Aman Batheja Political Editor

Aman Batheja worked for eight years at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, most of that time covering state and local politics. A native of Cedarhurst, New York, he has an undergraduate degree in journalism and psychology from New York University and a master's in economics from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Recent Contributions

Failed Hospital Deal Reveals Ties to Janek

Terrell State Hospital is one of 10 state psychiatric hospitals.
Terrell State Hospital is one of 10 state psychiatric hospitals.

Three years ago, a company called Geo Care Inc. gave HHSC chief Kyle Janek a blueprint for privatizing state hospitals. The only contract awarded — privatizing Terrell State Hospital — ended up going to that same company.

 

Unable to Tighten Spending Cap, Senate Built a New One

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick touted legislation to exempt tax cuts from counting toward the state spending limit at a Capitol press conference on March 10, 2015.
State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick touted legislation to exempt tax cuts from counting toward the state spending limit at a Capitol press conference on March 10, 2015.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate Republicans had hoped to amend the Texas Constitution to tighten the state's spending cap. Short of the needed votes, they passed a measure creating a new cap in state law instead.

Sponsor Softens Divisive Bill on Property Tax Rates

Paul Bettencourt, now a state senator, is shown on Dec. 5, 2014, during the "What the Tea Party Wants" panel at a Texas Tribune event previewing the 2014 legislative session.
Paul Bettencourt, now a state senator, is shown on Dec. 5, 2014, during the "What the Tea Party Wants" panel at a Texas Tribune event previewing the 2014 legislative session.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, wants to make cities and counties ask voters for permission to enact tax rates that allow overall property tax revenue from existing homes and businesses to rise more than 6 percent.

Senate Bill Targeting Bullet Train Project Advances

The Japanese Shinkansen is a high-speed trail used by JR Central in Japan. A private company is planning to build a rail line between Dallas and Houston using the same trains.
The Japanese Shinkansen is a high-speed trail used by JR Central in Japan. A private company is planning to build a rail line between Dallas and Houston using the same trains.

On a 5-4 vote, the Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would hobble a private company’s plan to build a $12 billion high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston.

Sales Tax Cut a Key Piece in Bonnen's $4.9 Billion Tax Cut Plan

Ways and Means chair State Rep.Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, while debating State Rep. Sylvester Turner on HB11 border security bill March 18, 2015.
Ways and Means chair State Rep.Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, while debating State Rep. Sylvester Turner on HB11 border security bill March 18, 2015.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, laid out a $4.9 billion tax cut plan Wednesday featuring cuts in sales taxes and business taxes. The Senate's plan cuts business taxes and property taxes.