GOVERNMENT

(L-R) State House Speaker Joe Straus, Governor Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick on May 21, 2015.
(L-R) State House Speaker Joe Straus, Governor Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick on May 21, 2015.

State Leaders Ask Agencies to Cut Budgets by 4 Percent

Texas' top elected officials are asking state agencies to scale back their budget requests by 4 percent, seeking to further rein in state spending for the 2018-2019 cycle. In a letter dated Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus said agencies should propose the 4 percent reduction as a "starting point for budget deliberations." 

Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, talks with an aide during testimony Dec. 7, 2015 before the Senate Education Committee on teacher-student relationships.
Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, talks with an aide during testimony Dec. 7, 2015 before the Senate Education Committee on teacher-student relationships.

Analysis: No Political Benefit if Voters Can't Feel Property Tax Relief

Texas lawmakers want to get a leash on property taxes, which requires them to restrain local governments. The local governments point to expensive state government mandates that drive up their costs. It's hard to fix blame, or credit.

Lara Chelian, center, and her mother, Renee Chelian, both abortion providers from Michigan, hold signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside on March 2, 2016. The case is focused on the Texas law known as House Bill 2.
Lara Chelian, center, and her mother, Renee Chelian, both abortion providers from Michigan, hold signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside on March 2, 2016. The case is focused on the Texas law known as House Bill 2.

Sharp Drop in Abortions Followed Restrictions

The number of drug-induced abortions in Texas plummeted in the first full year after the state's strict 2013 abortion law took effect, according to statistics released Thursday by the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

Analysis: No Political Benefit if Voters Can't Feel Property Tax Relief

Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, talks with an aide during testimony Dec. 7, 2015 before the Senate Education Committee on teacher-student relationships.
Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, talks with an aide during testimony Dec. 7, 2015 before the Senate Education Committee on teacher-student relationships.

Texas lawmakers want to get a leash on property taxes, which requires them to restrain local governments. The local governments point to expensive state government mandates that drive up their costs. It's hard to fix blame, or credit.

Sharp Drop in Abortions Followed Restrictions

Lara Chelian, center, and her mother, Renee Chelian, both abortion providers from Michigan, hold signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside on March 2, 2016. The case is focused on the Texas law known as House Bill 2.
Lara Chelian, center, and her mother, Renee Chelian, both abortion providers from Michigan, hold signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside on March 2, 2016. The case is focused on the Texas law known as House Bill 2.

The number of drug-induced abortions in Texas plummeted in the first full year after the state's strict 2013 abortion law took effect, according to statistics released Thursday by the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

Featured Data

Government Salary Database Updated

Despite Tightening Polls, No Sign Clinton Vying to Beat Trump in Texas

Hillary Clinton greets supporters at Texas Southern University in Houston Saturday, February 20, 2016, after winning the Nevada caucus.
Hillary Clinton greets supporters at Texas Southern University in Houston Saturday, February 20, 2016, after winning the Nevada caucus.

Recent polls show Hillary Clinton within single digits of Donald Trump in Texas. And Clinton herself said last month that she believed the state was flippable. Yet all signs point to Clinton ceding the state to Trump.

Abortion Legal Fight Cost Texas More Than $1 Million

Demonstrators celebrated at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016, after the court struck down a Texas law imposing strict abortion regulations.
Demonstrators celebrated at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016, after the court struck down a Texas law imposing strict abortion regulations.

The legal battle to defend Texas' 2013 abortion restrictions — which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional on Monday — cost Texas taxpayers more than $1 million, according to records obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Vindication For Wendy Davis and "Unruly Mob"

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, during her filibuster of an abortion bill on June 25, 2013.
Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, during her filibuster of an abortion bill on June 25, 2013.

Almost three years to the day after Wendy Davis held the Texas Senate floor in a filibuster against abortion restrictions that galvanized reproductive rights activists, vindication came Monday in the form of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Proposed DMV Rules Could Put Some Firms Out of Business

Sharon Fry, who owns Fry Auto Title Service in South Austin with her husband, is worried about a Texas Department of Motor Vehicle proposal to regulate the fees her business can charge.
Sharon Fry, who owns Fry Auto Title Service in South Austin with her husband, is worried about a Texas Department of Motor Vehicle proposal to regulate the fees her business can charge.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board will meet Monday to consider proposals drawing ire from popular private title service companies that operate in just a few counties in Texas.

For UT Students, Fisher Ruling Marks End of Era

Abigail Fisher, right, plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas, leaves the U.S. Supreme Court with Edward Blum of the Project on Fair Representation after oral arguments in the case, in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 2015.
Abigail Fisher, right, plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas, leaves the U.S. Supreme Court with Edward Blum of the Project on Fair Representation after oral arguments in the case, in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 2015.

Since Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas in 2008, nine classes have graduated from the university, their time on campus marked by debates surrounding affirmative action — a national issue that hit especially close to home. 

Cruz Assails Obama Anew over Terrorism Fight

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attended a Pennsylvania campaign kickoff event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 19, 2016.
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attended a Pennsylvania campaign kickoff event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 19, 2016.

Reprising a familiar theme from his abandoned presidential campaign, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz convened a hearing Tuesday and repeatedly charged that the Obama administration is "willfully blind" to the root of terrorism in the United States.

Paxton Opinion Slams Schools' Transgender Policies

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a press conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the federal government over rules for transgender bathrooms in public schools.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a press conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the federal government over rules for transgender bathrooms in public schools.

In an advisory opinion, Attorney General Ken Paxton says the Fort Worth school superintendent exceeded his authority — and may have run afoul of state law — by issuing a policy to accommodate transgender students.

UT Poll: Most Texas Voters Support Banning Muslims, Building Border Wall

Immigrants and activists participate in press conference and rally before the kick-off of a 37-mile march on Nov. 19, 2015, The march is designed to show their support for immigration reform. The marchers planned to walk for three days, from the federal immigration detention facility in Taylor to the Texas Governor's Mansion in downtown Austin.
Immigrants and activists participate in press conference and rally before the kick-off of a 37-mile march on Nov. 19, 2015, The march is designed to show their support for immigration reform. The marchers planned to walk for three days, from the federal immigration detention facility in Taylor to the Texas Governor's Mansion in downtown Austin.

A majority of Texas’ registered voters believe Muslims who are not U.S. citizens should be banned from entering the country, according to results of a University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll released Tuesday.

Analysis: Anti-Regulation Party in Texas Has a Strong Taste for Rules

An anti-abortion protester demonstrated outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016, before the court struck down two key provisions of a Texas abortion law.
An anti-abortion protester demonstrated outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016, before the court struck down two key provisions of a Texas abortion law.

Monday's Supreme Court ruling against two key provisions of the state's anti-abortion law was the latest setback for a band of Republicans who abhor regulatory constraints on business but who regularly try to control the behavior of individuals in Texas.