State News

News pertaining to the state of Texas.

Troopers ticketing fewer overall, but more Hispanics

10 hours ago
The number of Hispanics receiving traffic citations from state police has doubled in the last five years.
Tom Michael KRTS

The share of Hispanics receiving traffic citations from state police has doubled in the last five years, even as the total number of tickets written and total number issued to whites have dropped significantly, according to Texas Department of Public Safety data on non-commercial drivers.

With Texas swing, Cruz tests home-state strength

10 hours ago
Ted Cruz swung through Texas visiting Kingwood, Fort Worth, and Tyler.
NPR

Ted Cruz didn’t have to work too hard to excite the Tea Party crowd gathered in this Houston suburb, a friendly audience that erupted with adulation at every turn of his stump speech.

Addressing an auditorium on Thursday evening that included his parents, the Republican U.S. senator described how groups like this one, the Kingwood Tea Party, were critical to his come-from-behind victory in the 2012 Senate race — and how he would need their support again for the 2016 presidential election.

Gov. Abbott to visit Mexico, meet with President

Sep 3, 2015
Governor Abbott is headed to Mexico this Labor Day Weekend.
NPR

Gov. Greg Abbott will travel to Mexico City on Sunday to meet with Mexican officials in his first international trip as governor.

Abbott and a small delegation of Texas officials are scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas and other Mexican officials to discuss the “deep cultural and economic ties” between Texas and Mexico, according to a press release from Abbott’s office.

Cruz opens Texas swing with warning for rivals

Sep 3, 2015
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz warns rivals that his support base in Texas could hinder their own progress in the state.
NPR

Ted Cruz opened a daylong swing through his home state Thursday with a warning for other presidential candidates looking to make Texas a part of their campaign calculus.

"We’ve got a tremendous base of support here, and so they may discover a difficult path," the Republican U.S. senator told reporters before a raucous rally at the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Cuellar: House will pass bill lifting crude export ban

Sep 2, 2015
Even with a busy upcoming legislative session, Texas Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) thinks the U.S. House will pass a lift on the country's 40-year ban on crude oil exports.
Courtesy Photo

A Texas Democrat says he believes the U.S. House will pass legislation lifting the country’s 40-year-old ban on most crude oil exports — even amid a frenzy of activity in the upcoming session.

“The House is going to pass it,” U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, of Laredo, said Wednesday in an interview.

Perry campaign has no staff in New Hampshire

Sep 2, 2015
A former staffer of Perry's claims the former Texas governor has no staff in New Hampshire for his presidential campaign.
NPR

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Rick Perry's presidential campaign has lost its entire staff in New Hampshire, according to a former top adviser there to the former governor.

"There is no staff in New Hampshire," Mike Dennehy said Wednesday, a day after word spread that one of Perry's remaining staffers in the Granite State had defected to Ohio Gov. John Kasich's campaign.

Texas Racing Commission funded for 90 days

Sep 2, 2015
Lone Star Park will be back in action due to a temporary funding agreement between the Texas Legislature and the Texas Racing Commission.
R. Hensley

Racetracks in Texas are able to resume operations Wednesday after state officials agreed to temporarily fund the commission that regulates the tracks. But whether long-term funding will be approved for the Texas Racing Commission remains in question.

State asks Supreme Court to drop school finance lawsuit

Sep 1, 2015
Lawyers for the state have requested that the Supreme Court drop the school finance lawsuit.
NPR

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

“Money isn’t pixie dust” when it comes to improving public schools, lawyers for the state of Texas told the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, arguing an appeal in what has been described as the most far-reaching school finance case in state history. They urged the high court to either dismiss or remand the lawsuit brought by nearly two-thirds of the state's school districts.

Texas Racing Commission closed, tracks suspend races

Sep 1, 2015
Lone Star Park will be back in action due to a temporary funding agreement between the Texas Legislature and the Texas Racing Commission.
R. Hensley

The Texas Racing Commission ceased operations Tuesday and directed racetracks to stop all live and broadcast racing, according to the agency.

The commission, which regulates dog and horse racing in the state, notified tracks Monday night that it had not received the money necessary to remain open. Texas House and Senate members of the Legislative Budget Board failed to reach an agreement Monday to avert a shutdown.

Perry trims Iowa staff as super PAC ramps up

Aug 31, 2015
Perry's Iowa staff only features one paid staffer.
NPR

*Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Rick Perry's presidential campaign has trimmed its Iowa ranks to just one paid staffer, an aide said Monday, as a super PAC backing the former Texas governor officially ramped up its operation in the key early voting state.

Grant program for military bases gets infusion of funds

Aug 31, 2015
Cpl. Danielle Aldrich, a landing support specialist with the 2nd Combat Logistics Battalion, directs a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook during an exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas, on April 5, 2014.
Lance Cpl. Sarah Blendowski

Throughout August, The Texas Tribune will feature 31 ways Texans' lives will change because of new laws that take effect Sept. 1. Check out our story calendar for more.

Judge to consider future of UT Confederate statue

Aug 27, 2015
The statue of Jefferson Davis, once president of the Confederate States, stands just south of the Main Building on UT's campus
KUT

The fight over the future of a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis has boiled on the University of Texas at Austin campus for years. On Thursday, a judge will consider whether to end it.

UT-Austin President Greg Fenves wants to move the statue from the school's south mall to an exhibit in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Acting on advice from an on-campus committee, he made plans to remove it on Aug. 15, but a last-minute lawsuit by the Sons of Confederate Veterans put them on hold.

Paxton pleads not guilty; lawyer quits case

Aug 27, 2015
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was in court Thursday for an initial hearing in his financial fraud case.
provided image

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's first courtroom appearance as a criminal defendant was a 30-minute affair in which Paxton's lead lawyer quit for unspecified reasons, the attorney general requested that no cameras be allowed at his trial and the judge admonished everyone to limit public statements about the case.

Paxton was in a Fort Worth courtroom on Thursday for the initial hearing in the financial fraud case against him, pleading not guilty to three felony charges related to claims that he misled investors in business dealings before he took office.

Abbott honors 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle

Aug 26, 2015
Chris Kyle's widow Taya Kyle received the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor that Gov. Greg Abbott awarded to her late husband today.
NPR

Saying that Chris Kyle's "remarkable, selfless service may be unrivaled in the annals of our proud history," Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday posthumously awarded the late Navy SEAL sniper the state's highest military honor.

At the ceremony, Abbott also awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Lt. Col. William "Ed" Dyess, a World War II veteran who died in 1943. Dyess' sister accepted the award on his behalf.

Hegar lets Abbott vetoes stand, ask AG to decide

Aug 26, 2015
State Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced today he will wait for the Attorney General to settle the $200 million funding dispute.
State Impact Texas

Describing the debate as one that “goes to the heart of separation of powers within Texas government,” Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced on Wednesday that he will not authorize disbursing more than $200 million in funds approved by the Texas Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Greg Abbott, instead waiting for the attorney general to settle the issue.

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