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Inside Texas Politics: Trains, Schools and Plastic Bags

On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics, I talked with host Jason Whitely and Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Bud Kennedy about Texas' ranking in public education, plastic bag bans, high-speed rail and more.

Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on WFAA TV's Inside Texas Politics on March 30, 2014.

On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics, I talked with host Jason Whitely and Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Bud Kennedy about a recent National Education Association report ranking Texas 46th in spending per pupil — a rise from 49th — and 35th in teacher pay, up from 38th, both improvements, but still far below the national average; how Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has managed to use the issue of equal pay for women and minorities to her continued advantage, while her Republican opponent Greg Abbott has countered with harder-to-understand ethical complaints against the state senator and former Fort Worth City Council member; Dallas' just-passed partial ban on plastic bags, and whether Abbott, is his role as Attorney General, will weigh in on local laws on the books in Dallas and elsewhere in Texas; and finally, the announcement last week of agreement between the mayors three cities — Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston — to support developement of a high-speed rail line connecting those cities, in partnership with a private Japanese firm.

Also: Jason and Bud interviewed former Dallas City Council member Linda Koop, in a runoff against incumbent state Rep. Stefani Carter, R-Dallas for the HD-102 seat; they also sat down with Morgan Meyer, in a runoff against Chart Westcott for the HD-108 seat vacated by state Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas. Katrina Pierson, who lost her primary bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, talked about the rise in state and local debt, Mark Davis and Katie Sherod discussed the President and the Pope, and a glimpse of debating, Canadian style.

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