Tribpedia: Judith Zaffirini

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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. 

Timeline: Tension in the University of Texas System

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 sagaWe have updated our timeline to include the latest developments.

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. But more information — and a full-on UT System review — may be required to determine whether he has unearthed anything untoward.

Gov. Rick Perry, r, with Presidents Dr. Juliet Garcia and Dr. Robert Nelsen at the ceremony at the former UT-Pan Am in Edinburg, TX on July 16, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry, r, with Presidents Dr. Juliet Garcia and Dr. Robert Nelsen at the ceremony at the former UT-Pan Am in Edinburg, TX on July 16, 2013.

In the Valley, Perry Signs South Texas University Bill

In two emotional events Tuesday, Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed a bill that will  create a new university in the Rio Grande Valley. He also addressed demands to add bonds for campus construction to the call.

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. 

Demonstration car placed by the Brown family to raise awareness on dangers of texting while driving. March 9th, 2011
Demonstration car placed by the Brown family to raise awareness on dangers of texting while driving. March 9th, 2011

House Passes Texting-While-Driving Measure

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A bill that would make texting while driving a crime passed the House on Wednesday after a lengthy debate. The measure now heads to the Senate.

Sen. Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo, peeks over stack of binders at her desk during discussion of budget bill SB1 on March 20th, 2013
Sen. Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo, peeks over stack of binders at her desk during discussion of budget bill SB1 on March 20th, 2013

Legislator: Regent Behavior "Inconsistent" With Statute

The Texas Education Code lays out the state's expectations for regents of public university systems, and state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, is now questioning whether the University of Texas System board is living up to them.

State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas,l, and State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, shake hands upon convening the Joint Committee on Higher Education Oversight on March 19, 2013.
State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas,l, and State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, shake hands upon convening the Joint Committee on Higher Education Oversight on March 19, 2013.

Updated: Panel Discusses UT System Records Request

Sen. Kel Seliger, who co-chairs the Legislature's joint higher education oversight committee, said UT regents should have access to the information they have requested, but the committee wants to make sure it is being gathered and used appropriately.

Jeanne Brown, whose daughter Alex Brown died in a 2009 accident while texting and driving, spoke Jan. 29, 2013, in support of a bill making texting and driving illegal. Texas is one of 11 states without a state-wide ban on texting while driving, though multiple cities have passed ordinances making it illegal.
Jeanne Brown, whose daughter Alex Brown died in a 2009 accident while texting and driving, spoke Jan. 29, 2013, in support of a bill making texting and driving illegal. Texas is one of 11 states without a state-wide ban on texting while driving, though multiple cities have passed ordinances making it illegal.

Lawmakers Renew Push to Ban Texting While Driving

At a briefing today, lawmakers and family members of people killed while texting and driving renewed a push for legislation to make the practice illegal. The proposal passed during the last session, only to be vetoed by Gov. Perry. Critics of the proposal say it is unenforceable, but a Houston Police Department officer argued otherwise.