News For Thursday, May 16, 2013

Diana Davids Hinton: The TT Interview

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin professor and expert on Texas oil history on the current fracking boom and how it compares to the great booms of the past, as well as the strange way in which the Railroad Commission came to regulate oil and gas drilling.

Coordinating Board Nears End of Tough Sunset Process

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Raymund Paredes sits in the Senate gallery awaiting the end of the session on May 30, 2011.
Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Raymund Paredes sits in the Senate gallery awaiting the end of the session on May 30, 2011.

UPDATED: House lawmakers on Wednesday put their stamp of approval on a measure that would keep the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in business for another 12 years. But they tacked on a few more amendments. 

 

Amended South Texas University Bill Passes Senate

State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, talks to a colleague on the Senate floor after being the only Democrat to vote yes on HB1 the state budget, which passed the Senate, 20-11 on May 28, 2011.
State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, talks to a colleague on the Senate floor after being the only Democrat to vote yes on HB1 the state budget, which passed the Senate, 20-11 on May 28, 2011.

The Texas Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a controversial committee substitute to House Bill 1000, which creates a new university and medical school in the Rio Grande Valley.

Senator Says Innocence Commission Bill is in Trouble

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, speaks against the motion to adopt the Senate version of the state budget on May 4, 2011.
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, speaks against the motion to adopt the Senate version of the state budget on May 4, 2011.

Two days after an advocate for a bill establishing a commission to review wrongful convictions lashed out at a state senator who voiced opposition to the bill, the measure's Senate sponsor says he doesn't have the votes to move the legislation forward.

Perry Signs Michael Morton Act

Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 1611, known as the Michael Morton Act, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence in criminal cases. Morton served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder before he was exonerated in 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 1611, known as the Michael Morton Act, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence in criminal cases. Morton served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder before he was exonerated in 2011.

With exoneree Michael Morton by his side, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a measure that aims to avoid wrongful convictions by preventing prosecutors from suppressing evidence.

 

 

The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for May 16, 2013

Appropriations Chairman State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, l, listens as State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, grills state auditors on CPRIT matters on Feb. 6, 2013
Appropriations Chairman State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, l, listens as State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, grills state auditors on CPRIT matters on Feb. 6, 2013

Your evening reading: budget negotiations back in limbo; Perry signs Michael Morton Act; senator says Kitzman unlikely to win confirmation

Cause of West Explosion Remains Unclear

State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy spoke during the West press conference at West High School and announced that the cause of the explosion is still undetermined.
State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy spoke during the West press conference at West High School and announced that the cause of the explosion is still undetermined.

The cause of the West fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people on April 17 has been ruled “undetermined,” officials announced at a press conference in the town's high school parking lot on Thursday.

 

Texas House Backs Bill Expanding Charter Schools

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke Wednesday as Texas charter school supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol to lobby the Legislature for more funding.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke Wednesday as Texas charter school supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol to lobby the Legislature for more funding.

UPDATED: A measure targeting a Turkish charter school network was added to major legislation from Senate Education Chairman Dan Patrick that would increase the number of publicly funded, privately operated schools as it passed the Texas House on Thursday, 105-34.