Politics

Political news

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

“I don’t want to be a flash-in-a-pan candidate or someone who is hot for a month,” Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said during a stop in Austin on Wednesday.

State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

State Rep. Dan Huberty, the top public education leader in the Texas House, postponed two items of legislation Tuesday that would pay for long-term, ongoing school district tax cuts by raising sales taxes — effectively killing any chance of passing the legislation this year.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

The Texas House on Monday advanced a bill that would expand the list of debilitating conditions that allow Texans to legally use medical cannabis.

President Trump has named Mark Morgan, a former FBI agent and veteran of the Obama administration, as the new head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Showing their usual united front, the state’s “Big Three” political leaders on Friday tried to remake their case for why the Texas Legislature should deliver on long-term, ongoing property tax relief before the session wraps up this month.

Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro
Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro is all but guaranteed a spot in the first primary debate after he announced Friday that he had reached 65,000 donors.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Residents in some cities and towns in Central Texas will be voting on city council members, bond propositions and school board races today. 

Here's a roundup of items on the ballots.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate advanced a bill on Thursday that would require pregnant people to receive counseling before getting an abortion.

The seal of the Republic of Texas on the floor of the Capitol rotunda
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal judge in San Antonio will hear arguments Thursday over whether Texas should have to clear its political maps with the federal government in 2021.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio
Juan Figueroa / The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro will not run for Senate after all.

After repeated public signals that he was "all but certain" to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, has opted to run for reelection rather than pursue what would likely have been a bruising political battle.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr declined to appear before a hearing scheduled on Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee following hours of sometimes tough back-and-forth on Wednesday in the Senate.

The chairman of the House panel, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said that Barr was risking a contempt of Congress citation and that he would go ahead with his planned hearing — with an empty witness chair if necessary.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Unlike other voting rights lawsuits filed against Texas officials in the past decade, the challenge to the state’s noncitizen voter-removal effort was settled relatively quickly.

Marijuana plants
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

After a brief discussion, the Texas House gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that would reduce the penalties for low-level possession of marijuana — a move lauded as a win by those eager for the state to take its first major step toward loosening its staunch marijuana laws.

Friendswood Republican Larry Taylor
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

In the first legislative session after the deadly mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, the Texas Senate nearly unanimously approved a sweeping school safety bill Monday aimed at preventing — or at least mitigating — another mass tragedy.

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke
Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday unveiled an ambitious plan to combat climate change that spurs $5 trillion for the cause and aims to achieve net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Three months after first questioning the citizenship status of almost 100,000 registered voters, the Texas secretary of state has agreed to end a review of the voter rolls for supposed noncitizens that was flawed from the start.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

After a long wait, the Texas Senate has finally unveiled a thorough proposal for how to tackle school finance and school property tax reform — bringing back several ideas the House already nixed.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

After months of oscillating speculation, followed by a long ramp up that drew out uncomfortable reassessments of his long public career, former Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will run for president in 2020.

The audience listens during the She the People presidential forum at Texas Southern University in Houston on Wednesday.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Eight Democratic presidential candidates participated in the She the People presidential forum at Texas Southern University in Houston on Wednesday. The event was billed as the "first-ever presidential forum focused on women of color" – a key demographic within the Democratic Party.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

An analysis of shooting incidents in Houston that resulted in the death or injury of a child found that guns had been safely and securely stored in less than 2% of cases.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

What should be the future of “Texas Time”?

Legislators have been battling over this question for decades — and soon Texas voters may get to decide.

Juan Figueroa / The Texas Tribune

The Texas House on Tuesday gave broad preliminary approval to a bill that would allow farmers in the state to legally grow industrial hemp — a move lauded as a win for the state’s farmers.

MJ Hegar in her campaign video announcing a run for the U.S. Senate.
Courtesy / MJ For Texas

MJ Hegar announced Tuesday she is running for the U.S. Senate in 2020, challenging Texas Sen. John Cornyn for a seat he's held since 2002. 

After high turnout in last year's midterm elections propelled Democrats to a new House majority and big gains in the states, several Republican-controlled state legislatures are attempting to change voting-related rules in ways that might reduce future voter turnout.

The issue of improving mental health care across the state seemed like a unifying theme at the outset of this legislative session. It was also highlighted as an emergency item by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who called for more student mental health screenings in response to last year's Santa Fe High School shooting.

Now, it's become the subject of some controversy at the statehouse. 

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

The House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena on Friday to the Justice Department demanding access to the full work product of special counsel Robert Mueller, including grand jury testimony and other material not made public.

Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said he wants everything by May 1.

Elizabeth Tovall / Houston Public Media

An Instagram post about a Confederate rally in Houston is cited in special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report as the “earliest evidence” of Russian influence in political rallies across the U.S.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett speaks with the organizers of Austin's March For Our Lives at a town hall at Travis High School on April 8, 2018.
Austin Price for KUT

Attorney General William Barr on Thursday released a redacted report of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The Texas House tentatively approved a bill Tuesday that would require doctors to treat babies born alive after a failed abortion attempt.

Texas House Passes Bill To Tackle Backlog Of Rape Kits

Apr 16, 2019
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas House unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that aims to tackle the state’s backlog of thousands of untested rape kits. House Bill 8 requires an audit of untested rape kits to determine the number, status and location of all rape kits in the state.

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