Politics

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Salvador Castro for KUT

Despite accusations the state is violating voting rights, Gov. Greg Abbott did not call for the Texas Secretary of State to rescind an advisory he sent out last week that said his office found thousands of possible noncitizens on the state’s voter rolls.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas officials said they are working with local election officials to make sure no eligible voters are removed from the state’s voter rolls, as they work to identify noncitizens on the rolls.

Salvador Castro for KUT

A Latino civil rights organization filed a lawsuit in federal court today against Texas' effort to identify noncitizens who are registered to vote.

The lawsuit brought by the the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) argues state officials violated the Voting Rights Act when they advised local registrars to remove alleged noncitizens from their voter rolls.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

GOP leaders say a list of 95,000 names of suspected non-U.S. citizens on state voter rolls is proof of voter fraud in Texas.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

The state of Texas' announcement that it was flagging tens of thousands of registered voters for citizenship checks was met with dismay among civil rights attorneys and voting rights advocates, who warned it echoed efforts around the country to remove eligible voters from the rolls.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Thousands of people will rally at the Capitol today to call for more K-12 options as part of National School Choice Week. But inside the Capitol, the once-prominent conversation isn't happening.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

President Donald Trump's Hail Mary offer to trade protections for recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program for border-wall funding could be dead on arrival as Congress heads back to work this week.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Top Texas lawmakers this year are proposing allocating billions of more dollars for public schools, but a portion of those dollars will likely have strings attached. And some education advocates worry the strings will lead to an even greater emphasis being placed on standardized tests in the state.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A new report from BuzzFeed News accuses President Donald Trump of directing his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, and Joaquín and Julián Castro have called for impeachment proceedings or the president's outright resignation. 

A new story in BuzzFeed News says President Trump directed his former lawyer to lie to Congress. Anthony Cormier, one of the BuzzFeed News reporters who broke the story, talks to Steve Inskeep.

Courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewing Company

New legislation is brewing in the state Capitol that would allow Texans to buy beer-to-go from craft breweries.

State Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, and state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, have filed bipartisan companion bills (SB 312 and HB 672) that would allow craft breweries to sell packaged beer products at their taprooms for "off-site" consumption.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Leaders of the Texas Senate are proposing giving schools $3.7 billion to provide $5,000 pay raises to all full-time classroom teachers — on the heels of a House budget proposal that includes $7 billion more for public education.

PBS Newshour

President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Julián Castro is the first Democrat to officially launch a bid for the 2020 presidential nomination. While others are expected to quickly follow, he’s got a few days’ head start to make his mark on the field.

So, what are Castro’s top campaign issues? Let’s start at the top.

Presidential candidates always have a couple of big issues to talk about during their hundreds of campaign stops, but there’s usually one issue that becomes a signature goal.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Julián Castro, former San Antonio mayor and U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced Saturday that he is running for president.

With the partial government shutdown on the verge of becoming the longest in U.S. history, many housing advocates fear thousands of low-income Americans are at risk of being evicted. More than 1,000 government-backed housing contracts have already expired and potentially more will do so in the coming weeks.

Since the shutdown began last month, approximately 1,150 federal rental assistance contracts have not been renewed due to funding lapses at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

RICHLAND HILLS – Shahid Shafi will retain his role as vice chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party despite a push from a small faction of precinct chairs to remove him from his post because he's Muslim.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas lawmakers are expected to look at a range of criminal justice issues during the 2019 legislative session. Criminal justice reforms have been a bipartisan bright spot for a decade in Austin, as conservative and liberal lawmakers have sought to reduce the number of people behind bars, increase public safety and cut costs.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas' top three elected leaders are looking to show a united front as the 2019 legislative session begins — and start fresh after the drama of last session.

Julia Reihs / KUT

State lawmakers were back in Austin on Tuesday as the 86th regular session of the Texas Legislature convened. The day was mostly a big opening party: Family and friends of lawmakers flooded the Capitol for swearing-in ceremonies and celebrations.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick missed the first day of the Texas Legislature on Tuesday to attend a border security meeting at the White House.

Patrick, who attended a pre-session social event Monday evening in Austin and is scheduled for two public addresses Wednesday, “is not going to be able to join us today,” said state Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican, who took the dais in Patrick’s stead.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) is the new speaker of the Texas House. The 150-member body selected him 147-0 shortly after being sworn in for the 2019 legislative session Tuesday.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Legislature heads back to work today. While you may know the body's main objective is to pass laws – especially the next state budget – you might not know much else.

That's not a criticism! The legislative process can be complex, so let's go over the basics of what the Legislature is and how it works.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After facing sexual harassment allegations, state Sen. Charles Schwertner has told the Senate's leader he no longer wants his post as chair of the powerful health and human services committee.

Screenshot

There are going to be a lot of new faces wandering the halls of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. Nearly 100 newly elected lawmakers are coming to the House and Senate — including those representing the 40 seats the Democrats picked up to sweep their party back into power in the House.

James Doyle / NPR

One of the 100 congressional freshmen starting work today is from Central Texas.

Republican Chip Roy is now representing the 21st Congressional District, which stretches from San Antonio to Austin and up into the Hill Country. Roy is replacing Republican Lamar Smith, who retired after holding the seat since 1987.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When the Texas Legislature reconvenes Jan. 8, lawmakers will already have on their desks bills aimed at undoing City of Austin rules.

The city-state conflict is nothing new. Last time they met in 2017, state lawmakers passed bills overturning Austin ordinances affecting ride-hailing companies, like Uber and Lyft, and passed a "sanctuary cities" bill.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Julián Castro is taking another step toward a 2020 presidential campaign.

The former U.S. housing secretary and San Antonio mayor announced Wednesday that he has formed an exploratory committee to consider a bid and will make an announcement Jan. 12 in Texas. The committee is called Julián for the Future.

Salvador Castro for KUT

You're not done voting yet. There are several Austin City Council races, an Austin ISD board race and a runoff for the Austin Community College board. None of the candidates in those races got 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 6, so the top two finishers are in a runoff. Election Day is today, and ballots open at 7 a.m.

Cameron Pollack / NPR

Former President George H.W. Bush is being honored with funeral services at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.

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