Texas politicians and institutions are getting much better marks from the state’s voters than the president and Congress, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Among Texas politicians, Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz were viewed favorably by the highest percentages of people, but they also led in their share of unfavorable rankings.Full Story
The Texas Legislature is the chief policymaking branch of state government that the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power in the state. It is a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Texas Senate, and a lower chamber, the Texas House. The 181 members are elected from districts throughout Texas.
It enacts thousands of ...
It doesn't feel much like there's a special session going on at the state Capitol, but that doesn't mean taxpayers won't get a bill for it. Lawmakers get paid whether they're here or not.Full Story
UPDATED: The Texas House allowed the clock to run out Tuesday night on Senate Bill 11, an initiative that would have created a drug testing regimen for some welfare benefits.
The constitutional provision of a part-time Legislature whose members have full-time jobs back home blurs the line between public responsibilities and personal ambition — as the story of a certain powerful state senator illustrates.Full Story
M. Smith on a shock awaiting the state’s fifth- and eighth-graders, E. Smith’s interview with two of Washington’s Gang of Eight, Dehn and Rocha on legislative inquiries into the explosion and fire in West, Ramshaw on state leaders’ apparent disinterest in transparency, KUT’s Philpott explains points of order, Murphy and Ramshaw on the current status of ethics bills, Hamilton finds that not all college degrees are equal, Galbraith on the budget and the shale boom, Batheja on the Legislature’s do-over votes, Aguilar on a Texas application for more border drones: The best of our best for the week of April 29-May 3, 2012.
Aaronson tracks the latest on Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on lawmakers’ openness to driving permits for non-citizens, Batheja on surprising support for higher state spending, Root and Galbraith on the state’s search for answers after the West explosion, M. Smith covers the debate over high school standards, Grissom finds a shadow payroll at the Capitol, Hamilton on the man with a plan at UT, Rocha spots a special deal for lawmakers accused of crimes, KUT’s Philpott on obstacles to road funding and Ramshaw on the privileges of legislative membership: The best of our best for the week of April 15-19, 2013.Full Story
Calling the old policy "stupid," the head of the Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that congressional and state elected officials will no longer have to endure a background check to access the Governor's Mansion.Full Story
Florida Gov. Rick Scott's recent reversal on Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has left Texas as the last big-state holdout. But one key GOP state lawmaker sees some room for compromise.Full Story
Twenty journalists have spent nine months researching the personal financial interests of members of the 83rd Legislature. Eyebrows — and hackles — may be raised, but this kind of transparency is good for Texas.Full Story
It feels like the 2013 legislative session, which gets under way Tuesday, is a five-month interruption of the election season. At some point, elections expanded to fill all of the space between the biennial sessions.Full Story
For more than a year, Evan Smith has traveled all over Texas to interview state legislators back home, in their districts, in front of hundreds of their constituents. At university campuses from Corpus Christi to Tyler and in between, lawmakers talked about issues that affect every one of us in Texas, from education and health care to water and immigration.Full Story
Limiting the terms of lawmakers and other officeholders was a sexy idea 20 years ago, when Republicans were trying to unseat Democrats. Now it's back.Full Story
The "late train" — the rush of supplicants making kiss-and-make-up contributions after an election — ended this weekend with the beginning of a blackout that outlaws political donations during a legislative session.Full Story
For higher education in the 83rd Legislative Session, the central theme will be finding ways to get more bang for the same amount bucks, if not less.Full Story