Jill Ament | KUOW News and Information

Jill Ament

From Texas Standard:

As the sun was setting on the city of Dallas on July 7, 2016, few noticed the SUV parked sideways on Lamar Street, its flashers blinking.

The street was virtually empty, cleared out for a protest in response to the police shootings of two black men a few days earlier in Louisiana and Minnesota. The Dallas protest was one of many scheduled in big cities across the nation.  

From Texas Standard:

For years, Texas lawmakers have been trying to stem the bleeding of the state's health care plan for retired teachers. The plan has been at risk of going unfunded for nearly two decades because of demographic and economic changes, including more retirees and rising health care costs. During this year's legislative session, lawmakers took steps to make up for the plan's $1 billion shortfall  .

From Texas Standard:

The upcoming special legislative session is likely to provide just as many fireworks as the regular session did. Among the most controversial issues on the table is the contentious debate between the House and Senate over "private school choice."

From Texas Standard:

A new program helps first responders with work-related trauma avoid criminal prosecution if they commit a crime. House Bill 3391, which is now law, gives counties the option to set up specialty courts to divert people into treatment rather than jail.

From Texas Standard:

Some eyebrow-raising comments made in 2009 by a then-member of the Baylor University Board of Regents made headlines in Texas this weekend.

From Texas Standard:

The week began with expectations that by now, the Senate would be preparing for a vote on the GOP health care plan – perhaps over the holiday weekend. But that's not going to happen because Republican leaders couldn't muster the votes.

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, a San Antonio federal judge heard arguments in what could be a lengthy legal battle over Senate Bill 4, also known as the “sanctuary cities” law.

From Texas Standard:

Plaintiffs have filed a new lawsuit challenging the University of Texas at Austin's race-based admission rules. Unlike a well-known case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the new suit was filed in state court, and bases its claims on the Texas Constitution and state statutes. Because the Supreme Court ruled in Fisher v. University of Texas that UT-Austin could retain its race-based admission system, it is unclear how the new case will fair.

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. Senate leadership is promising a vote before July 4 on its bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

From Texas Standard:

California prohibits state-funded or state-sponsored travel to several U.S. states. In the wake of Gov. Greg Abbott's signing of a controversial adoption-related measure into law, Texas has become one of them. California's attorney general says the Texas law is discriminatory against the LGBT community.

From Texas Standard:

As all eyes in Washington, D.C. are on the Senate health care bill, another major issue has been pushed to the sidelines. But U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Humble) isn’t content to let it sit there. He’s pushing to have the U.S. label North Korea as a terrorist state in the wake of the death of American student Otto Warmbier.

From Texas Standard:

For the first time in more than a decade, the Supreme Court will take up a case questioning a common practice U.S. lawmakers use to draw political maps: gerrymandering.

From Texas Standard:

One measure among the dozens Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed last week was a bill that attempted to help Texas communities deal with the illegal dumping of scrap tires.

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to casting your ballot at the voting booth, we hear this phrase a lot: “Make your vote count.” But in an age where cyberattacks seem to be happening every day around the globe, maybe we should head to the ballot box with another phrase in mind: “Make your vote safe.”

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump’s actions and rhetoric regarding immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border have led some South Texas lawmakers to urge him to spend time in the Rio Grande Valley.

From Texas Standard:

It’s common practice for police officers to earn a couple of bucks on the side by working various off-duty gigs.

But for some moonlighting officers, one piece of equipment is often left behind. Most police agencies that require officers to wear body cameras don't require or won't allow cameras on off-duty officers.

 

From Texas Standard:

The only piece of legislation that Texas lawmakers are required to pass each session is the budget, which they did. Gov. Greg Abbott signed off on the two-year, $217 billion budget Monday, but not before using his line-item veto to cut nearly $120 million from various programs.

From Texas Standard:

San Antonio federal judge ruled last week that the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office violated the rights of a Mexican citizen when he was held in jail on an immigration detainer after his criminal charges were dismissed.

From Texas Standard:

In the Alamo City, the mayor's race ended in an upset, as an incumbent running for re-election was defeated for the first time in two decades. The margin was 55-45 percent, and Ivy Taylor, the city's first female, African-American mayor is out, defeated by City Councilmember Ron Nirenberg.

From Texas Standard:

Have you voted yet? We're looking at you Pasadena, and you, El Paso, and you, too, San Antonio. Tomorrow there are runoff elections in all three cities. And in each city, the top job in city government is at stake.

From Texas Standard:

For more than a year, Harris County has been caught in a legal drama over how it jails inmates who cannot afford to pay bail.

From Texas Standard:

What The New York Times is calling one of Texas’ “most tumultuous political moments in decades” is set to play out in a special session announced by Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday.

Lawmakers will return to the Capitol on July 18 for a 30-day special session, the first one Abbott has called during his time as governor.

From Texas Standard:

Steve Earle. Beyonce. Buddy Holly. Geto Boys. Ornette Coleman. Ernest Tubb. Bun B. Selena. Van Cliburn. Johnny Mathis. Stevie Ray Vaughan. Did I mention Willie? If ever there were a no-brainer for Texas tourism, surely a museum of Texas music history would fit that description.

From Texas Standard:

The Republican Party of Texas elected a new chairman over the weekend after Tom Mechler stepped down. It wasn't exactly what you'd call a quiet exit.

From Texas Standard:

While Texas lawmakers have left the state Capitol for now, plenty of their bills did not go anywhere. One piece of legislation that didn’t make it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk was a measure that would have licensed immigrant detention facilities in Texas as childcare providers.

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