House Passes Ethics Bill; Senate Showdown Likely

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, registers a no vote on an amendment to his ethics bill SB19 on May 26, 2015.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, registers a no vote on an amendment to his ethics bill SB19 on May 26, 2015.

The Texas House on Wednesday gave final sign-off to a far-reaching ethics reform package that would shine light on so-called “dark money” while restricting undercover recordings of people in the state Capitol.  

Police Chiefs: Open Carry "Handcuffs" Law Enforcement

Austin police Chief Art Acevedo and Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday speak with Sen. Royce West D-Dallas on Feb. 12th, 2015 inside Texas Capitol as the Senate Committee on State Affairs listens testimony on SB 11 & SB 17.
Austin police Chief Art Acevedo and Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday speak with Sen. Royce West D-Dallas on Feb. 12th, 2015 inside Texas Capitol as the Senate Committee on State Affairs listens testimony on SB 11 & SB 17.

Texas police chiefs are urging Gov. Greg Abbott to veto legislation repealing certain handgun restrictions in Texas if lawmakers do not remove a controversial provision the chiefs fear would allow criminals to carry firearms without repercussions. 

 

 

Funding Cut as Film, Video Game Lobbies Squabble

Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.
Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.

The incentive fund for attracting film and video game companies to Texas is about to take a major budget hit. Advocates for both industries are licking their wounds, and blaming each other for failing to present a united front.

After Day of Rules Warfare, Both Sides Claim Some Wins

House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel is handed another stack of bills during debate on S.B. 19 Tuesday evening May 26, 2015 in the Texas House.
House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel is handed another stack of bills during debate on S.B. 19 Tuesday evening May 26, 2015 in the Texas House.

A daylong parliamentary battle ensued Tuesday as the Texas House faced a crucial deadline to pass many major bills before they died. Democrats succeeded in killing an abortion bill, while Republicans managed to pass ethics reform legislation and a version of campus carry.

Before Central Texas Flooding, Officials Sounded Alarm

Residents of Wimberley survey the devastation after the Blanco River crested its banks along River Road in Wimberley on May 25, 2015.
Residents of Wimberley survey the devastation after the Blanco River crested its banks along River Road in Wimberley on May 25, 2015.

When Wimberley residents woke up Sunday to flooding, the surprise was palpable: The area had been going through a drought. But months earlier, local officials had voiced concerns about the rapidly growing region's vulnerability to flooding.