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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.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A bill before the Texas Senate would allow felons to seek public office only if they have received a pardon.

Current election code says a candidate who has been convicted of a felony must either be pardoned “or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities” – but it doesn’t define “resulting disabilities.” Senate Bill 466 would remove that clause.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The state Senate passed legislation Monday that increases criminal penalties for election-related crimes in Texas. Voting rights groups have said they worry the bill could criminalize honest mistakes, among other things.

Peter Ringenberg/WVPE

Two Austin politicians endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate over the weekend – but it wasn't either of the candidates from Texas.

Juan Figueroa / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate broke a logjam Monday that had paralyzed a piece of priority legislation for weeks — blunting a controversial provision in its property tax reform package and then advancing the bill, without having to deploy a procedural “nuclear option" to move it.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

State lawmakers started this year’s legislative session with the intention of tackling bipartisan issues — namely, education and property taxes. Last week, though, abortion politics complicated that goal.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

After facing unexpected friction in Texas’ Republican-dominated Legislature, a pair of bills to override local rules mandating paid sick leave and standardize employment practices across the state passed the Senate on Thursday over the objections of LGBTQ advocates who have warned the bills could threaten local non-discrimination protections.

John Moore/Getty Images

John Moore, a special correspondent for Getty Images, lived and traveled around the world for years before deciding to focus his time and work on the U.S.-Mexico border. His frequent requests to photograph Border Patrol agents dealing with families crossing the border went unanswered – until one day last year when he got a call out of the blue.

Speak of the House Dennis Bonnen on the grounds of the Governor's mansion for a joint press conference with the governor and lieutenant governor on Jan. 8, 2019.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A Texas GOP fundraiser Tuesday brought state House Speaker Dennis Bonnen face-to-face with the gun rights activist whom state troopers recently intercepted at Bonnen’s home, the latest chapter in sharp tensions between the two.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Republican leadership in the Texas Legislature announced an agreement Wednesday to swap a sales tax increase with property tax cuts.

Juan Figueroa / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate on Tuesday approved a two-year, $248 billion spending plan that includes $2.7 billion for a nebulous goal of property tax “relief” — but with seven weeks left in the 2019 legislative session, the upper chamber has yet to rally behind a way to spend those funds.

Updated at 11:17 p.m. ET

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving her post, President Trump announced Sunday as he continues to focus on restricting border crossings amid a recent surge. Nielsen had recently warned a congressional panel of a "catastrophe" on the southern border after the number of crossings hit a 10-year high.

President Trump has backed off his threats to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border. But uncertainty and disruptions along the border have created anxiety for many residents.

Hundreds of Customs and Border Protection officials have been reassigned from their usual posts at ports of entry, to help with the migrant families crossing the border in growing numbers. That's led to longer and more unpredictable wait times at the international bridges, and mounting stress for everyone from business owners to university students.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After news broke that an activist pushing a “constitutional carry” gun proposal tried to visit the homes of several Texas House leaders, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, declared his bill on the matter dead and wrote in a statement Friday he’s “officially canceling” his request for a committee hearing.

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