Houston Matters

What’s the Value of Having an Official State Crustacean and Other State Symbols?

Posted on · During the 2015 Texas legislative session, lawmakers passed more than 5,600 bills, and tackled issues ranging from education to gun rights to abortion and beyond. But that’s not all lawmakers do. They also pass resolutions establishing state symbols and nicknames. This past session, House Concurrent Resolution 78 established the cowboy hat as the official state […]

Houston Matters

Texas Legislative Session Provides ‘Breakthroughs’ in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Posted on · Human trafficking was one of the many topics that came up in the 84th Texas Legislature. Bills on the issue focused on how to reduce it and police it. We talk with Mandi Kimball, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs with Children at Risk about efforts to address human trafficking through legislation in Texas. She says […]

Houston Matters

Should Texas Initiate a Needle Exchange Program?

Posted on · During the legislative session, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill allowing for the creation of needle exchange pilot programs in the state’s urban areas, including Harris County. However, the bill ultimately died in the Senate. It’s the fourth time in six years backers of the initiative hoped it would pass both houses. One […]

Houston Matters

What Got Done — and What Didn’t — During the 84th Texas Legislature?

Posted on · The 84th legislative session officially wraps up in Austin today, and lawmakers spent the final weekend passing bills addressing issues ranging from campus carry, to medical marijuana, to student truancy, to a new school grade rating system. We discuss what lawmakers passed, what fell short of passage and what it all may signal politically with Brandon […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Flooding and the Waning Days of the Legislature: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Houston News

Posted on · From heavy flooding across Greater Houston, to a scramble to pass bills in the waning hours of the Texas Legislature, to a fight over who owns access to the social media accounts of a sold business: we discuss The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of this week’s Houston news. This week’s panel of “non-experts” includes […]

Houston Matters

Why Did School Finance Reform Fail This Legislative Session?

Posted on · In 2011, the Texas Legislature cut $5 billion from the public education budget. More than two-thirds of Texas public school districts filed lawsuits. Then in 2013, lawmakers restored the majority of the funding cut two years earlier. Nevertheless, a court challenge over how the state funds schools has gone forward, with arguments expected in the […]

Houston Matters

What Moments and Bills Have Shaped the 84th Legislature So Far?

Posted on · There’s less than a month remaining in the 84th Texas legislative session. Lawmakers have introduced and debated a number of bills. Some are bound for passage and approval by the governor; others may be languishing in a committee, if given consideration at all. Today, we discuss the moments — and the bills — that have defined […]

Full Show

Sheriff Garcia, Campaign Finance and Spacing Out: Friday’s show (February 6, 2015)

Posted on · A little under a year ago we spoke with Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia about crime in Houston. We looked at how it’s investigated, how it’s monitored and some of the trends in crime locally. On Thursday (2/5/15), we revisited that conversation with Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, and […]

Houston Matters

What Are the Big Issues at the Legislature in Education, Healthcare, Transportation and the Environment?

Posted on · The 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature enters its fourth week today. Over the last week, Houston Public Media News 88.7 reporters have been examining some of the key issues lawmakers may consider this session. On this edition of Houston Matters, we present reports from a few of them, examining proposed bills involving education, health […]

Houston Matters

Rule Change Gives GOP Stronger Hold on Texas Senate

Posted on · On Wednesday, the Texas Senate voted to eliminate what has come to be known as the “two-thirds rule.” The move strengthens Republicans’ majority power, as it scraps Democrats’ ability to block bills on party-line votes. The GOP holds a 20 to 11 Senate majority. The old rule left Republicans a vote short of bringing up […]

Houston Matters

Lawmakers Share Their Plans for the New Legislative Session

Posted on · Today lawmakers from across the state are gathering in Austin for the kick-off of the new legislative session. Together, their main job is to pass a budget for the next two years. But local lawmakers also have their own priorities. News 88.7’s Laura Isensee has been talking to members of the Houston delegation about those […]