GOVERNMENT: Legislature

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Interactive: Bill Tracker for the 83rd Session

Property Tax Lending Under Review Again

Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.
Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.

Facing an interim charge to review a bill regulating property tax loans in Texas, lawmakers are taking a closer look at the controversial industry.

The Polling Center: Texans Aim for Self-Defense in Gun Control Debate

The Guns Galore shop in Killeen where alleged Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez purchased the handgun used in the April 2, 2014 mass slaying.
The Guns Galore shop in Killeen where alleged Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez purchased the handgun used in the April 2, 2014 mass slaying.

To the extent that Wednesday's Fort Hood shooting prompts a renewed discussion of guns in Texas, discussion will almost certainly be dominated by talk of increasing access to guns, not curtailing it. 

Special Prosecutor: Perry's Veto of Integrity Unit Funds "Concerning"

Texas Governor Rick Perry attends groundbreaking ceremony for Teletón USA CRIT children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas, on August 6th, 2013.
Texas Governor Rick Perry attends groundbreaking ceremony for Teletón USA CRIT children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas, on August 6th, 2013.

A special prosecutor, who is investigating whether Gov. Rick Perry abused his authority when he eliminated state funding of the Texas public integrity unit, told the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE that what he’s found so far is “concerning.”

 

Department Hopes Data Effort Will Help Reduce Child Deaths

John Specia (left), the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek testify Feb. 20, 2014, at a Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing.
John Specia (left), the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek testify Feb. 20, 2014, at a Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing.

The Department of Family and Protective Services has ramped up its efforts to conduct predictive data analysis and reduce the high turnover of CPS caseworkers, the agency’s commissioner told a panel of senators on Thursday.

Challengers Say Campbell Shortchanged District

Senate District 25 candidates Mike Novak, Elise Chan, and freshman Sen. Donna Campbell wait to respond to a panel question at a Republican debate in Wimberley, Feb. 5, 2014.
Senate District 25 candidates Mike Novak, Elise Chan, and freshman Sen. Donna Campbell wait to respond to a panel question at a Republican debate in Wimberley, Feb. 5, 2014.

State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, is playing defense against two Republican primary challengers, Elisa Chan, a former San Antonio city councilwoman, and Mike Novak, a former Bexar County commissioner.

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A Year After West Explosion, Lawmakers Vetting Reforms

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Taxing Districts Create a Rift Among Conservatives

Don Huffines, a North Texas developer who is running for state Senate, and state Sen. Ken Paxton, who is running for attorney general.
Don Huffines, a North Texas developer who is running for state Senate, and state Sen. Ken Paxton, who is running for attorney general.

In 2013, developer Don Huffines and state Sen. Ken Paxton backed the expansion of a taxing district in North Texas — a practice that isn’t uncommon, but that has exposed a fiscal rift among conservatives.

Tone of Races Could Grow Nastier During Runoffs

Pictured are (clockwise, from top left) Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, state Sen. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Dan Branch and state Sen. Ken Paxton.
Pictured are (clockwise, from top left) Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, state Sen. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Dan Branch and state Sen. Ken Paxton.

Candidates in several races came out swinging during the primary season, and that is not expected to ebb during the runoff campaign — particularly in the GOP races for lieutenant governor and attorney general.