U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon
U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon

U.S. Rep. Thornberry Juggles Politics as House Armed Services Chairman

U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and many of his GOP colleagues are under Democratic fire for backing language in a bill that would delay stricter regulations on high-interest lenders. But Thornberry says the issue is a matter of personal freedom. 

 
Capitol lobbyist Andrea Sloan waged a public battle with ovarian cancer, seeking federal permission to try an experimental treatment in 2013. She died Jan. 1, 2014.
Capitol lobbyist Andrea Sloan waged a public battle with ovarian cancer, seeking federal permission to try an experimental treatment in 2013. She died Jan. 1, 2014.

Senate Unanimously Backs House's "Right to Try" Legislation

The Senate gave a unanimous vote of support on Friday to a measure that would allow terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs that have received preliminary approval by the FDA.

Senate Unanimously Backs House's "Right to Try" Legislation

Capitol lobbyist Andrea Sloan waged a public battle with ovarian cancer, seeking federal permission to try an experimental treatment in 2013. She died Jan. 1, 2014.
Capitol lobbyist Andrea Sloan waged a public battle with ovarian cancer, seeking federal permission to try an experimental treatment in 2013. She died Jan. 1, 2014.

The Senate gave a unanimous vote of support on Friday to a measure that would allow terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs that have received preliminary approval by the FDA.

 

House, Senate Negotiators Reach Deal on Budget

Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.
Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.

Top House and Senate negotiators sealed up the final unresolved issues on a two-year budget deal on Thursday evening, including removing controversial language that would have killed a proposed Dallas-Houston bullet train.

Ethics Bill Hits Dark Money, Secret Recording

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, on the House floor on May 7, 2015.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, on the House floor on May 7, 2015.

An ethics overhaul package, dramatically reworked, now takes aim at people who secretly record lawmakers inside the Texas Capitol. It also would require certain politically active nonprofits to disclose large donations.

In Iowa, Voters Size Up Perry's Shot at Redemption

Former Gov. Rick Perry greets Iowans Monday in Sioux Center. The stop at a Pizza Ranch came during a five-day swing through the Hawkeye State for Perry.
Former Gov. Rick Perry greets Iowans Monday in Sioux Center. The stop at a Pizza Ranch came during a five-day swing through the Hawkeye State for Perry.

Iowans got one last chance this week to size up former Gov. Rick Perry's shot at redemption before a likely June 4 presidential announcement. In nearly a dozen events across the state, Perry gave them plenty of reasons not to count him out.

Contracting Experiment Drawing Mixed Reviews

Design-build contracts allow the engineering and construction of a project to be done by a single company.
Design-build contracts allow the engineering and construction of a project to be done by a single company.

After four years of trying out a new way of awarding state contracts known as design-build, lawmakers aren't sure taxpayers get a better deal, and Texas businesses say they're being muscled out of jobs by larger, out-of-state companies. 

Bill That Increases Unemployment Taxes Moves Ahead

State Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, who replaced Sen. Tommy Williams at TTEvents Dec. 11, 2014
State Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, who replaced Sen. Tommy Williams at TTEvents Dec. 11, 2014

Legislation pushed by a politically connected company would increase unemployment taxes for Texas employers. Proponents say it would help outsourcing companies avoid "double taxation." Critics say it's a special interest perk. 

Union Dues Spark an End-of-Session Dispute

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, answers an audience question during TTEvents on April 30, 2015.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, answers an audience question during TTEvents on April 30, 2015.

An unexpected end-of-session skirmish over payroll deductions for union dues pits Republicans against Democrats, business against labor, and presents lawmakers with one of those votes that might be important in next year's elections.

Abbott: Texas Will Work to Comply With Anti-Prison Rape Law

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.

In a shift away from his predecessor Rick Perry, Gov. Greg Abbott has informed the U.S. Justice Department that Texas plans to comply as much as possible with a federal law that aims to prevent prison rape.