Tribpedia: 85th Legislative Session

The 85th session of the Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 10, 2017, and concludes on May 29. The party breakdowns in the House and Senate mirror recent legislatures — both chambers are dominated by Republicans, and all statewide offices are held by Republicans.

While the primary goal for legislators will be to write a budget for the 2018 and 2019 ...

Texas A&M Kingsville Army ROTC cadets  (l-r) Andrew Wilson, Nathaniel Estes, Octavio Calleja-Ponce, Daniel Obrego and Cristian Barriosalas raise the flag in front of Texas A&M Kingsville's College Hall on October 26, 2016.
Texas A&M Kingsville Army ROTC cadets (l-r) Andrew Wilson, Nathaniel Estes, Octavio Calleja-Ponce, Daniel Obrego and Cristian Barriosalas raise the flag in front of Texas A&M Kingsville's College Hall on October 26, 2016.

Attempts to overhaul Hazlewood veterans tuition program are losing steam

A change of heart by a powerful lawmaker and vocal opposition by veterans groups have imperiled hopes for a major overhaul of Texas' free tuition program for veterans and their kids. 

Jose Garza, an attorney for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, and former Texas Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer speak to reporters on April 27, 2017, following a status conference on a years-long challenge to Texas' political maps. 
<p>Jose Garza, an attorney for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, and former Texas Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer speak to reporters on April 27, 2017, following a status conference on a years-long challenge to Texas' political maps.&nbsp;</p>

Ahead of 2018, trial likely looms in Texas political map battle

“I think the trial is certain,” said Jose Garza, an attorney for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, a lead plaintiff in the years-long challenge of the state’s political boundaries.

The storefront of a payday lender in Austin on April 25, 2017. Antipoverty advocates are warning that a pair of proposals in the Legislature could&nbsp;perpetuate a cycle of debt for millions of Texans.
<p>The storefront of a payday lender in Austin on April 25, 2017. Antipoverty advocates are warning that a pair of proposals in the Legislature could&nbsp;perpetuate a cycle of debt for millions of Texans.</p>

Bills would undo cities' efforts to rein in payday lenders, advocates warn

Dozens of Texas cities have passed ordinances regulating payday and auto title lenders that are stricter than current state and federal rules. Some state lawmakers are hoping to eliminate them.

Dallas police officers and firefighters&nbsp;protest their failing pension fund outside City Hall in Dallas on April 26, 2017.
<p><span>Dallas police officers and firefighters&nbsp;protest their failing pension fund outside City Hall in Dallas on April 26, 2017.</span></p>

Dallas police officers, firefighters rail against mayor's handling of pension crisis

Mike Rawlings says he's trying to protect taxpayers as he opposes bill aimed at fixing shortfall. But first responders say he could exacerbate a shortage of police officers and firefighters.

James Stone's ranch outside of Lockhart on May 10, 2011. Hogs have hobbled Stone's property, ruining pasture land, killing trees and damaging fences. He estimates taking out over 500 hogs during the last three years.
<p>James Stone's ranch outside of Lockhart on May 10, 2011. Hogs have hobbled Stone's property, ruining pasture land, killing trees and damaging fences. He estimates taking out over 500 hogs during the last three years.</p>

Feral hog poison in Texas on hold — for now

The company behind the only EPA-approved pesticide for feral hogs has withdrawn its request for registration in Texas. But that doesn’t mean the battle over the warfarin-based poison’s safety is finished.

Texas lawmakers are poised to discuss statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies next session, although there's no clear consensus on what rules, if any, should be proposed come January.
Texas lawmakers are poised to discuss statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies next session, although there's no clear consensus on what rules, if any, should be proposed come January.

Uber and Lyft call "sex" amendment disappointing, unnecessary

Representatives for Uber and Lyft say an amendment to a statewide ride-hailing bill that defines "sex" as "the physical condition of being male or female" is disappointing and unnecessary.

The Gonzales family &mdash; Frank, Rachel and daughter Libby &mdash; attended a rally during Texas Trans Lobby Day at the Texas Capitol on March 6, 2017.
<p>The Gonzales family &mdash; Frank, Rachel and daughter Libby &mdash; attended a rally during Texas Trans Lobby Day at the Texas Capitol on March 6, 2017.</p>

"Bathroom bill" hearing went past this 7-year-old's bedtime. Here's what she wanted to say.

Listen to what a 7-year-old transgender girl had planned to say last week during a Texas House State Affairs Committee hearing on a bill that would regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans.

&nbsp;Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett drinks a soft drink at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on May 1, 2010.&nbsp;
<p>&nbsp;Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett drinks a soft drink at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on May 1, 2010.&nbsp;</p>

Tea Party leaders push back on GOP over fast-tracked "Buffett Bill"

Conservative activists are pushing back against the so-called “Buffett Bill,” which would let billionaire Warren Buffett hang onto his car dealerships in Texas but keep the market closed to Tesla and other manufacturers.