Tribpedia: Senfronia Thompson

Abbott signs measure that tightens state law on child brides

Trevicia Williams was 14 years old when her mother forced her to marry a man 12 years her senior. 
<p>Trevicia Williams was <span id="docs-internal-guid-5d06cc64-3c60-c365-cccb-8f09c5ebba4c"><span>14 years old when her mother forced her to marry a man 12 years her senior.&nbsp;</span></span></p>

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill Thursday to prohibit people younger than 18 from marrying unless a judge consents. The measure also prohibits anyone under 16 from getting married.

State Sen, Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, is shown during a Texas Tribune event in 2012, when he was a member of the state House.
<p>State Sen, Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, is shown during a Texas Tribune event in 2012, when he was a member of the state House.</p>

Senate passes "second chances" bill for nonviolent offenders

The Texas Senate has approved its version of House Bill 3016, which would make it easier for people to apply for jobs if they have low-level offenses on their records. Such applicants would not be required to disclose their offenses.

Women and supporters gather at the Texas Capitol for the Women's March on Austin on Jan. 21, 2017.
Women and supporters gather at the Texas Capitol for the Women's March on Austin on Jan. 21, 2017.

Tens of thousands participate in Texas women's marches

The day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, tens of thousands of Texans took part in marches across the state Saturday during Texas’ multiple iterations of the Women’s March on Washington.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a new unit of his office dedicated to combating human trafficking. State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, the author of a law that enhanced penalties for human trafficking, joined Paxton at a press conference on Jan. 14, 2016.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a new unit of his office dedicated to combating human trafficking. State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, the author of a law that enhanced penalties for human trafficking, joined Paxton at a press conference on Jan. 14, 2016.

Texas Attorney General Unveils Unit to Fight Human Trafficking

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday announced a new unit in his office dedicated to combating human trafficking.

 

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst delivering his concession speech after losing his re-election bid on May 27, 2014.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst delivering his concession speech after losing his re-election bid on May 27, 2014.

The Brief: July 18, 2014

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is on his way out in a few months, but on Thursday he moved to fill some key Senate leadership slots to help the chamber prepare for the coming legislative session in January.

Democratic nominee Wendy Davis addresses her supporters at the filibuster anniversary celebration hosted by her gubernatorial campaign.
Democratic nominee Wendy Davis addresses her supporters at the filibuster anniversary celebration hosted by her gubernatorial campaign.

The Brief: June 26, 2014

On the eve of the Democratic state convention, Wendy Davis and friends commemorated the event that put the gubernatorial candidate on the national map.

The Texas Tribune Festival 2012 Opening Session: A Conversation with Gov. Rick Perry and Evan Smith, Sept. 21, 2012.
The Texas Tribune Festival 2012 Opening Session: A Conversation with Gov. Rick Perry and Evan Smith, Sept. 21, 2012.

Perry Issues More Than Two Dozen Vetoes

Gov. Rick Perry issued more than two dozen vetoes Friday, including a line-item veto that wipes out funding for the Travis County prosecutors who investigate government fraud and public corruption. He also vetoed a bill that would have had Texas law mirror gender wage protections in the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

Brandon Biko Reese, who will soon be released after serving a five-year sentence, is enthusiastically welcomed to the front of the room to give a farewell speech. In an effort to "de-gangsterize" inmates, administrators encourage them to dance and cheer for their peers whenever possible.
Brandon Biko Reese, who will soon be released after serving a five-year sentence, is enthusiastically welcomed to the front of the room to give a farewell speech. In an effort to "de-gangsterize" inmates, administrators encourage them to dance and cheer for their peers whenever possible.

Lawmakers Urged to Protect Businesses That Hire Ex-Prisoners

Amid a broader legislative push to help former prisoners re-enter society, state lawmakers on Monday were encouraged to limit the legal liability of businesses that hire ex-prisoners.

Former Rep. Bill Siebert, R-San Antonio, had been in office for six years when news reports revealed that he had lobbied the San Antonio City Council for a private firm without having registered as a lobbyist. Siebert blamed the oversight on a miscommunication between his office and City Hall. But the issue dominated his 2000 re-election bid, which he lost.
Former Rep. Bill Siebert, R-San Antonio, had been in office for six years when news reports revealed that he had lobbied the San Antonio City Council for a private firm without having registered as a lobbyist. Siebert blamed the oversight on a miscommunication between his office and City Hall. But the issue dominated his 2000 re-election bid, which he lost.

Despite Reforms, Elected Officials Can Still Lobby

While members of the Texas Legislature can no longer act as lobbyists before state agencies, plenty of lawmakers still manage to lobby local governments. Others find work that critics would classify as lobbying by another name.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Ramshaw on the lioness of the Texas House, Dehn and Tan review 20 years of Rick Perry's political ads, Murphy's latest database includes the governor's political accounts over the last decade, Aaronson's visualizations of what was said in the biggest legislative debates, M. Smith on the woman in the middle chair at the State Board of Education, Galbraith on how the drought is forcing ranchers to sell their herds, Grissom has the story on a cattle rustler who's asking the courts to give him an old-fashioned sentence, Hamilton covers Rick O'Donnell's latest salvo at higher education,  Aguilar on whether and how the sanctuary cities issue will translate at the ballot box next year, yours truly on Ron Paul's candidacy and the candidate in his own words: The best of our best from July 18 to 22, 2011.

State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, debates an amendment to HB1 on April 1, 2011.
State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, debates an amendment to HB1 on April 1, 2011.

Video: "Pansexual" Amendment Debate

While you were sleeping last night, lawmakers in the Texas House were engaged in a passionate debate over "pansexual" politics that nearly killed the entire fiscal matters bill, which is pretty much the main reason they're having a special session. Trust us — this is must-see video. 

State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, listens to testimony during a House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing on April 5, 2011.
State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, listens to testimony during a House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing on April 5, 2011.

After 16 Hours of Debate, House Tentatively Passes Key Fiscal Matters Bill

Lengthy debate on a key budget bill featured many retreads of contentious topics from the regular session — but it was Rep. Wayne Christian's revival of his famous "pansexual" amendment around midnight that almost killed the whole thing.

State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, sits at his desk on the House floor with an airplane drawing and the "Come and Take It" slogan visible on May 27, 2011.
State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, sits at his desk on the House floor with an airplane drawing and the "Come and Take It" slogan visible on May 27, 2011.

New Lawmaker's Crusade Against Government is a Lonely One

In the just-ended legislative session, freshman state Rep. David Simpson made a name for himself — and not always a nice one — with his passionate push for the “anti-groping” airport bill and his outspoken stance against proposals he believed represented government intrusion into personal freedoms. 

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, stands with state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, on May 25, 2011, as Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs HB 3000, a bill increasing the penalties on human trafficking.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, stands with state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, on May 25, 2011, as Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs HB 3000, a bill increasing the penalties on human trafficking.

Is There a Boys Club Under the Pink Dome?

The flap in the House and Senate this week over a political flyer showing an infant nursing at a bare breast has rekindled an age-old discussion: Is there sexism in the Texas Capitol?