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Public Integrity Unit Chief Testifies Before Senators

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

The head of the state's public integrity unit told Senate lawmakers on Monday that Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of its funding in 2013 forced the division — which investigates public corruption — to lay off staff and give up cases.

TxDOT: Toll Billing Problems Being Addressed

Interstate 45 Gulf Freeway's HOV and Toll lanes exit into Metro's Eastowood Transit Center in Houston Friday, October 19, 2012.
Interstate 45 Gulf Freeway's HOV and Toll lanes exit into Metro's Eastowood Transit Center in Houston Friday, October 19, 2012.

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation and Xerox, the company handling the state's tolling operations, said Thursday that fixes to customer service and billing issues were in the works.

Nelson Emphasizes Property Tax Relief in Senate Budget

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

Nearly two weeks after the House's base budget was released, Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson presented the Senate's plan, which she said sets aside $3 billion for "meaningful" property tax relief for Texas homeowners.

Bill Targets Toll Road's Power to Take Land

Traffic on I-30 on the eastern side of Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall on June 6. A proposed private tollway to relieve traffic in the area appears to be dead.
Traffic on I-30 on the eastern side of Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall on June 6. A proposed private tollway to relieve traffic in the area appears to be dead.

Only one private company in the state has the power to condemn and take land for a toll road. Following public backlash over its proposed road near Dallas, state Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, wants to take that power away.

Musk: Texas a "Leading Candidate" for Hyperloop Track

Elon Musk, the CEO and of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, spoke at the Texas Transportation Forum in Austin on Jan. 15, 2015.
Elon Musk, the CEO and of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, spoke at the Texas Transportation Forum in Austin on Jan. 15, 2015.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday that Texas is in the driver's seat for a test track for a transportation system known as the Hyperloop. He also said that a SpaceX facility wouldn't have been built in Texas without economic incentives.

Straus Re-elected House Speaker Over Tea Party Challenger

Rep. Joe Straus listens to a speech by a fellow member nominating him as speaker of the House.
Rep. Joe Straus listens to a speech by a fellow member nominating him as speaker of the House.

UPDATED: With the backing of 85 percent of the Texas House, San Antonio Republican Joe Straus was re-elected to his fourth term Tuesday. Straus drew 128 votes for re-election against challenger state Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, who drew 19 votes.