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State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, and other representatives on the House floor during budget debate March 31, 2015.
State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, and other representatives on the House floor during budget debate March 31, 2015.

House Closes Loophole, Limits Payday Lender Telemarketing

Legislation passed by the House on Wednesday will prohibit payday lenders and auto title loan businesses from placing telemarketing calls to Texans on the "do not call" list. The measure now heads to the Senate. 

 

 

House Closes Loophole, Limits Payday Lender Telemarketing

State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, and other representatives on the House floor during budget debate March 31, 2015.
State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, and other representatives on the House floor during budget debate March 31, 2015.

Legislation passed by the House on Wednesday will prohibit payday lenders and auto title loan businesses from placing telemarketing calls to Texans on the "do not call" list. The measure now heads to the Senate. 

 

 

Campus Carry May Get New Life in Senate

House sponsor State Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, stands among House members during the consideration of a point of order on HB 972 a campus carry bill on May 4, 2013.
House sponsor State Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, stands among House members during the consideration of a point of order on HB 972 a campus carry bill on May 4, 2013.

A languishing measure requiring public universities and colleges to allow concealed handguns on campus may gain a fast-track to passage under a plan to attach it as an amendment to another gun bill.

 

Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright Dies

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U.S. Speaker of the House, Jim Wright of Texas
U.S. Speaker of the House, Jim Wright of Texas

Jim Wright, a Fort Worth Democrat who spent 34 years in Congress and became the 48th speaker of the U.S. House, has died. 

Senate OKs Tougher Rules for Hazlewood Tuition Program

Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, speaks to reporters on May 5, 2015 after the passage of his bill seeking to tighten eligibility requirements for free tuition under the Hazlewood program.
Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, speaks to reporters on May 5, 2015 after the passage of his bill seeking to tighten eligibility requirements for free tuition under the Hazlewood program.

In an effort to contain growing costs, the Texas Senate voted Tuesday to make it harder for veterans to pass free in-state tuition benefits onto their children. Universities have been pleading for help with those spiraling costs.

Texas to Sue Feds Over "Clean Power Plan"

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the grand opening of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's new Austin building on April 21, 2015.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the grand opening of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's new Austin building on April 21, 2015.

Attorney General Ken Paxton says he plans to sue the Obama administration over the proposed “Clean Power Plan,” its sweeping plan to combat climate change by slashing carbon emissions from power plants.

 

Senate OKs Sealing More Criminal Records

Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, then a state representative, at a committee hearing on May 12, 2014.
Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, then a state representative, at a committee hearing on May 12, 2014.

The criminal records of one-time offenders who stay out of trouble would be sealed and hidden from the public under a bill that cleared the Senate Tuesday. Supporters call it a second chance, but critics fear unknowing employers will pay the price. 

Analysis: For Legislators, an Extra Incentive to Finish State Budget

State Comptroller Glenn Hegar says his revenue estimate to divvy up for the 2016-17 budget will be about $113 billion.
State Comptroller Glenn Hegar says his revenue estimate to divvy up for the 2016-17 budget will be about $113 billion.

If state budget writers can't get a deal on the budget during the regular session, they'll have to come back to finish. And with the state economy slowing down, going into overtime could mean less money for tax breaks and state programs.

The Brief: May 6, 2015

Empty Texas House seat with paperwork, May 1, 2015.
Empty Texas House seat with paperwork, May 1, 2015.

News broke Tuesday afternoon of plans by an activist group to release videos this summer of state lawmakers that purportedly capture "a whole variety of bad behavior" but that lawmakers said was harassment.