News For July, 2012

Graphic by Ryan Murphy / Chris Chang

Interactive Map: Texas House Committee Clout

Use this interactive to explore the geographic distribution of committee members in the Texas House, by committee, to see who's got what clout on what subject. Choose a committee and the map highlights the district of each member and, in a different color, the home districts of the chairs, vice chairs and co-chairs.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

After Deal With State, Amazon Charging Sales Tax in Texas

On Sunday, Texas became the sixth state in the country to charge sales tax on items sold by the online megaretailer Amazon. The switch comes after a deal was struck earlier this year in response to the state's claims that Amazon owed millions of dollars in uncollected sales tax.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman / Chad Kainz

The Evening Brief: July 2, 2012

Your evening reading: Texas candidates outspending rest of nation on ads; new Mexican president begins transition to power; Burgess endorses Cruz

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Dave Fehling NPR StateImpact / KUHF Houston Public Radio

Shale Gas Fuels Refinery "Rebirth" on Texas Gulf Coast

It's nothing short of a "rebirth" of the petrochemical industry, one executive says. All along the Texas Gulf Coast, big companies are sinking billions of dollars into new plants. 

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman / Kjetil Ree

After Health Ruling, Undocumented Remain Uninsured

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act last week cleared the way for its implementation. But for one very large segment of the Texas population, the new law will not apply. 

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Todd Spoth

The Brief: July 3, 2012

As the fight for Texas’ open seat — the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the nation — trudges forward, one candidate is drawing heat because of his largest single donor.

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Justin Dehn

Fred Heldenfels: The TT Interview

The chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on recent criticism of the agency, its relationship with Texas community colleges and the future of higher education in the state.

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Eddie Seal

TxDOT Releases First Rural Transportation Plan

TxDOT released the state’s first transportation plan for rural areas last week, intending it as a “blueprint” for future transportation projects and services in rural areas through 2035. 

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The Evening Brief: July 3, 2012

Your evening reading: Elizabeth Ames Jones endorses Donna Campbell in SD-25; Lawmakers and their family members find themselves in legal trouble; Drilling trucks damage Texas roads.

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