House Will Take Up Abortion Insurance Coverage Ban

In a dramatic turn of events, the House Calendars Committee on Sunday reversed course and sent a controversial bill prohibiting health insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act's marketplace from covering abortions to the full chamber for a vote.

 

 

 
Austin police Chief Art Acevedo and Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday speak with Sen. Royce West D-Dallas on Feb. 12th, 2015 inside Texas Capitol as the Senate Committee on State Affairs listens testimony on SB 11 & SB 17.
Austin police Chief Art Acevedo and Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday speak with Sen. Royce West D-Dallas on Feb. 12th, 2015 inside Texas Capitol as the Senate Committee on State Affairs listens testimony on SB 11 & SB 17.

House Signs Off on Body Camera Bill

The Texas House has tentatively approved legislation that could increase the use of cameras worn by police officers, an effort to smooth relations between law enforcement and the public by making their interactions more transparent.

 

 

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, on the House floor, May 13, 2015.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, on the House floor, May 13, 2015.

House Unanimously Backs Property Tax Break

In a 136-1 vote, the House favored Senate Bill 1, which would raise the homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000 if voters approve an amendment to the state Constitution in November.

House Signs Off on Body Camera Bill

Austin police Chief Art Acevedo and Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday speak with Sen. Royce West D-Dallas on Feb. 12th, 2015 inside Texas Capitol as the Senate Committee on State Affairs listens testimony on SB 11 & SB 17.
Austin police Chief Art Acevedo and Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday speak with Sen. Royce West D-Dallas on Feb. 12th, 2015 inside Texas Capitol as the Senate Committee on State Affairs listens testimony on SB 11 & SB 17.

The Texas House has tentatively approved legislation that could increase the use of cameras worn by police officers, an effort to smooth relations between law enforcement and the public by making their interactions more transparent.

 

 

House Unanimously Backs Property Tax Break

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, on the House floor, May 13, 2015.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, on the House floor, May 13, 2015.

In a 136-1 vote, the House favored Senate Bill 1, which would raise the homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000 if voters approve an amendment to the state Constitution in November.

 

State Cemetery Could Soon Be Under New Management

The Texas State Cemetery is home to more than 900 Texans who have shaped the civic and political life of the state, including 13 governors and Stephen F. Austin, the so-called Father of Texas.
The Texas State Cemetery is home to more than 900 Texans who have shaped the civic and political life of the state, including 13 governors and Stephen F. Austin, the so-called Father of Texas.

Lawmakers are aiming to restructure the chain of command at the Texas State Cemetery. But longtime caretakers of the famous graveyard think a measure moving through the Capitol goes too far in shifting power.

OSHA Chief: Fine for Deadly Leak in Texas "Petty Cash" for DuPont

DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte. In November 2014, a toxic gas leak killed four workers inside a unit that manufactures a popular insecticide called Lannate.
DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte. In November 2014, a toxic gas leak killed four workers inside a unit that manufactures a popular insecticide called Lannate.

Seven months after a toxic gas leak killed four workers at DuPont’s chemical plant in La Porte, a top U.S. labor official blasted the company’s commitment to workplace safety, saying he wished he could hand out a stiffer punishment.

 

Senate Won't Include "Abortion ID" Provision

State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, are shepherding House Bill 3994 through the Legislature. The bill would tighten the requirements on "judicial bypass," the legal process used by minors seeking abortions without parental consent.
State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, are shepherding House Bill 3994 through the Legislature. The bill would tighten the requirements on "judicial bypass," the legal process used by minors seeking abortions without parental consent.

The sponsor of a bill meant to impose additional restrictions on minors seeking abortions without parental consent will not pursue a controversial provision that would have required women to show a form of identification.

 

After Another Gun Fight, Open Carry Passes Senate

Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita, Falls, center, and Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, speak to Karina Davis the Senate Parliamentarian on March 16th, 2015
Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita, Falls, center, and Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, speak to Karina Davis the Senate Parliamentarian on March 16th, 2015

Legislation moving Texas closer to allowing open carry of handguns finally cleared the state Senate late Friday evening after the chamber was thrown into hours of tense debate over a controversial amendment limiting the power of police to stop people visibly carrying guns. 

Senate Approves State Employee Pension Funding Plan

State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, co-chair of the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, is shown calling an executive session on May, 12, 2014.
State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, co-chair of the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, is shown calling an executive session on May, 12, 2014.

The Texas Senate on Friday voted to beef up the state’s underfunded retirement system for state employees by adding about $440 million to the program, a plan that has received mixed reviews from state employee advocacy groups.