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. […]

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 […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Legislature Ends, Homeless Vets and a Cattle Drive: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Houston News

Posted on · A lot can happen in a week — some of it good, some of it bad, some of it downright ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week’s news, we turn to our rotating Friday panel of “non-experts” to parse The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of it all. On today's panel: Wayne […]

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 […]

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” […]

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

How and When Is Eminent Domain Exercised in Houston and Texas?

Posted on · Eminent domain is defined as the right of the government or its agent to take private property for public use, with payment of compensation. It sounds very straightforward right? Of course, it's quite often not. The idea of your land being taken away because perhaps oil is found on it or a road needs to […]

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 […]

Full Show

State Legislative Update: Monday’s Show (May 11, 2015)

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. On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss the moments — and […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Jade Helm, Legalizing Weed and the OTC: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Houston News

Posted on · A lot can happen in a week — some of it good, some of it bad, some of it downright ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week’s news, we turn to our rotating Friday panel of “non-experts” to parse The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of it all. On today's panel: Houston […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Public Integrity Unit and a Mega Starbucks: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Houston News

Posted on · From a change in the state’s Public Integrity Unit, to doing time in jail for not mowing your lawn, to the opening of a so-called “mega” Starbucks in Houston: a lot happens in a week here in Houston. That's why we turn to our panel of "non-experts" to parse The Good, the Bad, and the […]

Houston Matters

Texas Brewers Battle Over How Beer is Distributed

Posted on · Two years ago, the state's craft beer industry underwent a massive reform with the passage of five bills during the 2013 legislative session. The changes included allowing breweries to make and sell their own beer and market their products to off-site retailers. The changes culminated in the largest overhaul of the beer industry since the […]

Houston Matters

Should the Way Texas Investigates Public Corruption Be Overhauled?

Posted on · There's a new measure that would change what agency fights public corruption in Texas government. Right now, the Public Integrity Unit investigates public corruption and is managed by the Travis County District Attorney's Office. But Senate Bill 10 would move it under the Texas Attorney General's Office. We discuss what effect such a change would […]

Full Show

Public Integrity Unit and Astros GM: Tuesday’s Show (March 31, 2015)

Posted on · There's a new measure that would change what agency fights public corruption in Texas government. Right now, the Public Integrity Unit investigates public corruption and is managed by the Travis County District Attorney's Office. But Senate Bill 10 would move it under the Texas Attorney General's Office. On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss […]

Houston Matters

Do Texting and Driving Bans Really Help Reduce Fatalities?

Posted on · After hours of sometimes heated debate Wednesday, the Texas House passed a bill that would ban texting while driving across the state of Texas. The bill allows police to pull over and fine motorists suspected of using a wireless device to read, write or send a text message while driving — unless the vehicle is […]