TribWire

Watson promises pension help, Moody’s offers warning

Jubilant about his first-ever appointment to the powerful Senate Finance Committee late last week, Austin state Sen. Kirk Watson on Monday said his new position is “a great opportunity for me to push for an honest budget that provides for property tax reform, addresses our troubled school finance system and invests in our colleges, universities and aging infrastructure.”

Democrats Set to Play Defense on Immigration

After pounding immigration issues hard during their campaigns, Republicans including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are on the hook to kill in-state tuition for undocumented students. Its survival may come down to the business lobby and House Democrats.

Report: Blind, Deaf, Disabled Inmates Abused in Prison

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is facing a scathing report and several lawsuits contending that correctional staff at a Huntsville prison regularly neglect, abuse and even violently beat prisoners with disabilities.

Bananas not guns at Texas Capitol rally

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Pushing to keep their issue at the forefront but promising to stay peaceful, gun rights activists rallied Monday at the Texas Capitol to support open carry of handguns without a license.

Texas lawmakers reload campus carry bills

AUSTIN – Campus carry is back with a vengeance this legislative session, and with a huge cadre of Republican state senators co-sponsoring the effort to allow Texans to tote guns on college grounds, the efforts have a better chance of making it through at least one chamber this year.

Campaign donation to Van de Putte called into question

Krista Briones, the estranged wife of local engineering firm owner and failed City Council candidate Rolando Briones, gave $1,000 to mayoral candidate Leticia Van de Putte, according to a campaign finance report. There’s one problem, however: Krista Briones said she never made the contribution.

Politicians roast Bill Hobby for his 83rd birthday

“Kmart shoppers please sit down, there’s a sale at your table,” Beth Robertson joked, imploring the boisterous crowd at Bill Hobby’s Birthday Roast and Toast tobe seated inside the River Oaks Country Club ballroom. “We have a sea of senators, mayors and governors tonight – it would take a lifetime to recognize each of you, so consider yourselves recognized.”

U.S. Spies on Millions of Cars

The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents. The effort began in border states like Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, according to current and former federal officials and documents.

MQS vs TEC hearing postponed until Feb 18

Judge Steve Burgess pushed back Sullivan’s court date for a 9 a.m. hearing on Feb 18. A trial was ongoing in the 158th District Court that overseen by Burgess. According to court documents, Sullivan’s case is scheduled for “Number One on the Docket” that morning. Burgess will also hear two motions from Sullivan’s lawyers, including one to toss the case and clear the conservative powerbroker of any wrongdoing.