TribWire

Timothy Cole bill inches closer to governor's desk

A bill named after the late Timothy Cole is almost ready to go to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature. The Texas Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved House Bill 48, a measure that would create the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission.

Controversial immigration bills die in Texas Senate

Perry’s Senate Bill 185, which would have required cities to comply with federal immigration laws, and another Senate bill that would have repealed a 14-year law that allows some undocumented students to get in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, are dead this session.

State Senate passes $800M border-security bill

Amid reports that border-violence is down, the Texas Senate on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to an $800-million border-security bill and it refused a requirement that state police report arrests and drug seizures along the border. House Bill 11 doubles the money the state is spending on border security even though the Houston Chronicle reported last week that border violence has been dropping for years.

Tussle in Texas Legislature over Hueco Tanks, Hays County water

Residents of flood-ravaged Hays County were furious Tuesday that Rep. Mary González used a legislative maneuver in an attempt to kill a local bill they say will protect their wells. In calls and emails, several asked why a lawmaker whose district is 500 miles away would insert herself into a strictly local debate.

House passes ethics bill

Senate Bill 19, which was tentatively approved 96-48, provided the opportunity for the House’s most conservative members to bicker with Democrats and mainstream Republicans over financial disclosure, drug testing of political candidates and how to deal with the band of operatives who have been collecting video of lawmakers and lobbyists.

Will Texas House’s spending limit fly?

The committee substitute for SB 9 would expand the new cap so it actually would apply to the entire budget, including all non-federal revenue. But it also reinstates the simple majority vote threshold currently needed to exceed it. And it scraps the blanket population plus inflation calculation — with inflation being based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — and instead calls for the Legislative Budget Board to recommend caps for individual “spending categories,” including education, health care and transportation.

Texas manufacturers report longest slowdown since recession

Texas factories slowed production this spring for the longest stretch since the recession, due in large part to the low price of oil, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. But manufacturers are optimistic that oil prices have bottomed out and things will turn around, according to the survey, which was released Tuesday.

Taylor, Van de Putte only eye city role

With early voting set to begin Monday for the June 13 mayoral runoff election, the candidates sparred lightly for their daytime audience, covering many of the same topics that have marked the campaign including taxes and the unresolved contract negotiations with police and firefighters.

Appeals court panel rules against Obama on immigration

In a 70-page opinion, the two judges found that the 26 states had legal standing to sue the administration and found that Texas, which took the lead in the case, would likely shoulder undue financial costs of issuing drivers’ licenses to tens of thousands of immigrants who, without the executive action, wouldn’t be eligible for them.

It’s almost official: Texas loves the Alamo

A committee substitute passed by the Senate would not change the makeup of the board, but instead reminded Texans that “the Alamo has played an important role in the history of this state and continues to be a symbol of liberty and freedom for this state.” But leaving the Daughters in the makeup of the board may not even be a problem. According to Alamo Director Becky Dinnin, the advisory board has yet to meet.

Oil blinks and Texas manufacturing sinks

Crude prices slipped again Tuesday, as more evidence emerged that the 11-month oil slump is ripping into the Texas economy, with manufacturing continuing to take a hit. A barrel of U.S. oil ended the trading day $1.69 cheaper as the dollar made gains against foreign currencies and as traders weighed whether the recent rally in crude prices to around $60 a barrel could hasten the return of U.S. drilling.

Texas Senate OKs innocence panel

Landmark legislation to create a panel of legal experts and lawmakers to study Texas' high number of exonerations and recommend changes in state laws to keep more innocent people from going to prison was approved unanimously by the Texas Senate on Tuesday.

Democrats run out the clock on abortion and gun measures

There is chubbing, and then there is chubbing. Democrats in the Texas House took the strangely-named tradition of delay tactics to a new level Tuesday, delivering lengthy speeches, raising technical questions, and proposing more than 100 amendments to a single bill.

Suburbs seek to shape growth, not let growth shape them

For decades there was a faith in The Woodlands, a romantic notion that a city could be carved out of the piney woods in a way that preserved the forest's charm. But that belief faded a few months ago with the large-scale removal of trees from the newest neighborhood in town. Residents protested, and developers promised not to do it again.