Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015

New Prosecution System for Politicians Advances

Texas politicians are on the verge of creating a new system for prosecuting a unique type of white collar crime — the type that involves them. 

State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.
State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.

Major Ethics Overhaul All but Dead

With no collective will to expose "dark money" contributions in Texas, a major ethics overhaul appears all but dead in the waning hours of the 2015 legislatives session. 

University of Texas at Austin students pass by the Main Building on their way to and from classes.
University of Texas at Austin students pass by the Main Building on their way to and from classes.

Bonds for Campus Construction Sent to the Governor

Texas universities hoping for state help in constructing new buildings are close to receiving their wish after the House and Senate gave final approval to legislation authorizing $3.1 billion worth of construction bonds. 

 

New Prosecution System for Politicians Advances

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015

Texas politicians are on the verge of creating a new system for prosecuting a unique type of white collar crime — the type that involves them. 

Major Ethics Overhaul All but Dead

State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.
State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.

With no collective will to expose "dark money" contributions in Texas, a major ethics overhaul appears all but dead in the waning hours of the 2015 legislatives session. 

Bonds for Campus Construction Sent to the Governor

University of Texas at Austin students pass by the Main Building on their way to and from classes.
University of Texas at Austin students pass by the Main Building on their way to and from classes.

Texas universities hoping for state help in constructing new buildings are close to receiving their wish after the House and Senate gave final approval to legislation authorizing $3.1 billion worth of construction bonds. 

 

 

Hazlewood Conundrum Lingers Into Weekend

Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Granbury listens during debate of his campus carry bill SB #11 on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Granbury listens during debate of his campus carry bill SB #11 on March 18th, 2015

Key lawmakers are still far from an agreement on the future of a popular college tuition program for Texas veterans and their children. If nothing is done, some lawmakers say, the program known as Hazlewood could financially cripple the state's universities. 

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. 

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.