GOVERNMENT: Legislature

Early voting at the Acres Home Multiservice Center in Houston on Oct. 26, 2014.
Early voting at the Acres Home Multiservice Center in Houston on Oct. 26, 2014.

Early Voting Turnout Rate Down in Most of State

With early voting wrapping up Friday, turnout numbers don't seem to reflect much result from Democratic efforts to cultivate new voters. That's bad news for a party looking to end its two-decade statewide electoral drought.

 

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.

Van de Putte's Statewide Bus Tour Ventures off Democrats' Beaten Path

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, is reaching out to voters in conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas — a nod to Democrats’ dependence on increasing voter turnout in statewide races.

A nod to the city's changing demographics, the masthead for a branch of Jefferson Dental Clinics in Irving, Texas includes a large Spanish-language sign on its storefront that reads, “A friend of the Hispanic family.”
A nod to the city's changing demographics, the masthead for a branch of Jefferson Dental Clinics in Irving, Texas includes a large Spanish-language sign on its storefront that reads, “A friend of the Hispanic family.”

Changing Demographics Create a Battleground in North Texas District

Democrats are hoping to take advantage of the shifting demographics in Irving to flip Texas House District 105, which has been held by a Republican for more than a decade. 

Van de Putte's Statewide Bus Tour Ventures off Democrats' Beaten Path

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, is reaching out to voters in conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas — a nod to Democrats’ dependence on increasing voter turnout in statewide races.

Changing Demographics Create a Battleground in North Texas District

A nod to the city's changing demographics, the masthead for a branch of Jefferson Dental Clinics in Irving, Texas includes a large Spanish-language sign on its storefront that reads, “A friend of the Hispanic family.”
A nod to the city's changing demographics, the masthead for a branch of Jefferson Dental Clinics in Irving, Texas includes a large Spanish-language sign on its storefront that reads, “A friend of the Hispanic family.”

Democrats are hoping to take advantage of the shifting demographics in Irving to flip Texas House District 105, which has been held by a Republican for more than a decade. 

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Interactive: Bill Tracker for the 83rd Session

Details Yet to Emerge in Patrick's Tax Proposal

Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, is shown at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.
Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, is shown at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.

Dan Patrick, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, has made clear that he wants to lower property taxes. What he has left unclear — both to voters and to prominent business groups that have endorsed him — is exactly how he'll do that.

Appeals Court: Texas Can Enforce Strict Abortion Rules for Now

A large crowd of abortion rights advocates gathered Thursday at the Texas capitol to protest strict abortion regulations lawmakers that approved in the 2013 special session and the lingering affects of 2011 cuts to family planning services, Feb. 20, 2014.
A large crowd of abortion rights advocates gathered Thursday at the Texas capitol to protest strict abortion regulations lawmakers that approved in the 2013 special session and the lingering affects of 2011 cuts to family planning services, Feb. 20, 2014.

As it hears arguments in an appeal of a federal judge’s decision overturning new requirements for Texas abortion facilities, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Texas could enforce the requirements in the meantime. 

 

 

In Debate, Patrick, Van de Putte Spar Over Taxes

State Sens. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, the candidates for lieutenant governor, debated in Austin on Sept. 29, 2014.
State Sens. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, the candidates for lieutenant governor, debated in Austin on Sept. 29, 2014.

In the only scheduled debate in their race for lieutenant governor, state Sens. Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte faced off on Monday night in a lively exchange that displayed divergent positions. 

 

Abortion Providers Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Review Decision

A day after a federal appeals court allowed Texas to begin enforcing new abortion restrictions, a group protested the ruling on the South Steps of the Texas Capitol building.
A day after a federal appeals court allowed Texas to begin enforcing new abortion restrictions, a group protested the ruling on the South Steps of the Texas Capitol building.

After a federal appeals court ruled that the state could temporarily enforce new requirements for abortion facilities, Texas abortion providers are looking to the U.S. Supreme Court.