Analysis: Disarming a Dangerous Coalition

An end-of-session deal on open carry of handguns and limits on police in Texas rescued Gov. Greg Abbott from political crossfire between law enforcement officials and an unusual coalition of liberal and conservative lawmakers

 
Current UT-Austin Executive Vice President and Provost Greg Fenves will take over as president of the university on June 3, 2015.
Current UT-Austin Executive Vice President and Provost Greg Fenves will take over as president of the university on June 3, 2015.

Vacancies Give New UT President Room to Build

When Bill Powers’ second-in-command was appointed to replace him as president of UT-Austin this year, it would have been reasonable to expect continuity in the school's upper ranks. But that's not the situation Greg Fenves inherited. 

Vacancies Give New UT President Room to Build

Current UT-Austin Executive Vice President and Provost Greg Fenves will take over as president of the university on June 3, 2015.
Current UT-Austin Executive Vice President and Provost Greg Fenves will take over as president of the university on June 3, 2015.

When Bill Powers’ second-in-command was appointed to replace him as president of UT-Austin this year, it would have been reasonable to expect continuity in the school's upper ranks. But that's not the situation Greg Fenves inherited. 

 

Campus Carry Headed to Conference Committee

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, during a debate over his campus carry bill, SB 11, on March 18, 2015.
State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, during a debate over his campus carry bill, SB 11, on March 18, 2015.

Significant changes limiting the reach of legislation requiring Texas universities to allow concealed handguns on campus may be in danger as House and Senate lawmakers work out their differences on the bill. 

 

Ethics Reform: A Guide to What's Still Alive

State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, on the House floor on May 4, 2013.
State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, on the House floor on May 4, 2013.

Now that the massive overhaul contained in Senate Bill 19 has gone on life support, a few targeted efforts to shine the light on conflicts of interest and enhance transparency remain. Here's a guide to what's moving and what's not.

Drought Eases, but Aquifers Are Slow to Recharge

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A view downstream from the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Water from the Edwards Aquifer flows from San Marcos Springs into the San Marcos River.
A view downstream from the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Water from the Edwards Aquifer flows from San Marcos Springs into the San Marcos River.

Heavy rains have led to substantial drought relief throughout Texas, but aquifers — which provide about 60 percent of the state's water supply — have been slower to replenish.

The Brief: May 29, 2015

House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, speaks with House Appropriations Chair John Otto, R-Dayton, and House Administration Chair Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, on the House floor on May 14, 2015.
House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, speaks with House Appropriations Chair John Otto, R-Dayton, and House Administration Chair Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, on the House floor on May 14, 2015.

The Dallas Morning News takes a detailed look at the evolution of the deal on tax cuts this session and finds that at a few critical junctures, the deal almost derailed entirely.

Old Convictions, New Science: Texas Tackles Debunked Forensics

Activist Jamie Bush attends the Texas Forensic Science Commission board meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.
Activist Jamie Bush attends the Texas Forensic Science Commission board meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.

A state law granting a new trial in cases where the forensic science was flawed has hit an impediment: What if a field of such science has not been discredited, but an individual scientist makes a mistake? 

New in TribTalk: Cornyn on Criminal Justice

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate Majority Whip, holds a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, May 12.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate Majority Whip, holds a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, May 12.

Congress should follow Texas' lead on criminal justice reform and pass common-sense proposals that will increase public safety and save taxpayer dollars, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn writes.