March 9, 2015

Two months into the Texas Legislature, and Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick have pulled off a true Texas miracle: they've come up with a tax plan so horrible that long-time conservative business groups are rejecting it in favor of more spending on the state's infrastructure needs - including education, healthcare, water and transportation.


March 8, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for King v. Burwell last week - the case which could upend the Affordable Care Act and jeopardize health care coverage for millions of Texans. With so much at stake, the case is an important reminder of why we fight for better health coverage for Texas.

In case you missed it, here's a summary of how the arguments unfolded and what the future of affordable health care in Texas looks like.

March 6, 2015
Join the Texas Campaign to End LGBT Discrimination

In Texas today it is legal to fire, deny housing or refuse service to gay and transgender Texans simply because of who they are. Without legal protections, many Texans must live with the burden of knowing that at any moment they could lose their livelihood with no recourse to defend themselves from discrimination. That’s why Texas Research Institute—Progress Texas’ educational arm—has joined a coalition of groups to launch Texas Wins—a new grassroots campaign that will fight back against discrimination in our state.

March 6, 2015
300 Republicans Write Brief Supporting Marriage Equality - Zero Texas Republican Leaders Sign On

Though over 300 Republicans from across the country signed a brief calling for the Supreme Court to support the freedom for same-sex couples to marry, not a single Texas Republican Party leader can be found on the list of signatories.

March 3, 2015
 Five-Time Married Politician Wants to Defend Sanctity of Marriage

Tony Tinderholt, Texas State Representative, is your hero defending the “sanctity of marriage.” Marriage is serious business for Rep. Tinderholt, as evidenced by the fact that he has had five of them, which is why he filed a handwritten complaint yesterday against a judge for allowing Texas’ first legal same-sex marriage.

March 2, 2015
Texas Border Killings Prove Need to Reopen Investigation of No-Bid Contracts

Today's release of new video documenting Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) personnel in a helicopter shooting at a truck suspected of carrying undocumented immigrants - and killing two passengers - raises significant questions about the type of training by provided for border security efforts. The incident renews concerns over suspicious no-bid government contracts such as the one awarded to Abrams Learning and Information Systems, the company responsible for training DPS border agents.

February 26, 2015
Meet Daniel.
Starting last week, Daniel was supposed to be able to apply for DACA - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Daniel, who came to the U.S. in 2009 and therefore could not qualify under the previous DACA guidelines, could have qualified under new guidelines established by President Obama's executive actions on immigration last November. He was eager to apply or a work permit, and contribute to his community the way he was taught.
February 25, 2015
Affordable Care Act Helps 1.2 million Texans - But State Still Has Nation's Worst Coverage Rate

This post is cross-posted from the Texas Research Institute, our 501(c)(3) affiliate.

More than 1.2 million Texans now have health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act, demonstrating a high demand in Texas for quality, affordable health coverage. This comes in sharp contrast to a bewildering claim made last week by former Governor Rick Perry who said that Texans want a large number of uninsured.

February 25, 2015
UPDATE: The Dallas Morning News editorial board weighs in on the issue, and supports legislation by Rep. Chris Turner to confront this potential crisis.
February 19, 2015
Show your Support for the First Same-Sex Married Couple in Texas!
This morning, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant - partners for almost 31 years - became the first legally-married same-sex couple in Texas. A Travis County district court ruling opened the door for the first gay couple to marry in Texas, despite a statewide ban on same-sex marriage that is current making its way through federal court.
In addition to trying to deny every Texan's freedom to marry in the federal courts, Attorney General Ken Paxton is now trying to void the one legal same-sex marriage in Texas.
February 17, 2015

A judge's decision to temporarily halt President Obama's executive actions on immigration will temporarily keep millions of Texas parents and children apart. It will also impact people you know, their relatives, and people you don't know but interact with every single day - and Greg Abbott could not be happier.

February 17, 2015

In the wake of a Texas judge's temporary ruling on President Obama's executive action on immigration, Joaquin Guerra from the Texas Organizing Project and Maria Theresa Kumar from Voto Latino took to MSNBC today to talk about the ruling.

Joaquin Guerra:

"This is only a temporary setback for those of us in the immigrant rights movement, and immigrant families who have been fighting for years to bring this victory. Which President Obama's executive order is a victory for immigrant families."

Maria Teresa Kumar:

February 15, 2015

This President's Day, we think back to our founding fathers and their visions for America. Former presidents like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison planted great ideas that still live on in our country: freedom of speech, the pursuit of happiness, and...marijuana.

Really? Really. The New York Times explains:

February 11, 2015

**UPDATE** Democratic Senator Rodney Ellis has filed opposition to close the loophole allowing Texas parents to opt-out of vaccinations if they have "personal objections." While Governor Greg Abbott said he supports the current opt-out law, the same law that has enabled a growth in the unvaccinated population from 2,000 to nearly 40,000 in 10 years.

February 9, 2015
Another Blow Dealt To Texas Women's Healthcare

Texas Republican Senators have proposed a budget that would make it harder for Texans to get much-needed breast and cervical cancer screenings.

In an upsetting, but not altogether shocking move, the Texas Senate has introduced SB2 — its proposed budget — which takes another hard swing at Planned Parenthood, the women's health care clinics that have been long despised by many conservatives in the Legislature. The proposed budget outlines a tiered funding mandate that would prioritize who receives federal funds to perform breast and cervical cancer screenings.

February 4, 2015

A series of polls in recent years find that a majority of Texans favor marijuana policy reforms in Texas:

February 2, 2015
Over 900,000 Texans Enroll Via Affordable Care Act

With the deadline to enroll for 2015 coverage— Feb.15— quickly approaching, it’s safe to say the Affordable Care Act is more popular than ever. The latest round of healthcare enrollment numbers have been released and an exciting 918,890— up from last year’s 734,000— Texans have enrolled so far!

January 30, 2015
Equality Is On the Ups Nationwide

Since the Supreme Court shredded the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, the nation as a whole has been trending toward equality. There have  been 61 victories for the freedom to marry since then - 45 in federal courts and 16 at the state level - and we think that’s not only a reason to celebrate, but a reason to believe it won’t be long for Texas, too.

January 29, 2015

As the events from Texas Muslim Capitol Day unfold, many Texans have been left shocked and appalled by the hate-filled sentiment that has been lobbed at the Muslim Americans who visited the grounds today. However, this is hardly new behavior from Republicans in the Texas Legislature.

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