Joe Pickett

 Roy Luck

The Brief: March 13, 2015

Steelworkers and Shell Oil have struck a tentative agreement on a labor deal that would end a strike at 15 refineries and chemical plants, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday night.

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 Robert Hensley

The Brief: Feb. 26, 2015

Senate budget writers directed their displeasure at the Texas Racing Commission during a contentious hearing on Wednesday in which the head of the finance committee declared herself "livid."

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 Mark Graham

The Brief: July 2, 2014

Lawmakers had a busy Tuesday, with the safe storage of ammonium nitrate and the alleged influence of criminal cartels in the current immigration crisis among the topics addressed.

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TribuneFest: Transportation and the 83rd Legislature

At the Trib's Oct. 17 symposium on transportation at Southern Methodist University, I sat down with four members of the House Transportation Committee: Chairman Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, and state Reps. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, and Joe Pickett, D-El Paso.

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 Illustration by Todd Wiseman / Corey Leopold

Transportation Funding Bill Fails in House

A compromise transportation funding plan failed 84-40 in the House on Monday afternoon amid bipartisan opposition. Gov. Rick Perry quickly criticized those who voted against the measure but did not say if he would call a third special session.

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 Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Interactive: House Travel

Retiring state Rep. Joe Crabb, R-Atascocita, led all Texas House members in government-funded travel expenses in the last fiscal year, according to a Texas Tribune review of expense reports obtained from the state comptroller. Crabb spent $48,400, versus a per-member average of about $11,000. In all, 14 members spent more than $30,000. View a sortable table of travel totals by member.

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 Jacob Villanueva

Road Conditions

Sensible people in the Metroplex may have given up long ago on Southwest Parkway and State Highway 161, two huge projects first proposed back in the 1960s. Now they're toll roads — one incomplete, one not yet started — and the money to build them may finally be available. There is, of course, a catch.

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A Hard Road

Lawmakers are still perturbed at TxDOT, but the state's transportation agency is trying to do better. The first step, says one commissioner: Figure out how to meet the transportation needs of Texas citizens — which it's not doing.

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