Tribpedia: Kirk Watson

Austin senator — a Baylor alum — takes aim at university sexual assault

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, answers a question during a panel discussion on Jan. 31, 2017.
State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, answers a question during a panel discussion on Jan. 31, 2017.

Sen. Kirk Watson's proposed bills would require universities to provide an anonymous online sexual assault reporting process and would prohibit administrators from punishing victims or witnesses who reveal that they were drinking underage at the time of an attack.

State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, lays out SB 14, the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act, in the Texas Senate on Feb. 7, 2017.
State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, lays out SB 14, the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act, in the Texas Senate on Feb. 7, 2017.

Texas Senate passes ethics reform

The Texas Senate passed a bill that would take pensions away from officials convicted of felonies and require lobbyists to disclose more of their wining and dining of lawmakers.

Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday reads a speech during an evening vigil to honor five slain Dallas police officers at the state Capitol on July 14, 2016.
Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday reads a speech during an evening vigil to honor five slain Dallas police officers at the state Capitol on July 14, 2016.

Vigil Honors Fallen Dallas Police

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Law enforcement officials, legislators and citizens formed a sea of blue Thursday night at the state Capitol, raising blue glow sticks in the air during a vigil to honor the lives of the five police officers who were killed in Dallas one week ago.

 

A fueling station for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas sits in Austin. As of mid-March, Texas was home to 130 natural gas fueling stations, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. Those 77 public stations and 63 private ones serve about 7,200 vehicles.
A fueling station for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas sits in Austin. As of mid-March, Texas was home to 130 natural gas fueling stations, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. Those 77 public stations and 63 private ones serve about 7,200 vehicles.

Despite Early Momentum, Energy Legislation Flames Out at End of Session

Who killed the House and Senate's top energy bills? Their autopsy evokes the names of T. Boone Pickens and Koch Industries and involves plenty of squabbling between the chambers.  

Gov. Greg Abbott delivering his State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott delivering his State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.

In Texas, a Collapse of Ethics Reform

When the gavel comes down on the legislative session on Monday, lawmakers will have failed to pass into law about two dozen different proposals aimed at curbing conflicts of interest and shining light into the dark corners of the Capitol.

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, on the House floor, May 7, 2015.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, on the House floor, May 7, 2015.

The Brief: May 28, 2015

The House remains fully committed to keeping dark money disclosure language in its ethics reform legislation. However, the measure's Senate author is equally adamant that provision must come out.

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015

Wining and Dining Disclosure Bills Advance

Bills designed to shed more light on wining and dining of politicians by lobbyists and contractors advanced in the Texas Legislature on Monday.

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015

Lawmakers in No Rush to Disclose Lobbyist Wining and Dining

Two bills aimed at disclosure of lobbyist wining and dining are on the verge of being snuffed out in a Senate committee, according to the sponsor of the measures. That's despite Greg Abbott’s vow to “dedicate this session to ethics reform."

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

Senate Votes to Close Austin Institution

The Austin State Supported Living Center will be the first closed, but more are to come as the state continues moving away from residential centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 

Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.
Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.

Property and Business Tax Cut Measures Head to Full Senate

The Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to send proposals cutting property taxes and business taxes to the full Senate, though some senators questioned whether the property tax cuts could be better spent in other ways.

Attorney General Greg Abbott indicates his willingness to sue President Obama on immigration during a press conference Nov. 24, 2014.
Attorney General Greg Abbott indicates his willingness to sue President Obama on immigration during a press conference Nov. 24, 2014.

The Brief: Feb. 17, 2015

A Brownsville federal judge dropped a late-night legal bombshell Monday night, halting President Obama's executive action on immigration.