Tribpedia: John Whitmire

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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.