GOVERNMENT: Legislature

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.

Nelson Emphasizes Property Tax Relief in Senate Base Budget

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.

Nelson Emphasizes Property Tax Relief in Senate Base 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.

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Interactive: Bill Tracker for the 83rd Session

Health Commission Ditching Anti-Fraud Initiative Started by Stick

Jack Stick in the evidence room of the state Office of Inspector General in Austin on June 18, 2012.
Jack Stick in the evidence room of the state Office of Inspector General in Austin on June 18, 2012.

After Jack Stick joined the Health and Human Services Commission's Office of Inspector General, he incorporated sales quota-like performance standards for investigators. The effort got results, but reviews have been mixed and the initiative is being shut down.

Analysis: The New Guys and an Election That's Four Years Away

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott (left), Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick and Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht are shown in the House chamber on Jan. 13, 2015, the first day of the 84th Legislative Session.
Gov.-elect Greg Abbott (left), Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick and Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht are shown in the House chamber on Jan. 13, 2015, the first day of the 84th Legislative Session.

Sure, it's early to talk about the 2018 governor's race. But think about this legislative session and the new faces in state offices and the issues that are developing: This is what you'll be looking back on when that 2018 race starts to form.

Prosecutor: Perry Veto Forced End to Several Contract Cases

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.

Travis County prosecutors said Saturday they dropped several criminal investigations — including one first reported by the Houston Chronicle involving no-bid state contracts — after Gov. Rick Perry vetoed their state funding in 2013. 

Patrick Sets Committees; Taylor Gets Education

Then-state Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, is shown on the second-to-last day of the first-called special session during the 82nd Legislature on June 27, 2011. Taylor was elected to the Texas Senate in 2012.
Then-state Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, is shown on the second-to-last day of the first-called special session during the 82nd Legislature on June 27, 2011. Taylor was elected to the Texas Senate in 2012.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's office on Friday announced new committee members. Among the new chairs: State Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, who will lead the Senate Education Committee.

Lawmakers Consider Boosting Earthquake Research

Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Texas Railroad Commission on Jan. 21, 2014, about her concerns with an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.
Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Texas Railroad Commission on Jan. 21, 2014, about her concerns with an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.

State lawmakers are considering a nearly $2.5 million plan to help answer a pressing question in some Texas communities: Why does the ground keep shaking?