Texas

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

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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.

Stephanie Tacy for KUT

The number of refugees resettled in Texas has dramatically decreased since Donald Trump became president, according to new findings from the Pew Research Center.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

By now, most Texans are familiar with Sid Miller. Famous for his ever-present cowboy hat, the state agriculture commissioner – who's also a rancher and a Republican – has generated his share of controversy in recent months. But this week he's making news on his own terms with a commentary written for TribTalk, the editorial wing of the Texas Tribune.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

After months of back and forth over how to fix what ails funding for Texas schools, lawmakers argued late into the night, Wednesday over a bill that would pump more state money into school budgets statewide. In the end, members of the House and Senate couldn't see eye to eye on what to leave in the bill to make school financing more equitable statewide.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton, which preemptively seeks to have the state's new "sanctuary cities" law deemed constitutional.

The motion, filed Wednesday, argues the state cannot sue because Senate Bill 4 is not in effect yet, so Texas has not been harmed. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The U.S. Census is out with new numbers on which cities grew the most and which cities grew the fastest last year. Texas leads the pack in both categories.

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Patrick Finnegan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

IBM is calling its employees into the office. After decades of allowing a large part of its workforce to telecommute, Big Blue is requiring many of those remote workers to start showing up to a physical office building, like the company's location in north Austin.

Image courtesy SeniorLiving.org (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

"Dead on arrival" is how Texas senior senator, Republican John Cornyn, characterized the formal budget plan unveiled by President Trump. It puts 66 programs on the chopping block, and includes a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, a 30 percent cut for the State Department and 20 percent from the Department of Agriculture.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

A bill aimed at ending the practice of “lunch-shaming” in Texas public schools died at the hands of Freedom Caucus members earlier this month. But state Rep. Helen Giddings, who filed the bill, isn’t giving up on the issue. 

Giddings, D-DeSoto, filed House Bill 2159 in February after learning that some public schools in Texas won’t feed schoolchildren whose parents cannot or have not paid for their lunches. In some of these schools, hot meals are thrown away in front of students.

Pit-yacker/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5)

From Texas Standard:

Around the world, people are sharing expressions of outrage, concern and solidarity with the people of Manchester, England.

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