State & Region
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Senate approves bills on "private school choice" and school finance study

The Texas Senate tentatively passed legislation Monday to subsidize private school tuition and a bill to study the system for funding public schools... more

Texas Senate passes bill targeting public empoyee union dues

The Texas Senate late Tuesday night preliminarily approved legislation that would end the state's practice of collecting membership dues for certain public employees who are members of labor unions … more

Texas Legislature convenes in 85th regular session

AUSTIN-Lawmakers gathered at the state Capitol in their respective houses on Jan. 10, opening day for the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature. The 140-day session will conclude on May 29. After taking the oath of office and being sworn … more

Federal judge says again, Texas voter ID law is discriminatory

AUSTIN — U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi on April 10 ruled the State of Texas has failed to prove that the voter identification law was not written with discriminatory intent and purpose.The ruling came in response to a … more

Senate backs bill that would roll back cellphone safety laws in dozens of Texas cities

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 … more

Texas Senate passes bill to allow people to vote on whether a city can annex them

No filibuster was going to kill annexation reform in the Texas Senate this time around. The Senate on Wednesday tentatively passed Senate Bill 6, which would allow residents of areas up for … more

Four issues raised to emergency status

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his second biennial “State of the State” address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 31. In exercising his prerogative as governor, Abbott presented a short list of emergency items for … more

State creates mental health task force for Harvey-affected schools

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Oct. 11 announced the establishment of the Hurricane Harvey Task Force on School Mental Health Supports to deliver needed attention to schools and higher education institutions impacted by the storm.

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Flood-related suffering, relief efforts grow in Harvey’s wake

AUSTIN — Emergency relief operations expanded and intensified last week as floodwaters caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey-generated rains inundated and overwhelmed Harris County and … more

Governor applauds lawmakers’ intentions for special session

Gov. Greg Abbott, in the last 10 days of June, posted news releases pointing out specific lawmakers and their plans to file bills that fulfill his expectations for the 30-day special session, which he called to begin July 18. more

Disabled Texans say bathroom bill could further complicate their lives

For Octavio Armendariz, using the bathroom while he’s home is no big deal. When the autistic eight-year-old is out in public with his mom, it’s a different story … more

Despite Texans' support, effort to repeal health care law narrowly defeated in U.S. Senate

The efforts of U.S. Senate Republicans to repeal former President Obama's 2010 health care law collapsed early Friday morning, thanks to a shocking defection from U.S. Sen. John McCain … more

Lawmakers plan to file teacher pay legislation in special session

A special session of the Texas Legislature, called by Gov. Greg Abbott, is set to begin on July 18. The agenda is big. more

Abbott gives lawmakers initial marching orders for special session

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 10 issued a formal proclamation for the special session that begins July 18, directing the Texas Legislature to extend expiration dates for the Texas Medical Board and other state boards that regulate psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers. more

Senate races through agenda to get to other-than-Sunset bills

The 85th Texas Legislature convened at the Capitol on July 18 for its first called session, the main purpose being for lawmakers to extend the life of certain state agencies scheduled for termination, and then to proceed to other matters. more

Abbott tells sheriff to reverse sanctuary policy or lose funding

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott has stepped up the pressure on Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez to participate in immigration enforcement, warning that she could lose state funding if she refuses.In a Jan. 23 letter, Abbott urged the sheriff to … more

Governor demands action, calls lawmakers back to Austin

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 announced a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin on July 18 to address issues that went unresolved during the contentious 140-day regular session that ended May 29. more

State budget awaits final approval from governor

Governor Greg Abbott as of June 4 had not signed Senate Bill 1, the 2018-2019 state budget finally approved by both houses of the 85th Texas Legislature on May 27. SB 1 appropriates $216.8 billion in total spending for the state’s budget during the 2018-19 biennium. more

Senate panel OKs budget for upcoming two-year period

A state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019 cleared the first in a series of hurdles when the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved committee substitute Senate Bill 1 on March 22.The legislation next moves to the full Senate for … more

AG intervenes in ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ lawsuit

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Dec. 15 intervened in a lawsuit filed on behalf of nurse’s aide Dedra Shannon against the Killeen Independent School District over its decision to take down Shannon’s Christmas decoration.According … more
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