Senate bills set stage for tax, debt relief

Published Wednesday, March 11, 2015
By Ed Sterling

A trio of powerful state senators, along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, on March 5 jointly announced the filing of legislation they coauthored to cut taxes and pay off state debt.

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Senate panel passes legislation to fund state highways

Published Wednesday, March 4, 2015
By Ed Sterling

The Senate Transportation Committee tentatively approved two pieces of legislation Feb. 25 that would take a portion of various motor vehicle related taxes and dedicate that money to road and bridge construction and maintenance.

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Governor gives lawmakers his state budget priorities

Published Wednesday, February 25, 2015
By Ed Sterling

On Feb. 17, Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his first State of the State address during a joint session of the Texas House and Senate and released his recommendations for the two-year 2016-2017 state budget.

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Abbott joins other governors in urging against veto

Published Wednesday, February 18, 2015
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 12 announced he had joined a coalition of 24 governors in signing and sending a letter to President Obama that urges the nation's chief executive "to reconsider his threat" to veto legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Senate panel hears testimony on funding needs

Published Wednesday, February 11, 2015
By Ed Sterling

Last week, the Senate Finance Committee began groundwork for its budget-writing duties with public hearings on four consecutive days.

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Budget-writing process begins in Senate committee

Published Wednesday, February 4, 2015
By Ed Sterling

On Jan. 28 the main work of the Texas Legislature started when the state budget-writing Senate Finance Committee met at the Capitol.

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Abbott, Patrick take office

Published Wednesday, January 28, 2015
By Ed Sterling

Jan. 20 was inauguration day for Gov. Greg Abbott, successor to Rick Perry, who completed a record-setting 14 years as governor. Abbott is the 48th governor of Texas.

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Perry gives parting speech

Published Wednesday, January 21, 2015
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Rick Perry addressed a joint session of the House and Senate for the last time on Jan. 13, opening day of the 140-day regular session of the 84th Texas Legislature.

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Proposal would put contracts under increased scrutiny

Published Wednesday, January 14, 2015
By Ed Sterling

Signaling his intent to promote transparency and accountability in the 84th Texas Legislature, House Speaker Joe Straus on Jan. 9 announced that in the coming weeks the House would release a budget proposal designed to strengthen oversight of state agency contracts.

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New mix of lawmakers, officials heading for Austin

Published Wednesday, January 7, 2015
By Ed Sterling

When the 84th Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 13 and oaths of office are administered, the political party split will be 21 Republicans to 10 Democrats in the 31-member Senate, and 98 Republicans to 52 Democrats in the 150-member House.

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State contract with tech firm prompts calls for probe

Published Wednesday, December 24, 2014
By Ed Sterling

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, on Dec. 18 requested that the special prosecution unit of the Travis County District Attorney's Office "begin a formal and thorough investigation" into transactions between the State of Texas and 21CT, a software intelligence firm with offices here and in Vienna, Virginia.

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Panel sets $7 billion minimum for Rainy Day Fund

Published Wednesday, December 17, 2014
By Ed Sterling

On Dec. 11, a Senate-House joint committee empaneled to adopt a sufficient balance for the state's "rainy day fund" approved $7 billion as the floor for it.

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Perry directs state agencies to screen employees

Published Wednesday, December 10, 2014
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Rick Perry on Dec. 3 ordered state agencies to screen current and prospective employees by using E-Verify, an Internet-based system that allows employers to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

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Austin shooter dies in confrontation with police officer

Published Wednesday, December 3, 2014
By Ed Sterling

Police responded to reports of gunfire in the capital city's downtown area around 2 a.m. Nov. 28.

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Perry, Abbott react to Obama’s action on immigration

Published Wednesday, November 26, 2014
By Ed Sterling

President Barack Obama Nov. 20 announced his decision to take executive action on immigration because Congress has not acted on immigration reform to address the presence and inflow of undocumented residents.

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Spigot is open: Flow of legislative bills, resolutions begins

Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014
By Ed Sterling

On Nov. 10, dozens among Texas' 31 state senators and 150 state representatives, including a few members-elect who won't be sworn for nearly two months, jumped right in and filed legislative bills in advance of the 84th regular session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes on Tuesday, Jan. 13.

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Abbott, Patrick win top posts as Republicans dominate

Published Wednesday, November 12, 2014
By Ed Sterling

Winners in the Nov. 4 general election on the whole proved that incumbency and/or running as a Republican continue to be assets when Texas voters hit the polls.

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Secretary of State posts early voting numbers

Published Wednesday, November 5, 2014
By Ed Sterling

The Secretary of State's Elections Division on Oct. 31 posted early voting turnouts for each of the state's 15 highest-population counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, Collin, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Hidalgo, Montgomery, Williamson, Galveston, Nueces and Cameron.

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Campaigns in final push as election day approaches

Published Wednesday, October 29, 2014
By Ed Sterling

Polls continued to show Republican candidates ahead in top-of-ballot races as Texas moved closer to the Oct. 31 early voting deadline before Election Day, Nov. 4.

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High court allows voter ID law for current election

Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014
By Ed Sterling

With early voting in Texas only days away, the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 18 let stand a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals order, thereby allowing Texas' 2011 voter identification law to remain in force for the time being.

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