Houston Matters

New Texas Laws Go Into Effect Sept. 1 — How Will They Affect You?

Posted on · Starting tomorrow (9/1/15), the majority of the laws passed during the state’s 84th legislative session will take effect. All this month, the Texas Tribune has reported how these new laws may change some Texans’ lives. We discuss how and welcome your questions for Texas Tribune Managing Editor Ayan Mittra.

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New Laws, Pearland and Texans Preview: Monday’s Show (August 31, 2015)

Posted on · Starting tomorrow (9/1/15), the majority of the laws passed during the state’s 84th legislative session will take effect. All this month, the Texas Tribune has reported how these new laws may change some Texans’ lives. We discuss how on this edition of Houston Matters, as we welcome your questions for Texas Tribune Managing Editor Ayan Mittra. Also […]

Houston Matters

Health and Human Services Commissioner Stepping Down Amid Controversy

Posted on · Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek recently announced his resignation. He’ll step down July 1. His deputy, Chris Taylor, will replace him. Janek’s departure comes as the agency faces a number of issues, including a controversy surrounding a no-bid contract with an Austin-based technology company to detect Medicaid fraud. We discuss the challenges […]

Houston Matters

Is METRO Agreement Progress or Political Gamesmanship?

Posted on · On Monday, Houston METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia and U.S. Congressman John Culberson held a press conference to announce the beginning of discussions to find regional transportation solutions together. That announcement was surprising to some, as twice now Rep. Culberson — a member of the House Appropriations Committee — inserted a provision into a transportation, housing and […]

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The Houston Zoo and Funding Rail: Tuesday’s Show (May 19, 2015)

Posted on · On Monday, Houston METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia and U.S. Congressman John Culberson held a press conference to announce the beginning of discussions to find regional transportation solutions together. That announcement was surprising to some, as twice now Rep. Culberson — a member of the House Appropriations Committee — inserted a provision into a transportation, housing and […]

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Texas City Explosion & Climate Change: Thursday’s Show (April 2, 2015)

Posted on · March 23 marked the 10-year anniversary of the fatal Texas City explosion. Fifteen workers died and about 180 others were injured amid a series of explosions at the BP oil refinery in Texas City. As described in coverage from the Texas Tribune and Houston Chronicle, warnings from the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board about […]

Houston Matters

Makeshift Border Towns: Improving Life in Texas ‘Colonias’

Posted on · All along the Texas/Mexico border — and the border of neighboring states — are residential areas that lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water, septic or sewer systems, electricity, paved roads or safe and sanitary housing. These makeshift towns that offer little more than third-world conditions inside the U.S. are called “colonias.” Houston Matters’ […]

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Property Tax Cuts, Parks, and ‘Once’ on Stage: Tuesday’s Show (March 10, 2015)

Posted on ·   Tyler Republican State Sen. Kevin Eltife is working to build support for a combination of bills he believes will provide both a property tax cut and set a path to spend money on deferred road maintenance and paying off some pension liabilities, among other state needs. Eltife argues that while the state is unusually […]

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State Versus Local Authority: Wednesday’s show (February 25, 2015)

Posted on · Here in Texas, we’re familiar with disputes between our state and the federal government over a variety of issues, from voting laws to environmental regulation to same sex marriage and beyond. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that federal law “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” In other words, this […]

Houston Matters

How a Court Ruling Could Affect the Public’s Access to Texas Beaches

Posted on · The Texas Open Beaches Act was passed in 1959 and added to the state constitution in 2009. It guarantees the public the right to free and unrestricted access to Texas beaches along the state’s 367 miles of coastline. Those beaches are basically defined as the areas from the water to the vegetation lines. But what happens when […]

Houston Matters

Abortion in Texas

Posted on · The Texas legislature’s special session ended in dramatic fashion early Wednesday, as Senate Bill 5, which would set new restrictions on abortions in Texas, seemed to have been passed by lawmakers. But, as it turns out, they didn’t conduct the vote before midnight – when the session was mandated to end – despite initial claims […]