Tribpedia: John Whitmire

The Brief: 2 Percent of Texas Higher Ed Students Are Undocumented

Students arrive in caps & gowns to Texas Capitol on April 6th, 2015. The Senate sub-committee on border security will listen to testimony on SB #1819 relating to determination of resident status of students by public institutions of higher education
Students arrive in caps & gowns to Texas Capitol on April 6th, 2015. The Senate sub-committee on border security will listen to testimony on SB #1819 relating to determination of resident status of students by public institutions of higher education

For all the talk about undocumented immigrants qualifying for in-state tuition at Texas colleges and universities, it turns out that these students make up a very small portion of the college-going population.

Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.
Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.

Tax Cut Measures Headed to Full Senate

The Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to send proposals cutting property taxes and business taxes to the full Senate, though some senators questioned whether the property tax cuts could be better spent in other ways.

Detainees line up to leave the outdoor recreation area at theTravis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin on June 24, 2013.
Detainees line up to leave the outdoor recreation area at theTravis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin on June 24, 2013.

Texas Among States Facing "Raise the Age" Debate

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Texas is one of nine states that automatically classify 17-year-olds as adults when they're accused of crimes. Campaigns to “raise the age” are gathering momentum in some states, and Texas is facing a spirited debate of its own.

The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.
The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.

The Brief: Gearing Up for a SEC Primary in 2016

A clutch of Southern states are in talks to hold 2016 presidential primaries on the same day, according to a story by James Hohmann of Politico.

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.

The Brief: Restoration of Funding for Public Integrity Unit in Limbo

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that in the days before Gov. Rick Perry's indictment over his veto of funding for the public integrity unit, the Travis County DA's office had requested the next Legislature to restore most of the unit's funding.

Texas Students Receive Fewer Disciplinary Tickets

New court data show that the number of tickets written by public school police officers for student misbehavior has fallen 71 percent since laws designed to reduce the procedure went into effect late last year. Until the reforms, students who caused disruptions on school buses or in classrooms, who trespassed, or who possessed drugs or alcohol on school grounds could be ticketed with a Class C misdemeanor.

 

Sen. John Carona.
Sen. John Carona.

For John Carona, Conflicts and Interests

The constitutional provision of a part-time Legislature whose members have full-time jobs back home limits the power of state government but blurs the line between public responsibilities and personal ambition — as the story of a rich and powerful state senator from Dallas illustrates.

State Rep. John Carona holds up his right hand during his first swearing-in ceremony for the 72nd Legislature on January 8, 1991.
State Rep. John Carona holds up his right hand during his first swearing-in ceremony for the 72nd Legislature on January 8, 1991.

Slideshow: John Carona Through the Years

Take a photographic trip through Sen. John Carona's career in the Texas Legislature, from his swearing in as a freshman House member in 1991 to his chairmanship of the powerful Senate Committee on Business & Commerce. 

Rachel Hebert, 17, and her mother, Elizabeth, were issued court summons after Rachel missed numerous days of school because of medical problems relating to her cerebral palsy.
Rachel Hebert, 17, and her mother, Elizabeth, were issued court summons after Rachel missed numerous days of school because of medical problems relating to her cerebral palsy.

Lawmakers Attempt to Change Truancy Laws

Some parents and advocacy organizations say the state’s truancy laws are too harsh. The Senate passed a bill last week to change these laws, compromising with judges and school district officials who feared the proposed changes were too broad.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, at a Sept. 4, 2012, hearing.
Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, at a Sept. 4, 2012, hearing.

Bill Addresses Changing Science in Criminal Appeals

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State Sen. John Whitmire has filed a bill to make it easier for those convicted based on science that has since been discredited to appeal their sentences. Prosecutors have called the bill "unnecessary."

For Dean of Senate, Public and Private Blur

Critics say the dean of the Texas Senate, John Whitmire, D-Houston, is a poster boy for a legislative culture in which real and perceived conflicts of interest are commonplace. Whitmire says he's proud of his four decades in office. "My constituents have shown a lot of confidence that I'm a great public servant," he says.

Whitmire at the front of the House chamber during the 64th session in 1975. House Speaker Billy Clayton is at the podium.
Whitmire at the front of the House chamber during the 64th session in 1975. House Speaker Billy Clayton is at the podium.

Slideshow: Sen. John Whitmire Through the Years

A photo slideshow of  Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, the longest serving member of the Texas Senate. Whitmire served 10 years in the Texas House before being elected to the Senate in 1982.