Texas Legislature

Paris Junior College has campuses in Paris, Greenville and Sulphur Springs.
Paris Junior College

After enrollment in Texas community colleges peaked at 732,681 in 2011, that number has dropped to 694,881 as of fall 2014. That decline means fewer total hours spent in classrooms, which is the criterion used by the state to fund community colleges. Paris Junior College has made significant budget cuts since the 2011 legislature made enormous cuts to community college budgets. Paris Junior College president Dr. Pamela Anglin says that PJC's funding should remain close to that which was allocated by the 2013 legislature.

Bob Hall (R-Van) will serve as Vice Chair on the Border Security Subcommittee.
KETR

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has announced committee assignments for this year’s Texas Senate and Northeast Texas will be fairly well represented. Each one of the three Republican state senators from the KETR listening area has an assignment as either chair or vice-chair on one of the 14 committees in this session of the Texas Legislature.

Kevin Eltife of Tyler will chair the Committee on Business and Commerce. Eltife, whose district includes Lamar, Franklin and Wood Counties, will also serve on the Committee on Administration and the Committee on Finance.

Freshman Senator Bob Hall of Van has replaced Bob Deuell as the lawmaker representing Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall and Van Zandt Counties, as well as part of Dallas County. Hall will serve as vice chair of the Border Security Subcommittee. That group will be led by chair Brian Birdwell, a Republican from Granbury. Hall also received three other assignments, most notably on the Transportation Committee. Hall was also selected to serve on the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs and also on the Committee on Natural Resources and Economic development.

Craig Estes of Wichita Falls has a large North Texas district that includes part of Collin County, including Farmersville and Princeton. Estes lost his chairmanship of the Committee on State Affairs, though he will continue to serve in that group. Estes was replaced by Houston Republican Joan Huffman. Estes will be the vice chair of the Committee on Natural resources and economic development. Estes will also serve on three other committees: Health and Human Services, Nominations, and State Affairs.

Patrick eliminated four committees that were organized in the 2013 Senate. Absent from this year’s session will be last session’s committees on Open Government, Jurisprudence, Economic Development and Government Organization.

A closer look at the State Senators and their districts:

Commerce ISD
Commerce ISD

Commerce ISD superintendent Blake Cooper says he's working on a bill with State Rep. Dan Flynn that would allow home-schooled students to take elective courses at high schools without being subject to state testing.  Cooper says he expects the new legislature will produce a tight budget for public schools, even though state revenue is up.

Women underrepresented in Texas Legislature

Feb 2, 2014
KERA / keranews.org

State Sen. Wendy Davis has used her 11-hour filibuster against abortion-restricting legislation to propel a run for governor, and Texas’ hottest political race centers on whether her supporters can usher a Democratic woman into a governor’s mansion occupied by Republican men for the last two decades.

A&M-Commerce Marketing Communications / A&M-Commerce Marketing Communications

The legislative clock ran out on the Tuition Revenue Bonds that universities in Texas had been counting on to fund new academic buildings - for the first time since 2006. But then, there are always special sessions.

NPR

A bill with possible implications for public-private transportation projects like the proposed Blacklands Turnpike is making its way through the Texas Legislature.

Abortion bills gain momentum

Mar 28, 2013
Filipa Rodrigues

Amid the budget battles, abortion access has also become an issue in the state legislature.