Jul 7th - 2:29 pm
From the south steps to the halls of the Capitol, thousands got involved in Texas politics this week. Jay Root with the Texas Tribune, Ben Philpott with KUT’s “Agenda Texas,” and Terrence Stutz with The Dallas Morning News joined us to talk about the week that was.
Although Sen. Wendy Davis was in the spotlight for her filibuster last week, another lawmaker is also getting credit for stirring the gallery with her comments from the floor. We sat down with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte for a one-on-one interview.
Jun 20th - 8:56 pm
Minutes after capping off a nearly six-hour debate on redistricting, many House lawmakers marched off to tackle even more contentious issues.
The House State Affairs Committee saw more than 400 people line up to testify on a list of abortion bills, including one that would ban abortion after 20 weeks. At the same time, the House Appropriations Committee considered Rep. Sylvester Turner’s plan to override the governor’s veto of Public Integrity Unit funding.
A high-ranking House member is making a move to impeach one of the UT regents, and it appears to have some support. Our Capital Commentators weighed in on that and more.
New Poll Numbers
Plus, James Henson of the Texas Politics Project joined us to talk about the latest poll numbers on abortion laws in Texas. Click the image below to hear more.
Jun 19th - 8:33 pm
Back to School
The state’s school finance problems were back before a court Wednesday, this time over changes both sides agree need to be included as evidence.
That evidence includes the $3.4 billion in funding restored this session, on top of numerous changes to testing and graduation requirements. District Judge John Dietz has set a new date to take state lawmakers’ changes into account. In Wednesday’s episode, we looked at what to expect from the trial.
Abortion law in Texas could be changed drastically if a new Senate bill makes it to the governor’s desk. We spoke to Whole Woman’s Health, a licensed abortion clinic in Austin, to find out what the changes mean.
Plus, a key player on immigration reform in Washington says he’s thinking of backing out.
Click the image below to see why Congressman John Carter says he has serious concerns with an immigration reform bill he helped draft.
Jun 18th - 8:53 pm
Fighting for Funding
Just days after Gov. Rick Perry’s veto stripped state funding for the Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg made her first public appearance since a high-profile DWI arrest.
She’s asking the county to help close the $7.5 million funding gap, and making it clear that she has no plans to resign.
In Tuesday’s show, we heard more from Lehmberg, plus commentary from attorney Kerry O’Brien, who has been a prominent voice in calling for her resignation.
The Senate took up the governor’s special session call to pass legislation that would further restrict abortion in the state Tuesday. Among the bill’s most controversial components was a measure known as the fetal pain bill, which would block abortions after 20 weeks. The bill’s author, Sen. Glenn Hegar, eventually agreed to withdraw the measure, saying he believes taking it out is the most practical way lawmakers can enhance the quality of care while protecting life with the amount of time left in the session.
Plus, our Capital Commentators weighed in on the ongoing battle over the Public Integrity Unit, along with the rest of the day’s political news.
Mar 7th - 8:48 pm
Hundreds of activists rallied outside the Texas Capitol Thursday, as part of Planned Parenthood lobbying day.
This year’s efforts had particular urgency, now that the organization has been cut out of the state’s Women’s Health Program. A bill making its way through the House aims to reverse that decision and bring back federal and state funding.
Another question looming the 83rd Legislative Session is this: Should Texas expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act?
Proponents say it would pull down billions in federal dollars to help the uninsured. Critics, including the governor, say it forces Texas to spend too much money on a program that needs serious reform.
We spoke to John Davidson from the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Anne Dunkleberg from the Center for Public Policy Priorities about the research behind the debate.
Sen. Rand Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster Wednesday made national headlines. It also resulted in a new bill, proposed by Sen. Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, that would explicitly outlaw a drone killing on U.S. soil of an American citizen who doesn’t represent an imminent threat.
Our Capital Commentators weighed in on the significance of the filibuster and the proposed bill.
Jan 11th - 8:48 pm
Lawmakers took an early weekend, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of big news in Texas politics.
After a full day in court, a Texas judge denied Planned Parenthood’s request to rejoin the state’s Women’s Health Program. This was just the latest go-round in court for the nonprofit, which hasn’t been receiving any state funding since the New Year as a result of action lawmakers took last session.
Earlier in the day, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst made waves by calling for gun a training program for Texas teachers. Speaking at a Texas Public Policy Foundation luncheon, he suggested school districts could opt in to the program, and choose which faculty members would be armed. He stressed that state funding would be necessary, because standard training for a conceal-and-carry license would not be sufficient.
“As someone who’s on his third renewal of my concealed handgun license in Texas, but has gone through the USA’s Air Force in weapons training, and I was in the CIA, and I was posted abroad, and I’ve gone through extensive weapons training — 8 hours of instruction and two hours on the range is not sufficient.”
The biggest class of freshman Representatives in decades has descended on the State Capitol — 41 to be exact. Over the next five months, we’re going to be taking a closer look at what kind of mark they’re making. This week, we talk to Republican Rep. Jason Villalba.
Jan 11th - 4:57 pm
Planned Parenthood today lost its latest appeal in its fight to receive state funding as part of the Women’s Health Program. State District Judge Steve Yelenosky said he denied the injunction because Planned Parenthood would likely lost at trial.
In a statement, Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek applauded the ruling, saying:
“This allows us to continue to provide important family planning and preventive care to low-income women and fully enforce state law. We’ve got the Texas Women’s Health Program up and running, and we’ll continue to provide help to any woman who needs to find a new doctor or clinic.”
Jan 11th - 11:38 am
Planned Parenthood is resuming its fight to be included in the Texas Woman’s Health Program. Attorneys are back in court today to ask a judge to issue an injunction, clearing the way for Planned Parenthood to receive state funding.
Planned Parenthood was cut out of the program on January 1. At issue is state law banning clinics affiliated with abortion providers from receiving taxpayer money - even if the clinics themselves do not provide abortions. As a result of the state’s so-called ‘affiliate ban rule,’ Texas lost federal funding for women’s health care. Instead, the state is moving forward with its own self-funded program.
Planned Parenthood sued, claiming the new rule violates state and federal law and discriminates against health care providers.
Last month, a Travis County District Judge turned down Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary restraining order; clearing the way for the Health and Human Services Commission to cut off funding. Today, Planned Parenthood is asking for a permanent injunction banning the state from excluding it from the program until a trial can be held.