Politics

Todd Wiseman

Garnet Coleman: The TT Interview

The Democratic state representative from Houston on his Republican colleagues' quest for a federal Medicaid waiver, the problem with block grants and what realistically the feds could do to help Texas and other states.

Full Story 
Marjorie Kamys Cotera

House Committees Named

Speaker Joe Straus appointed members to committees today, shuffling the assignments in a Texas House where one in four members is a freshman and where Republicans have a two-to-one numerical advantage.

Full Story 

Heflin: Most Sensible Solution Is Reduced Spending

More money is not the answer to our current woes. Just as anyone managing a household budget knows, when a family’s expenses grow beyond its income, the solution is to cut back — particularly if its spending habits resemble the state's.

Full Story 

Castro: Start by Casting Aside Wishful Thinking

We need a balanced approach that uses our reserves and adds revenue. And we have to start by casting aside wishful thinking; we are writing the 2012-13 budget, with higher costs and increased enrollment in education and health care services — not some past budget.

Full Story 
Todd Wiseman

Few Obstacles Face Voter ID in the Legislature

Both sides cite stats and research papers to support their positions, with Democrats saying the photo voter ID law will suppress minority voting, and Republicans saying it won't do anything but stop fraud. Whatever it is, it's on its way into the law books.

Full Story 
Todd Wiseman

Lawmakers Propose Raiding Auto Theft Fund

House and Senate budget writers have proposed closing a little-known state agency that helps prevent and solve automobile theft and burglary. The catch? While they’re planning to kill the agency, they're not planning to stop collecting the fee you pay to keep it going.

Full Story 
Bob Daemmrich

Fair Game?

Are families out of bounds in politics? A newspaper columnist's recent unflattering piece on Anita Perry has what passes for a Royal Court at the Capitol debating that question.

Full Story 
Todd Wiseman

The Kids Aren't All Right

The budget draft filed last week provided the first glimpse at the kind of deep cuts that state agencies could see in the next biennium. As Matt Largey of KUT News reports, advocates are particularly worried about what the final budget could hold for the agency that protects children from abuse and neglect.

Full Story 
Todd Wiseman/Bob Daemmrich

The Revenue Guesstimate

Lawmakers are waiting for Comptroller Susan Combs to forecast exactly how much money the state will collect between now and August 2013 so they can write a two-year budget that spends no more than that. It's not exactly like opening the envelopes at the Oscars, but the Capitol community will be hanging on her every word. If history is a guide, her estimate of revenues will be closer to the bull's eye than the Legislature's estimate of spending. But this is a dark art; accuracy can be elusive.

Full Story 

A Taxing Problem

It's not hard to find strange bedfellows in the Texas Legislature when the bills start flying. Republicans and Democrats frequently cross the aisle to support legislation that they feel will help their constituents. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the same could be true as lawmakers try to figure out how to balance the state budget during the upcoming legislative session. Full Story 

A Taxing Problem

It's not hard to find strange bedfellows in the Texas Legislature when the bills start flying. Republicans and Democrats frequently cross the aisle to support legislation that they feel will help their constituents. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the same could be true as lawmakers try to figure out how to balance the state budget.  

Full Story 
Todd Wiseman

Congressional Clout

For the seventh consecutive decade, Texas will gain seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the decennial apportionment process, which means extra clout after the 2012 elections. With Republicans in control of redrawing the state's congressional districts — and adding the four new seats — they stand to benefit the most. 

Full Story 
Todd Wiseman

Equal, But Not the Same

Lawmakers will spend the next six months drawing political maps for Texas, doing their decennial readjustment to make sure each district has the same number of people. But when they’re done, some parts of the state will still get more political attention than others, and the voters have only themselves to blame.

Full Story