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2017 Year in Review

From Hurricane Harvey to the "bathroom bill," check out some of our top 2017 videos

Relive the year in Texas politics and policy through the Tribune's video coverage of the 85th Legislature, Hurricane Harvey, the deadly shooting in Sutherland Springs, the controversy over Confederate monuments and more.

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2017 Year in Review

A lively legislative session — and a special session — that featured fights over bathrooms. Legal battles over abortion, immigration policy and political maps. A devastating hurricane. 2017 was filled with nonstop news in Texas. Here are the highlights.

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There was plenty for The Texas Tribune's multimedia team to cover in 2017, whether it was the 85th Texas Legislature, the "bathroom bill," Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts or the numerous retirements from Congress and the Legislature.

Multimedia producers also covered the aftermath in Sutherland Springs after a gunman killed more than two dozen churchgoers, as well as immigration issues, a "sanctuary cities" ban and the debate on Confederate monuments.

Here's a look at some of the multimedia coverage the Tribune produced this year.

85th Legislature

State lawmakers started the year at the Capitol with pressing items to address, like reforming the child welfare system. Tensions between the House and Senate peaked when it came to reaching deals on school finance, property tax cuts and several local control issues. One of the session's most contentious issues was the "bathroom bill," as House Speaker Joe Straus refused to negotiate with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on bathroom restrictions for transgender Texans. In late October, Straus announced that his current term, his fifth as speaker, would be his last. The San Antonio Republican said he was ready for a change and would not be on the ballot in 2018.

Here are videos of some standout moments from the legislative session, the "bathroom bill" saga and an interview with Straus.

The House and Senate adjourned in late May, bringing an especially contentious regular legislative session to a formal close. Here’s a roundup of some of the most memorable moments from the 85th legislative session.
From Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's announcement last summer that he would push for a "bathroom bill" to the bill's quiet demise in the special session, this video takes you through the story of the intense political fight in five minutes.
After announcing in October that he wouldn't seek re-election to the Texas Legislature, House Speaker Joe Straus discussed what motivated him to step down, who he plans to support in the 2018 primaries and what's next for him.

Hurricane Harvey

Texans living in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast knew the potential devastation the storm churning off shore in late August could cause. In 2016, Texas Tribune reporters forecasted the impact such a weather event could have on the region. Many Houston homes had flooded in recent years, and many residents had no clue they resided in a flood zone. Then Hurricane Harvey hit and lingered for days, dumping feet of rain on the region. The multibillion-dollar recovery is ongoing.

The following videos are of an interview with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and a look at just part of what Houston homeowners are dealing with.

Watch Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's wide-ranging September interview with The Texas Tribune, one month after Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 40 inches of rain on the city, flooding several areas.
Thousands of Houston homeowners saw their homes on the west side of town flood when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a gush of water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in the days after Hurricane Harvey's historic rainfall. Others learned their homes were built inside the reservoirs.
Two families displaced by Harvey say they're not close to having their lives back to normal. Tens of thousands of others are also facing a long recovery before their biggest need — a permanent place to live — is addressed.

Sutherland Springs

Morning services at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in early November became the scene of a massacre after a gunman killed at least 26 people and injured dozens more in the deadliest shooting at a place of worship in American history.

After the shooting, the U.S. Air Force disclosed that it failed to report the gunman’s history of domestic assault to the database, which should have prohibited him from purchasing a firearm.

The development led U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to introduce bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening the federal background check database by ensuring federal and state authorities accurately report relevant information, including criminal history, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

A lone gunman killed at least 26 people and injured many more in November at a church in Sutherland Springs. The tiny town was left reeling from the deadliest shooting at a place of worship in American history.

Confederate controversy

Violence at a white nationalist rally in August protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one woman dead. In a news conference the following day, President Donald Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence in remarks that upset Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

President Donald Trump's controversial statements about the violence at an August white nationalist rally in Charlottesville invited criticism from Texas Democrats and Republicans alike.

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