U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday, April 10, 2015.
U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday, April 10, 2015.

Cruz Dishes Out Red Meat for Republican Activists in New Hampshire

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz served a generous helping of red meat to GOP activists in New Hampshire on Saturday, taking time-worn jabs at his favorite targets with a few new wrinkles. He filled his speech at a Republican forum with shots at Hillary Clinton, The New York Times and President Obama.

 
 

After Misfire, House Reloads Open Carry Bill

State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, held an impromptu press conference to explain the postponement of his open carry bill after House Democrats raised a point of order on April 14, 2015.
State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, held an impromptu press conference to explain the postponement of his open carry bill after House Democrats raised a point of order on April 14, 2015.

After a bit of a Democratic gamesmanship shot down a major gun debate before it started, a measure that would allow gun owners with a concealed handgun license to carry their weapons openly in public is back on the House schedule Friday.

Texas House Approves "Denton Fracking Bill"

State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, lays out HB 40 that would curb local control over oil and gas activities on April 17, 2015. With a 122-18 vote, the House sent the bill to the Senate.
State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, lays out HB 40 that would curb local control over oil and gas activities on April 17, 2015. With a 122-18 vote, the House sent the bill to the Senate.

UPDATED: The Texas House on Friday approved House Bill 40, which would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of oil and gas activities. 

 

Analysis: Abbott's Caution on Display in Tax Fight

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he has problems with a proposed state budget that includes significant business franchise taxes during a Tax Day press conference on April 15, 2015.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he has problems with a proposed state budget that includes significant business franchise taxes during a Tax Day press conference on April 15, 2015.

Texans grew accustomed to the swagger and bombast of Rick Perry, a governor who didn’t shy from confrontation with the Legislature and upended the notion that his office was inherently weak. Newly elected Gov. Greg Abbott, ever cautious and lawyerly, is cutting a different path.

 

Analysis: Winning and Losing Without Even Voting on the Bills

House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel shows the rule book to a group of House members including Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, during a point of order called on HB 11 March 18, 2015.
House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel shows the rule book to a group of House members including Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, during a point of order called on HB 11 March 18, 2015.

Voting against legislation isn't the only way to kill it. Some of the most powerful tools available to Texas legislators are found in the dry pages of their parliamentary rulebooks.

Open Carry Wins Initial Approval in Texas House

Chairman State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, sponsor of HB 910 open carry legislation, just before final passage of the bill April 17, 2015 by a 96-35 House vote.
Chairman State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, sponsor of HB 910 open carry legislation, just before final passage of the bill April 17, 2015 by a 96-35 House vote.

After a debate that stretched for more than five hours, the Texas House passed a bill allowing the open carry of handguns in public places 96 to 35.

Judges Weigh Fate of Immigration Policy

From left, immigration rights activists Manuel Ramirez, Lucian Villasenor and Adrian Orozco protest President Obama's Civil Rights Summit speech at the University of Texas in 2014, challenging the president's dedication to civil rights.
From left, immigration rights activists Manuel Ramirez, Lucian Villasenor and Adrian Orozco protest President Obama's Civil Rights Summit speech at the University of Texas in 2014, challenging the president's dedication to civil rights.

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers met some vigorous skepticism when they tried to convince a panel of federal appellate judges that Texas lacks standing to sue over federal immigration policies.

 

In N.H. Speech, Perry Targets Clinton on Foreign Policy

Former Gov. Rick Perry addresses the National Rifle Association's annual meeting Friday in Nashville. He used the speech to say the 2016 presidential  election will not be about "lofty rhetoric."
Former Gov. Rick Perry addresses the National Rifle Association's annual meeting Friday in Nashville. He used the speech to say the 2016 presidential election will not be about "lofty rhetoric."

Without directly naming Hillary Clinton, former Gov. Rick Perry ratcheted up his criticism of the Democratic presidential contender on Friday afternoon at a gathering of New Hampshire Republicans. 

 

After Dog Shootings, House Approves Canine Training for Cops

Lily was shot and killed on May 26, 2012, by a Fort Worth police officer who had never received training to deal with his fear of dogs.
Lily was shot and killed on May 26, 2012, by a Fort Worth police officer who had never received training to deal with his fear of dogs.

Three years after a police officer shot and killed their 5-year-old border collie, Mark and Cindy Boling watched Friday as the Texas House voted for a police canine training program they have been calling for since the day the dog died.