May 22, 2015

Ed. note: this post was originally published on May 14, 2015. It has been updated to reflect recent legislative developments.

Last week, Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 3994, which would, among other things, effectively ban abortions for abused and neglected teens. The bill is being fast-tracked through the Senate.

May 20, 2015

Ed. note: this post was originally published on May 15, 2015. It has been updated to reflect recent legislative developments.

May 14, 2015

Earlier this year, it was an unexpected measles outbreak. Then on Wednesday, May 13th, the University of Texas at Austin reported its 3rd case of mumps.

With these traditionally rare diseases making the news, it's time to ask the question:

Will Texas make any progress in the fight to ensure Texas school children are vaccinated?

May 14, 2015
Ed. note: The following is a guest-post from Heather Fazio, the Texas Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project and the leader of our marijuana policy reform coalition, Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.
May 12, 2015

A bill has passed the Texas House that would ensure payday lenders and auto title lenders cannot make unsolicited calls to numbers listed on the Texas No Call list.

Currently, there is nothing in Texas law prohibiting predatory lenders that offer loans with high interest rates and fees from making unsolicited calls to people they identify as potential customers in order to solicit business.

May 12, 2015

There's been a lot of talk about the military in Texas lately, and Governor Greg Abbott is right to be mocked for caving to fringe interests that think the U.S. military is planning to invade Texas.

But there's another military controversy before Gov. Abbott - and this one is actually real.

May 4, 2015

Last Tuesday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the state's voter ID case - Texas NAACP vs. Steen

May 2, 2015
Supreme Court Hears Marriage Equality, Texas GOP Remains Defiant

This was a historic week in the fight for marriage equality, with the United States Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in Obergefell v Hodges, a landmark case that is likely to bring the freedom to marry to all 50 states by this summer.

But just as progress is being made nationally, Texas Republican politicians are digging their heels in, pursuing an aggressive legislative strategy to maintain Texas’ marriage ban. These radical lawmakers’ bills, designed to discriminate gay and transgender Texans, are moving swiftly through the process.

April 30, 2015
Texas Governor Greg Abbott thinks the federal government can't run healthcare - but that it can run a secret martial law mission in broad daylight.
That's essentially the thinking he is espousing by sending the Texas State Guard to monitor military training exercises in...Bastrop County. 
April 27, 2015

This article has been cross-posted from the Texas Research Institute, our 501(c)(3) affiliate.

Wouldn’t it make more sense if we could register to vote online? Legislation being considered at the Texas Capitol aims to do just that.

April 22, 2015

Two weeks ago, the Texas House State Affairs committee heard public testimony on House Bill 4105, a bill that would deny gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry even if the Supreme Court strikes down Texas’ ban on marriage this summer. With the U.S.

April 20, 2015
Sen. Sylvia Garcia: Why I Voted Against the State Budget

Ed. note: thanks to Senator Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) for writing this op-ed for our site, and for her vote against the state budget.

Last Tuesday, I cast the lone “no-vote” on the Senate’s $211 billion version of the state budget. I did this because we desperately need to invest in the future of our state and, even though we have the money to do so, this budget instead kicks the can down the road.

April 17, 2015

Tax Day has come and gone, and for most Texans, that means you know you’ve paid your fair share of taxes. That is, unless you’re Governor Greg Abbott. The Dallas Morning News reports Gov. Abbott made $134,000 last year, but only paid $104 in federal income taxes.

April 17, 2015

With less than 50 days left to pass bills in the Texas Legislature, the real action is about to begin. With so much going on, the following is a quick update on some of the progressive issues we work on most, and how things are shaping up for them at the Capitol.

April 16, 2015
Texas Lawmakers Still on Mission to Restrict Abortion Access

Apparently passing the most draconian anti-abortion law in the country last session wasn’t enough. Anti-abortion radicals in the Texas Legislature were back at it this week, trying to pass laws that would further restrict access to abortion care. The anti-abortion bills heard this week make one thing absolutely clear: these extremists aren’t going to stop until they’ve eliminated access to safe, legal abortion care for all Texas women.

April 16, 2015

Two years after the explosion at a West fertilizer plant killed 15 Texans and drove hundreds out of their homes, the Texas Legislature has done nothing to prevent future disasters.

And unless legislation to increase public safety starts moving quickly, any chance for reform may die by the time the Legislature leaves town in just under 50 days.

April 10, 2015
Watch: Jon Stewart Destroys Indiana RFRA

Indiana, which recently signed into law discriminatory Religious Freedom legislation, was taken to task by Jon Stewart this week, as the Daily Show host laid out exactly what happens when these types of bills are passed.

April 9, 2015

Late last night, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee heard testimony from over 60 witnesses on marijuana policy reform bills - all focused on reducing criminal penalties from a felony to a ticket for small possession of marijuana.

April 9, 2015
Ted Cruz Reaps Benefits of Citizens United

Texas Senator Ted Cruz who recently announced that he would be running for President in 2016 has already raised $31 million through four super PACs, and that’s terrifying.

Since the 2010 ruling on Citizens United that gave individuals unlimited spending power in presidential races, we’ve seen political candidates rake in cash from big industry donors like the Koch brothers at alarming rates. But never have we seen anything like what Cruz has raised in the last week.

April 7, 2015
It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage in Texas

Today the House Business and Industry Committee will hear 7 bills that all aim to raise the minimum wage in Texas. Two bills—  HB 41 and HB 42—  as well as a constitutional amendment have been proposed by Texas House Rep.

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