Texas Legislature

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Politics & Policy|
October 1, 2013

Jerry’s Daughter

Among the many Texans transfixed by Wendy Davis's June 25th filibuster was her father, Jerry Russell. In July, he shared some memories about Davis's childhood, her challenges, and what he was thinking on the day that shook up Texas's political scene.

News & Politics|
July 11, 2013

The Best and Worst Legislators 2011

For the Eighty-second Legislature (our twentieth at the Capitol), everything old was new again: the state faced a budget deficit; the governor harbored presidential ambitions; the members of the Best list were hard to find; and the names on the Worst list picked themselves.

News & Politics|
May 10, 2013

Conflicts and Interests

John Carona is a state senator from Dallas who chairs the Business and Commerce Committee. He’s also the CEO of the country’s largest homeowners’ association management company. And the word “recusal” isn’t in his vocabulary.

Politics & Policy|
April 10, 2013

Crash Test

Over the past two decades a movement to increase the importance of standardized testing in public schools has swept across the country. It was born in Texas. Is Texas also where it might die?

Politics & Policy|
February 14, 2013

Editor’s Letter

Austin is known, somewhat ostentatiously, as the Live Music Capital of the World, but as any longtime resident knows, the best show in town is not a musical performance at all. In fact, it is mostly tuneless, it has little in the way of rhythm, and no one has ever tried

Politics & Policy|
February 7, 2013

Opening Moves

Democrats have signaled their intention to offer an amendment to restore the education spending cuts made last session, which signals to everyone who is watching that the Democratic strategy is going to pretty much be this: make the Republicans pay for every bad vote.

Politics & Policy|
February 6, 2013

Charters v. PEG

As most readers know, one of the battles of the 83rd Legislature is likely to occur over the use of public funds for private schools. Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst and Senator Dan Patrick are backing the proposal. (At a recent Texas Tribune event, Speaker Straus urged caution on the issue.) The

News & Politics|
January 21, 2013

Hall of Fame

Hugo Berlanga D–Corpus ChristiTenure: Representative from 1977 to 1999Number of times on the Best list: 3I was the first Hispanic speaker pro tempore in the history of the House. I served under Gib Lewis, and he later told me that the reason he selected me is that he needed someone who

Politics & Policy|
January 20, 2013

Joe Straus III

The ideological pendulum at the Lege is swinging, finally and inevitably, back toward the center, so moderate Republicans—the golden-cheeked warblers of Texas politics—may soon reemerge as a force to be reckoned with. When that happens, we’re betting on this pedigreed, patrician lawmaker from tony District 121 (Alamo Heights, Olmos Park)

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