Looking for information on how to prepare for a weather emergency? Or do you have questions about Texas politics? The Tribune offers several resources, such as explainers, guides, and articles to provide answers and equip Texans with the right context. You can browse our collection of articles to understand how Texas politics and policies affect you.
Gov. Scott Walker should come to Texas, where much of what he’s seeking already exists. The right to bargain collectively isn’t allowed among state employees, and no public employee in Texas may legally go on strike. Full Story
Gov. Rick Perry has said he can't sign an application to receive $10 billion in federal education aid because it requires an assurance he cannot constitutionally make: that the Lege will not use the money to offset state funding of public education. Full Story
Lots of Texans are asking that question in the wake of last week's electricity mess, and nobody's going to be happy with the answer, which is: "It depends" (if you ask the electricity industry); or "Yes" (if you ask consumer advocates). Full Story
Basically, Texas has its own grid to avoid dealing with — you guessed it — the feds. But grid independence has been violated a few times over the years — not even counting Mexico's help during blackouts in 2011. Full Story
There’s no universal definition but essentially, the term refers to the country’s top research-focused universities. While there are specific benchmarks to be considered part of that group, some aren't clear or rely purely on perception. Full Story
If there's one thing that politicians are good at, it's talking. And chubbing is a kind of talking that's used to stall legislation in the Texas House. While state representatives do have the power to talk something to death, this session it will be harder to do than in the past. Full Story
The simple answer: It's the acronym for University of Texas Investment Management Company, a nonprofit company with a single client, the University of Texas System (and, to a lesser extent, the Texas A&M University System). With the universities it serves under pressure not to hike tuition rates even though fewer state dollars are flowing their way, the company's performance will be under intense scrutiny this session — and UTIMCO officials are still recovering from last session's showdown over their generous bonuses. To explain all this for us, we called in an expert: CEO Bruce Zimmerman. Full Story
Last week, freshman state Rep. Stefani Carter, R-Dallas, had her “TeaApproved” status revoked by the North Texas Tea Party following her vote in favor of re-electing Speaker Joe Straus. How did she get “TeaApproved” in the first place? Full Story
Back in the day, not all public officials could read, so clerks would read the bills aloud in the House and Senate. We're reasonably confident they all can read now, but the clerks keep the tradition alive. Full Story
The Texas Constitution says that money from the Rainy Day Fund can be spent to “prevent or eliminate a temporary cash deficiency in general revenue.” With the state facing a budget shortfall estimated somewhere between $15 billion and $27 billion, some say if it ain't raining now, it ain't ever going to. Full Story
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Legislation has to go through committees before the entire House or Senate can have a look. It's a way of dividing up the work and getting things straightened out as much as possible before they get the full treatment from the Legislature. But there's a pecking order involved. And that's when the COW gets called in. Full Story
Ever hear something about Texas politics or policy and wonder what it is? Or read something that made you think, "I have no idea what that means"? We're here to help. From questions about why Rick Perry is within his legal right to shoot a coyote while jogging to what the heck "chubbing" is, Texplainer will answer your burning questions. Today: "What's a Legislative emergency item?" Full Story