The Senate passed a House bill that would allow teachers and other public school staff to use holiday greetings like "Merry Christmas” and "Happy Hanukkah" and to display Christmas trees, menorahs and other cultural icons of winter celebrations.Full Story
Jay Root is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when Root walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't resist the draw: it was the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and soon realized it wasn't for him. Root applied for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. Root has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.Root is the author of “Oops! A Diary From The 2012 Campaign Trail,” an insider’s account of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s dramatic collapse in the 2012 presidential race. The book was released in September, 2012.
U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady and Pete Gallego are from different political parties, but they are united in trying to bring a little bipartisanship to the Texas delegation. They have scheduled a breakfast next week to discuss ways to forge a common agenda for the state.Full Story
It’s still too early to start putting odds on the likelihood of a special session in Texas, but Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday gave lawmakers a roadmap to avoid one.
An effort to ban "double dipping" by elected officials, a practice brought to light during Gov. Rick Perry's run for president, has gone on life support.Full Story
Small cigarette manufacturers would face new state fees on their sales under a measure that passed the Texas House in a preliminary vote on Monday — a big win for Big Tobacco.
Top elected officials wouldn't decide who gets state commercialization grants under a bill that got an early OK in the House. The bill is aimed at alleviating concerns that friends of Rick Perry have been getting preferential treatment.
UPDATED: The University Interscholastic League has determined that a student's disqualification from a track meet had everything to do with the athlete's disrespectful behavior and nothing to do with his religious beliefs.
University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall came under fire for failing to disclose all of the lawsuits in his background before he joined the board. Hall has since updated the filings, which were obtained through an open records request.Full Story
A bill that would draw $2 billion for water projects from the Rainy Day Fund is set to hit the House floor Monday afternoon. The debate could turn to focus on what it means to be a fiscal conservative in the Tea Party era.Full Story
Gov. Rick Perry is warning state legislators that it could be a long, hot summer in Austin if they don’t pass his top priorities: funding water and transportation projects and cutting business taxes.Full Story
Promoters say tax subsidies are needed to lure events that otherwise wouldn't be held in Texas. Critics say the practice is corporate welfare. The Texas Senate on Thursday backed legislation that keeps the subsidies going but with new restrictions and oversight.Full Story
One Texan's transparency is another’s right to privacy, and people in politics generally find it easier to demand openness than to provide it.Full Story
The oil industry vigorously opposed efforts to list the threatened dunes sagebrush lizard as an endangered species. But three oil company lobbyists were given day-to-day oversight of the effort to save the reptile.Full Story
Politically active nonprofits, which are playing an increasingly important role in state elections, would no longer be able to hide the identity of their major donors under a bill making its way through the Texas Legislature.
The obscure law that allows Gov. Rick Perry to collect both his pension and salary was the subject of a hearing Monday. A proposed bill would prevent future state officeholders from using the provision.Full Story