Tribpedia: Rick Perry

James Richard "Rick" Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, was sworn in as the state's 47th chief executive on Dec. 21, 2000, replacing then-Gov. George W. Bush upon his ascendancy to the White House. Perry was elected to a four-year term in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010. On July 8, 2013, Perry announced he would not ...

Still No Decision on Negligence in Willingham Case

Presiding Officer of the Texas Forensic Science Commission John Bradley during a commission meeting April 14th, 2011
Presiding Officer of the Texas Forensic Science Commission John Bradley during a commission meeting April 14th, 2011

After releasing a draft report on the case of convicted arsonist Cameron Todd Willingham, state forensic board members refused again today to rule on whether investigators in the case were professionally negligent in deciding the fire that killed Willingham's three daughters was intentionally ignited.

Video: Rick Perry on Higher Education

On Thursday morning, Gov. Rick Perry held a press conference to announce the release of the inaugural Texas Public Higher Education Almanac, which provides easy-to-read data on all public institutions of higher learning. With him were Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Chairman Fred Heldenfels, and House Higher Education Chairman Dan Branch, R-Dallas. The governor spoke to his priorities on higher education, including a four-year tuition freeze, $10,000 degrees, and outcomes-based funding.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes speaks at the podium during the Generation Adelante college fair.
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes speaks at the podium during the Generation Adelante college fair.

Texas Higher Ed Coordinating Board Releases Almanac

Which public university in Texas has the lowest average student SAT scores? Which is the whitest? Which has the highest graduation rate? Yesterday, questions such as these required a bit — maybe even a lot — of digging. Starting today, the answers (in order: Texas Southern University, Texas A&M University at Galveston and University of Texas at Austin) can be found easily in a new almanac.

Cameron Todd Willingham: A Timeline

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in 2004, convicted of igniting the 1991 blaze that destroyed his home and killed his three young daughters. The State Fire Marshal's office concluded the fire was arson. Since then several experts have questioned the evidence used to reach that conclusion. The Forensic Science Commission has been investigating the science used to convict Willingham for years and issued a draft report Thursday in advance of a public meeting. Click here for a timeline of the major events in the Willingham saga.

Gov. Rick Perry delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 8, 2011
Gov. Rick Perry delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 8, 2011

House Tentatively Passes Eminent Domain

Another bill on Gov. Rick Perry's emergency items list — eminent domain — tentatively passed in the House today, and it could further curb the government's right to take private property.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

Texas Senate, Facing Tight Budget, Hunts for Revenue

The Texas Senate isn’t allowed to raise money. It’s right there in the state’s Constitution, which says all revenue bills must originate in the House. But there it goes, looking for “non-tax revenues” that could be used to put enough meat on the skimpy proposed budget to get senators to vote for it.

Rick Perry being interviewed by Evan Smith at Triblive in Austin
Rick Perry being interviewed by Evan Smith at Triblive in Austin

Perry Fined $1,500 by Ethics Commission

Gov. Rick Perry was fined $1,500 by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to report rental income from a house in College Station, and for filing incomplete information regarding debts on the same property, in personal financial statements required by state law.

Short of Funds, Texas Eyes School Reserves

The state’s 1,030 school districts have  — in total — $10.2 billion in reserves and another $2.1 billion in unspent federal stimulus money. Facing a reduction in state education spending of between $4 billion and $10 billion, many school districts have said they will be forced to lay off teachers and other staff and even close schools. Can they use their reserve funds to avoid such draconian cutbacks? It's not that simple.

Report Calls on Lawmakers to Boost Stimulus Monitoring

Money from the federal stimulus is still flowing to the Lone Star State, but interest in the Legislature seems to have fizzled. Speaker Joe Straus did not resurrect the House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding, and the heavy hand at its helm — former state Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco — failed to win re-election. A new report calls for lawmakers to get their eyes back on the ball.

Rep. Dan Branch R-Dallas, clerk Laura Collins and Rep. Brandon Creighton R-Conroe listen to testimony during State Sovereignty Committee. March 17th, 2011
Rep. Dan Branch R-Dallas, clerk Laura Collins and Rep. Brandon Creighton R-Conroe listen to testimony during State Sovereignty Committee. March 17th, 2011

What's the Select Committee on State Sovereignty?

The State Sovereignty Committee, which meets today to discuss bills related to federal health care reform, was likely formed for efficiency’s sake, and to create a kind of heat sink for contentious debate. 

Prominent UT Alum Warns of "Degradation" at University

University of Texas alum Gordon Appleman, a prominent Fort Worth attorney who was highlighted as one of the school's "125 Extraordinary Exes" in 2010, says he doesn't feel compelled to write letters to the UT community on a regular basis. But he says concerns sparked by recent changes at the UT Board of Regents "seemed important enough to where I ought to do something rather than sit by and watch it happen."

State Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio speaks to youth group in Austin to advocate for more comprehensive sex education in public schools. March 8th, 2011
State Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio speaks to youth group in Austin to advocate for more comprehensive sex education in public schools. March 8th, 2011

Students Talk Sex at the Capitol

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High school and college students from across Texas came to the Capitol today to talk sex ed with lawmakers.

Texas Lawmakers Resort to Fighting Words

Texas lawmakers and citizens are out to protect their interests this session, especially as the Legislature deals with a massive budget shortfall. In the process, it appears they're ratcheting up their rhetoric. Do their fighting words represent politics as usual or a serious lapse in civil discourse?