Tribpedia: Joe Straus

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Clockwise, from top left: Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor; University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.
Clockwise, from top left: Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor; University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.

Political Landscape Shifts as Hall Inquiry Continues

As a lengthy legislative investigation of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall appears to be nearing an end, the 2014 elections and developments at the University of Texas System are adding new twists.

Clockwise, from top left: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Gov. Rick Perry; state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; UT System Board Vice Chairman Gene Powell; and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.
Clockwise, from top left: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Gov. Rick Perry; state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; UT System Board Vice Chairman Gene Powell; and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

Admissions Investigation Preceded by Years of Tension

A recent announcement that the University of Texas System will commission an external investigation into the admissions process at the University of Texas at Austin is only the latest chapter in an ongoing, tension-filled saga. 

Clockwise, from top left: State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; House Speaker Joe Straus; state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; and University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall.
Clockwise, from top left: State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; House Speaker Joe Straus; state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; and University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall.

Admissions Inquiry Takes Center Stage in UT Saga

Of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall’s allegations of misconduct at UT-Austin, none has gained as much traction as his assertion that there is "secret favoritism" for the politically connected in admissions.

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.
Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.

Perry Warns of a "Trail of Tears" From Central America

Gov. Rick Perry on Monday warned that if Central American leaders do not heed the call to stop their citizens from flooding across the Texas-Mexico border, the summer months will bear witness to a “trail of tears” caused by a surge of dead migrants.

 

U.S. Border Patrol agents say that illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region this year.
U.S. Border Patrol agents say that illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region this year.

White House Under Fire for Proposed Solution to Immigrant Surge

Both immigrants' rights groups and conservative lawmakers are criticizing the White House's plan, announced Friday, to deal with the influx of migrants illegally crossing Texas’ southern border.

Newly commissioned patrol vessel, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River
Newly commissioned patrol vessel, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River

DPS Addresses New Border Operation

UPDATED: The Texas DPS said Thursday that as part of its new mission, it will partner with local and federal authorities to “deter and disrupt drug and human trafficking, and other border-related crimes.”

Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River
Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River

Patrick Wants Emergency Spending for Border Security

UPDATED: Dan Patrick, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, joined some of his conservative colleagues on Tuesday in calling for “immediate action” to address the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing into Texas.

 

 

Regent Wallace Hall, Jr. at a regular meeting of the University of Texas Board of Regents in Ashbell Smith Hall in Austin.
Regent Wallace Hall, Jr. at a regular meeting of the University of Texas Board of Regents in Ashbell Smith Hall in Austin.

The Brief: House Panel Months From Action on Hall

A lawmaker involved in the House's investigation of UT System Regent Wallace Hall said the process of drafting articles of impeachment could take months. Also, Gov. Rick Perry gave his most forceful defense to date of his appointee to the university system's governing board.

Modular concrete canisters containing nuclear waste are shown at the bottom of a storage pit near Andrews, Texas.
Modular concrete canisters containing nuclear waste are shown at the bottom of a storage pit near Andrews, Texas.

WCS's Hiring of Legislative Aide Draws Ethics Concerns

Betsy Madru, state Sen. Kel Seliger's former legislative director, now works for Waste Control Specialists, which runs a low-level radioactive waste site in Seliger's district. She says she understands why some would have questions about her move, but she added there was nothing improper.

A spent fuel pool at the South Texas Project Electric Generating station near Palacios. STP Nuclear Operating Company, the station's operator, is building dry cask storage to house spent fuel once its pools fill up. Because the federal government has breached its contract that guaranteed permanent waste storage, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill, through the government's judgement fund.
A spent fuel pool at the South Texas Project Electric Generating station near Palacios. STP Nuclear Operating Company, the station's operator, is building dry cask storage to house spent fuel once its pools fill up. Because the federal government has breached its contract that guaranteed permanent waste storage, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill, through the government's judgement fund.

Nuclear Waste Storage on Texas Lawmakers' Agenda

Following instructions from House Speaker Joe StrausTexas lawmakers plan to study the benefits of accepting high-level nuclear waste from around the country, a controversial proposition. But even if Texas seeks a waste facility, huge hurdles would stand in its way. 

Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott talked about border security, criminal justice and other issues during his "Securing Texans" address in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2014.
Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott talked about border security, criminal justice and other issues during his "Securing Texans" address in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2014.

The Brief: Jail Time Given in Cameron County Corruption Case

Former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos was sentenced Tuesday to 13 years in prison for his role in a corruption scheme that in recent days has become a hot topic in the governor's race.