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:

photo in the Houston Chronicle this week shows some of the hundreds of people waiting in line to get a driver's license at a Department of Public Safety (DPS) office. Lining up to apply for a driver's license is never a pleasant experience, but this month it got even worse when DPS abruptly announced cuts in business hours at 11 of the state's busiest driver's license offices, along with plans to lay off more than 100 employees.

 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has received a new judge in his securities fraud case — a newly elected Democrat who unseated Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's son last year.

Flickr/North Charleston (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It’s common practice for police officers to earn a couple of bucks on the side by working various off-duty gigs.

But for some moonlighting officers, one piece of equipment is often left behind. Most police agencies that require officers to wear body cameras don't require or won't allow cameras on off-duty officers.

 

Chris Keating/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The only piece of legislation that Texas lawmakers are required to pass each session is the budget, which they did. Gov. Greg Abbott signed off on the two-year, $217 billion budget Monday, but not before using his line-item veto to cut nearly $120 million from various programs.

 

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From Texas Standard:

People in Texas and around the nation are waiting to hear from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is expected to ask him about his meetings with Russian officials. Sessions asked that the hearing be open to the public.

KUT

For years, Central Texas has seen ripples of population growth with Austin at the center.

“Without question, you essentially see this concentric movement outward from the urban core,” State Demographer Lloyd Potter said last month at the Texas Demographic Conference.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the state’s two-year budget Monday, giving his approval to the $217 billion document crafted by the Legislature.

Photo courtesy Jason Isaac

From Texas Standard:

Puerto Rico voted by a margin of 97 percent this weekend to become America’s 51st state. While the actual process of gaining statehood requires a number of steps, including congressional approval, the referendum showed overwhelming support for the move and is being interpreted by many as representing the will of the Puerto Rican people.

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From Texas Standard:

San Antonio federal judge ruled last week that the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office violated the rights of a Mexican citizen when he was held in jail on an immigration detainer after his criminal charges were dismissed.

Joey Palacios/Texas Public Radio

From Texas Standard:

In the Alamo City, the mayor's race ended in an upset, as an incumbent running for re-election was defeated for the first time in two decades. The margin was 55-45 percent, and Ivy Taylor, the city's first female, African-American mayor is out, defeated by City Councilmember Ron Nirenberg.

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From Texas Standard:

Ever sat at the gas pump, and just wondered when enough is enough? Constantly fluctuating gas prices, the wasted time spent sitting at the pump – not to mention fumes, smog and other environmental factors – all lead to the search for a better alternative.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

Have you voted yet? We're looking at you Pasadena, and you, El Paso, and you, too, San Antonio. Tomorrow there are runoff elections in all three cities. And in each city, the top job in city government is at stake.

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From Texas Standard:

For more than a year, Harris County has been caught in a legal drama over how it jails inmates who cannot afford to pay bail.

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From Texas Standard:

Austin Mayor Steve Adler released a letter yesterday addressed to “All Good People in the World” following two U.S. Senators’ call for South by Southwest to relocate their annual festival out of Texas until Senate Bill 4 is repealed or overturned by the courts.

Jon Wiley/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

What The New York Times is calling one of Texas’ “most tumultuous political moments in decades” is set to play out in a special session announced by Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday.

Lawmakers will return to the Capitol on July 18 for a 30-day special session, the first one Abbott has called during his time as governor.

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.

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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.

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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.

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