Texas

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

Photo courtesy of Stefano de Stefano

From Texas Standard:

With election day 2018 more than a year away, a Houston-area energy attorney appears to be the first to throw his hat in the ring as a primary challenger to fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

As the Texas Senate prepares to consider legislation to restrict bathroom use for transgender Texans in legislative overtime, the national Episcopal Church is renewing its opposition to such proposals.

Senate Gives OK To Must-Pass 'Sunset' Legislation In Midnight Vote

Jul 19, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

A fast-moving Senate gave unanimous approval to critical “sunset legislation” Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday morning, using two bills to extend the life of five state agencies held political hostage at the end of the regular legislative session.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The colorful scene melded two time-honored Texas traditions: political protest and the quinceañera.

With skirts flouncing, 15 young women ascended the steps of the Texas state Capitol on Wednesday morning to a traditional Mexican birthday song played in a mariachi style.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

"Thanks, Democrats, for showing up for Tuesday’s opening day of the oh-so-special legislative session, but it looks like you’ll be just a minor speed bump as the Republicans steer the state even farther to the right."

So wrote Austin American-Statesman columnist Ken Herman on Tuesday.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Texas Legislature has gaveled in for a 30-day session focusing on 20 items, but the battle to pass as little of that legislation as possible has already begun.

Eric Frommer/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Texas Standard interview by Jody Denberg.

Bill Collings dropped out of college to start making guitars.

Little did he know that his passion for exquisite craftsmanship would earn him the respect of musical talents who would help set a new standard for the quality of acoustic sound, and earn him a place in the Texas music scene for the Collings guitar.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

From Texas Standard:

The men and women of law enforcement are known for putting themselves at risk to protect their communities, but the Austin Police Department is now facing a new, invisible danger.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The Legislature’s special session begins this Tuesday. It’s 30 days long with 20 items on the agenda and Gov. Greg Abbott is calling the shots.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Seven weeks after legislative deadlock prompted Speaker of the House Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to hold not one but two sets of dueling press conferences, each accusing the other of forcing the governor to call a special session, Texas lawmakers are back in Austin for just that.

Image via Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

Former Olympic gold medalist and transgender activist, Caitlyn Jenner, is flirting with the idea of running for the U.S. Senate. So is metal-rapper Kid Rock, though his campaign website seems mostly geared toward selling trucker caps and T-shirts.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman

SAN ANTONIO — The state of Texas faced a healthy dose of judicial skepticism on Saturday as its lawyers laid out final arguments in a trial over whether lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in enacting current Texas House and Congressional district maps.

Aubrey Gemignani/NASA/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith is on a mission to uncover what he calls "Russia's propaganda war against fossil fuels." The Republican congressman whose district includes parts of San Antonio, the Hill Country and Austin, said as much in a recent letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Bob Daemmerich/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Just four days before the start of the special legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has spelled out plans to give longevity bonuses to public school teachers, and boost benefits for retired teachers.

Greg Abbott / Facebook Live Screenshot

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Friday that he's running for a second term, four years to the day after he announced his initial run for governor.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Proposes Millions For Teacher Bonuses And Retirement

Jul 13, 2017
Marjorie Kamys Cotera

With less than a week before the start of a special session of the Texas Legislature, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick laid out a proposal Thursday to give teachers bonuses and increase their retirement benefits, with plans to pay for both long-term using money from the Texas lottery. 

aaronisnotcool/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Believe it or not, it's been five turf-pounding, penalty-yielding, ball-fumbling years since Texas A&M seceded from the Big 12 athletic conference, and shook hands with the Southeast Conference (SEC.)

Spencer Selvidge / KUT News

From Texas Standard:

As Senate Republican leaders reveal another version of their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, taking politics out of the health care picture may be just the medicine needed. Political noise aside, the fact remains that health care costs are still too high, and many individuals can’t afford coverage. Experts say the political debate is essentially moot until the financial barriers to care are sorted out.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Tim Mattox doesn’t want to live in Austin, but soon he might not have a choice. Mattox has lived in the River Place neighborhood for 19 years. It’s a community of about 1,100 homes just northwest of the city near Lake Austin. In December, Mattox’s neighborhood is scheduled to be annexed by the city.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

With the start of the special legislation session less than a week away, Morning Edition is looking at issues on the agenda. Today, we answer a listener question about a proposed $1,000 pay increase for teachers: Who is pushing for the increase and where is it coming from?

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