LAW & ORDER

Lawmakers One Step Closer on Border Security

Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Grandbury speaks during a March 16th, 2015 Senate Subcommittee on border security
Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Grandbury speaks during a March 16th, 2015 Senate Subcommittee on border security

A major piece of border security legislation cleared another hurdle in the Texas Legislature on Tuesday, prompting lawmakers to predict that a compromise between the House and Senate will be hashed out before the session ends June 1.

With Clock Running, Immigration Bills Cling to Senate Calendar

Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond, speaks in favor of HB 1403 which was passed in 2001 and grants all Texans in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status on April 13th, 2015
Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond, speaks in favor of HB 1403 which was passed in 2001 and grants all Texans in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status on April 13th, 2015

After idling in the Senate, two controversial immigration bills — ending in-state tuition for some undocumented immigrants and barring sanctuary cities — are apparently back in play. But it remains unclear whether sponsors have the votes to bring the measures up for debate.

Lawmaker "Encouraged" After Meeting With DPS Director

DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.
DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.

The state's public safety director says if lawmakers let him, he'll provide Rep. César Blanco with data on security operations on the border. The move follows weeks of tense exchanges over how border security dollars are being spent.

 

 

Texas a Flashpoint in Debate Over Right to Film Police

Steve Donahue, of the Peaceful Streets Project, filmed law enforcement during a public intoxication near the University of Texas at Austin on April 24, 2015.
Steve Donahue, of the Peaceful Streets Project, filmed law enforcement during a public intoxication near the University of Texas at Austin on April 24, 2015.

As videos play an ever larger role in cases of alleged police brutality, "cop watching" is attracting organized activists in communities across the country. Clashes with police are inevitable, and now both sides are asking lawmakers to help clarify the ground rules. 

 

Wendy Davis Fined $5,000 for Ethics Violation

State Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to the press after a Travis County Democratic campaign rally on Oct. 22, 2014.
State Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to the press after a Travis County Democratic campaign rally on Oct. 22, 2014.

The Texas Ethics Commission has fined former state Sen. Wendy Davis $5,000 after finding "credible evidence" she failed to disclose her relationship with two lobbyists on financial disclosure forms filed during her 2012 re-election campaign. 

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.