For more than a year, Evan Smith has traveled all over Texas to interview state legislators back home, in their districts, in front of hundreds of their constituents. At university campuses from Corpus Christi to Tyler and in between, lawmakers talked about issues that affect every one of us in Texas, from education and health care to water and immigration.
On November 8, the Tribune and the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Politics Project asked four experts on state health, water, transportation and education policy to preview the fights over those issues in the 83rd session.
At our Hot Seat conversation at Trinity University in San Antonio, state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, and state Sen.-elect Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, sparred about public education, health care and other issues in play in the upcoming 83rd session.
At this morning's TribLive conversation, state Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, the chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, discussed the prospect of tuition reregulation and whether the state is adequately funding higher ed.
At the unofficial kickoff of the 2012 Texas Tribune Festival, I talked with the superintendents of the Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Houston and Northwest school districts about the state of public education.
At our Hot Seat conversation at the University of Texas at Tyler, state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, and state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, discussed the 82nd Legislative Session and looked ahead to the 83rd.
Natasha's Law, which requires training for public school coaches and athletic trainers on how to react when players sustain concussions, has drawn praise from doctors and legislators, who say athletes' health will benefit.
At this morning's TribLive conversation, GOP state Reps. and Texas Senate hopefuls Kelly Hancock, Ken Paxton and Larry Taylor discussed two key procedural matters related to the 83rd Legislative Session.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is still feeling the effects of last year's wildfires, drought and budget cuts, but officials say the situation is improving with increased park attendance and donations.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and the Department of Public Safety are sending a reminder message to Texas law enforcement agencies: They must follow a new state law requiring them to report their backlog of untested rape kits.
At this morning's TribLive conversation, state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, discussed his opposition to Gov. Rick Perry's anti-tax pledge, which he says is "disrespectful" to the "adults" in the Legislature.