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Members of Austin's LGBT community gather on the steps of the capitol to celebrate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots on June 28, 2017.
Texas Legislature 2023

When showing up at the Texas Capitol made a difference

Readers sometimes ask us if the outcomes in governing are predetermined and whether civic engagement makes a difference. There are plenty of examples of Texans influencing lawmakers’ decisions.

A father works to detect heart problems among student-athletes

After multiple attempts over several legislative sessions, state lawmakers finally passed "Cody’s Law," named for Cody Stephens, a high school football player who died of sudden cardiac arrest. The law allows parents to opt to have a heart screening as part of the physical exams required for student-athletes.

Conservationists secure stable funding for state parks

The Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas on April 28, 2013.
State Rep. John P. Cyrier, R-Lockhart, walks down an aisle on the House floor on July 20, 2021.

Parents reduce state tests for high school students

Theresa Treviño, president of Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment, speaks at a special panel charged with suggesting changes to the state’s testing and school accountability system on July 27, 2016.

Laredoans create an international university

Texas A&M International University on Feb. 18, 2022.

LGBTQ advocates protest anti-trans “bathroom bill”

Members of various faith communities met at the Texas Capitol on Aug. 1, 2017 to speak out against the "bathroom bill."
The Gonzales family — Rachel, Frank and their daughter Libby — attend a rally during Texas Trans Lobby Day at the state Capitol on March 6, 2017.

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Politics Public education State government Bathroom bill Dan Patrick Joe Straus