Tribpedia: 82nd Legislative Session

Every legislative session has a big issue or two, but lawmakers who came to Austin for the 82nd regular session starting in January 2011 faced several difficult problems: A state budget shortfall of $15 billion to $27 billion, more than two dozen state agency overhauls, legislative and congressional redistricting, and a list of divisive matters ranging from immigration to abortion ...

For Lawmakers, Ethics Reform is Complicated

It's easier, it seems, for lawmakers to regulate others than to regulate themselves. Ethics and transparency legislation has had a bumpy ride in the current legislative session. Lawmakers turned away proposals to tighten their personal financial disclosures — stricter federal standards were suggested by some as a good model — and to put those reports online where voters can see them.

 

Year in Review: The Hot Seats Across Texas

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.

In Brownsville, offensive linemen for Pace High School's football team hit a sled during a Sept. 11 practice.
In Brownsville, offensive linemen for Pace High School's football team hit a sled during a Sept. 11 practice.

New Law Protecting Student Athletes With Concussions is in Effect

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.

David Barton, left, of WallBuilders talks with a delegate as he poses for photos at a Texas Eagle Forum reception at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2012.
David Barton, left, of WallBuilders talks with a delegate as he poses for photos at a Texas Eagle Forum reception at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2012.

Defamation Lawsuit Puts New Statute to the Test

A defamation lawsuit filed by WallBuilders founder David Barton has become an early test of new tort reform legislation intended to protect free speech.