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 ...
On this week's episode, Evan, Reeve, Ben and Brandi discuss Gov. Rick Perry's Twitter feed, the state's changing demographics and issues of innocence.Full Story
On Monday, state Sen. Robert Deuell, R-Greenville, said he would rather raise taxes than make the cuts lawmakers are considering now. Now, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, has introduced legislation to increase the tax on soft drinks by a penny per ounce. Lucio says the move could raise up to $4 billion over two years.Full Story
In 2009, state Rep. Leo Berman's bills — like the ones restricting illegal immigrants to certain geographical regions and denying them access to higher education — failed to gain traction in a House that was close to evenly divided. But with a Republican supermajority now in control, this could very well be the session of Leo.Full Story
Rep. Leo Berman is sponsoring "birther" legislation that would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to produce their birth certificate to get on the Texas ballot. The conservative lawmaker's bill is fueled by his doubts President Barack Obama was born in the United States. We talk to his colleagues about whether the measure will pass the House — and if they agree with questions over the president's citizenship.Full Story
This week's TribCast features Ross, Reeve, Ben and Emily discussing the University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, the buzz about Medicaid, and concealed carry on college campuses.Full Story
While many people believe that needle exchange programs simply facilitate or condone illegal drug use, there is a powerful conservative argument for why they're good public policy.Full Story
This week's episode of the TribCast features Evan, Ross, Ben and Matt going over the "super-majority" in the Texas House and how that could lead to federal court challenges, the coming Census numbers, the Howard/Neil election fight and the public ed budget battle.Full Story
The DMV numbers and assigns each plate to each state office, from the governor on down. So how come I've never seen State Official 6 on the road?Full Story
Texas' superlatives are nothing to brag about, according to the fifth edition of "Texas on the Brink," an annual review that ranks the state on dozens of factors ranging from health insurance to voter turnout. Despite having the highest birth rate, Texas has the worst rate of women with health insurance. While the state has the second-highest public school enrollment, it ranks last in the percentage of people 25 and older with a high school diploma. And though Texas has the highest percent of its population without health insurance, the state is 49th in per capita spending on Medicaid.Full Story
Gov. Rick Perry has said he can't sign an application to recieve money from the federal government's $10 billion Education Jobs Fund because it requires him to make an assurance he cannot constitutionally make: that the Legislature will not use the money to offset state funding of public education programs. Now that it's in session and setting the 2012-13 budget, can lawmakers overrule the governor and accept the money? The short answer is no.
This week's episode of the Tribcast features Evan, Ross, Reeve, and Ben mulling over the State of the State, the new House committee assignments, and the politics of abortion.Full Story
Speaker Joe Straus appointed members to committees today, shuffling the assignments in a Texas House where one in four members is a freshman and where Republicans have a two-to-one numerical advantage.Full Story
Texas governors have limited control over what the state budget ultimately looks like. They can veto items in the final budget and, as Gov. Rick Perry did Tuesday, use the bully pulpit of the State of the State address to lay out priorities. Perry's speech was part pep rally, part budget proposal, with a dash of national politics. And, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, Democrats weren't charmed.Full Story
Gov. Rick Perry told lawmakers Tuesday he is against tapping the state's $9.4 billion Rainy Day Fund to close the budget shortfall: “That approach would not only postpone tough, necessary decisions."Full Story
Under the proposed legislation, teens caught "sexting" could face up to a Class A Misdemeanor. Parents could also face penalties.Full Story
State Rep. Rafael Anchia., D-Dallas, won't be on the 50-yard-line for Sunday's Super Bowl in Arlington. But some could argue he's got the next best seat: At the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama.
In this week's TribCast, Evan, Ross, Reeve and Ben discuss the budget's structural deficit, the effort to repeal health care reform, the back-and-forth over House District 48 and if 2011 will be the year Texas bans smoking.Full Story