TX Lege

Crash Test

Apr 10, 2013 By Nate Blakeslee

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?

Hall of Fame

Jan 21, 2013 By Brian D. Sweany

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…

Between the Lines

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Ah, redistricting—that partisan, vengeful, hazardous battle for domination the Legislature fights every decade. Here we go again.

Dollars and Sense

Jan 20, 2013 By fscottmccown

When the Legislature meets in January, lawmakers know they won’t be able to cut their way to a balanced budget. Instead, they should do what a certain Republican governor did more than twenty years ago: raise taxes.

The Eighteen Billion Dollar Man

Jan 20, 2013 By Paul Burka

Texas is facing an unprecedented deficit in the next legislative session, so to help our poor, overworked elected officials, I went ahead and balanced the budget for them. And good Lord! It wasn’t pretty.

Business as Usual

Jan 20, 2013 By Nate Blakeslee

Who’s the toughest opponent for Republicans who want to crack down on illegal immigration? Other Republicans.

A Q&A With Nate Blakeslee

Jan 20, 2013 By Jasmin Sun

The Democrats will most certainly fight the Republicans over immigration reform legislation this session, but the Republican’s biggest opponents are powerful interests within their own party. Nate Blakeslee talks about grassroot efforts, tea party champions, and why immigration has become one of the most important issues facing our state.

Show Me the Money

Jan 20, 2013 By Kevin Sullivan

Paul Burka talks about cutting $18 billion from the Texas budget, separating the essential from the nonessential, and spending money on bricks and mortar.

5 Things You’ll Be Talking About in December

Dec 1, 2012 By Jeff Salamon

1. When Tea Parties Attack!  Article III, Section 9, of the constitution of the state of Texas tells us that when a new session of the House of Representatives is seated, its first order of business is to elect a Speaker. What the constitution doesn’t tell us is that the Speaker’s…

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

Jul 31, 2012 By Mimi Swartz

Read this National Magazine Award-winning story about how the Legislature slashed funding for women’s health programs in 2011 and launched an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically changed the state’s priorities. The battle continues raging, and the stakes could not be higher.

Right to Strife

Jun 30, 2012 By Paul Burka

In Republican-dominated Texas, the May 29 primary might as well have been the general election. And what it revealed is a party perfectly capable of doing battle with itself, no Democrats required.

Mappily Ever After

Feb 1, 2012 By Brian D. Sweany

Once again, redistricting has devolved into a bitter, partisan, confusing, chaotic mess. But take heart, voters! There is a better way.

Capitol Affair

Jun 30, 2011 By Paul Burka

How architecture changed the balance of power at the Legislature and other observations from my three decades covering Texas politics.

Who’s the Boss?

Feb 1, 2011 By Paul Burka

The Speaker’s race in the Texas House wasn’t just about Joe Straus. It was about two competing visions of democracy.

Session Up

Feb 1, 2011 By Jake Silverstein

This issue went to press four days before the start of the most important legislative session of our lifetime, when lawmakers face, in addition to the testy, high-stakes business of redistricting and the supercharged debate over immigration and voter ID, an epic fiscal crisis: a budget shortfall of up to…