media companies to vet content posted on their sites more fully. She’s raised the specter of holding social media platforms legally accountable for facilitating the spread of terrorist ideology.

Ingrid Truemper/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

The Republican Party of Texas elected a new chairman over the weekend after Tom Mechler stepped down. It wasn't exactly what you'd call a quiet exit.

Shell/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Seven countries severed ties with Qatar on Monday. Not only did Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, Libya and the Maldives suspend diplomatic relations with the Gulf state, they also cut off land, air and sea travel to and from Qatar. They also ordered their citizens to leave Qatar.

Ashley Rodgers/Texas Tech University

From Texas Standard:

The headline in both the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle today read the same thing – “We’re Getting Out.” These words were taken directly from the speech President Donald Trump gave yesterday when he announced the U.S. is pulling out of the Paris climate change agreement.

Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons

Write it down: TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, a case that could reshape patent fights for years to come. It might also mean big changes for some small federal courthouses in East Texas.

Image Courtesy ice.gov.

From Texas Standard:

While Texas lawmakers have left the state Capitol for now, plenty of their bills did not go anywhere. One piece of legislation that didn’t make it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk was a measure that would have licensed immigrant detention facilities in Texas as childcare providers.

LoneStarMike / via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has more than 150 state agencies -- everything from the Affordable Housing Corporation to the Workforce Commission. Do these agencies provide too much oversight and bureaucracy? That's what the Sunset Commission is tasked with finding out. A group of lawmakers from the Texas House and Senate, along with two members of the public, do periodic reviews to make sure state agencies are needed and that they're operating as they should.

Georgia National Guard/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

If a soldier commits a crime, is that different than if anyone else commits a crime? There’s an argument that decisions made in the heat of battle by those sacrificing for their country should be judged differently than others.

Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

A state appeals court ruled Tuesday that the judge in Attorney General Ken Paxton's securities fraud case lost jurisdiction when he sent it to Harris County in April. The court also directed the judge, George Gallagher, to vacate all subsequent orders, including one that set a September trial date.

1st BCT, 1st CD/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

The 85th legislative session focused so much on measures like the "sanctuary cities" bill and the "bathroom" bill that it’s easy to forget that much of the initial focus was supposed to be on something else.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hundreds of protesters in red T-shirts gathered at the Capitol on Monday to protest passage of Senate Bill 4, the "sanctuary cities" law. As they were chanting their opposition to the law, a state representative said he called federal immigration agents, leading to a scuffle between lawmakers.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

From Texas Standard:

It won’t be the budget that sends the Texas Legislature into a special session, if there is one. This weekend the two chambers approved a $217 billion, two-year budget.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

Every odd numbered year, for 140 days, Texas lawmakers meet in the Austin to participate in the political drama that is a legislative session. Each legislator tries to cram as many bills onto the floor as possible in an effort to maybe, just maybe, help it to become law. While the curtains on this year's drama are soon set to drop and all the political actors are making plans to head back to their part of Texas, a potential encore performance may be looming. We're talking about a possible special legislative session.

Julian Aguilar/The Texas Tribune

The normally ceremonial last day of the legislative session briefly descended into chaos on Monday, as proceedings in the House were disrupted by large protests and at least one Republican lawmaker called immigration authorities on the protesters.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday promised to make an announcement "later this week" on whether he will call a special session.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Texas senators voted Friday to send a bill banning the most common second-trimester abortion procedure and changing how health care facilities handle fetal remains to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. 

From Texas Standard:

Five seconds and 50,000 volts – that's enough of a jolt to hijack your nervous system and contract every muscle in your body. Applying electricity in this way has become the tool of choice for police officers across the country. We're talking about conducted electrical weapons, better-known as tasers. They've rapidly moved from an obscure police technology, into the public consciousness. They've been hailed by law enforcement as a life-saving tool. But some critics say that's far from the case.

A school district near Houston has apologized after a 13-year-old student received an award declaring her "Most Likely to Become a Terrorist."

The award was one of several "insensitive and offensive fake mock awards," the Channelview Independent School District said in a statement, and the teachers in question have been disciplined, KHOU in Houston reports.

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