Week of June 26 - July 2, 2017
First Gulf storm of season elbows Texas
AUSTIN — State emergency responders geared up for the first time this hurricane season in response to Tropical Storm Cindy, which came ashore just east of the Texas-Louisiana border on June 22.
Week of June 19-25, 2017
Governor signs 2018-2019, two-year state budget into law
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 12 signed Senate Bill 1, legislation that appropriates some $217 billion to pay for the state’s next two-year fiscal period.
2017 Better Newspaper Contest Awards announced
RUIDOSO, NM – The 2017 Texas Better Newspaper Awards were announced during the awards brunch at the Texas Press Leadership Retreat held this year at the Inn of the Mountain Gods.
NNA 2017 newspaper contest winners announced
Judging results have been processed and winners of the National Newspaper Association 2017 Better Newspaper Contest and Better Newspaper Advertising Contest have been posted on the NNA website. Among the winners are 47 Texas newspapers.
Week of June 12-18, 2017
Governor demands action, calls lawmakers back to Austin
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 announced a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin on July 18 to address issues that went unresolved during the contentious 140-day regular session that ended May 29.
Keeping an eye on the storms
CANTON – When a series of deadly tornadoes touched down in Northeast Texas on the afternoon of Saturday, April 29, news professionals at the Canton Herald were looking out for their readers as well as themselves.
Interim committee gives legislature a new chance to improve open government laws
Five of the most frightening words to hear from elected officials from all levels of government are these: “I’m all for transparency, but….”
The phrase following the “but” is usually an excuse to weaken government transparency, not protect it.
By Sen. Kirk Watson and Rep. Todd Hunter
Defense saves notices, derails libel measure while transparency reform fails in tough session
AUSTIN — Newspaper public notice survived serious attacks in the 85th Texas Legislature, and press interests fended off dangerous bills that would have made newsrooms more susceptible to libel suits.
Week of June 5-11, 2017
State budget awaits final approval from governor
AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott as of June 4 had not signed Senate Bill 1, the 2018-2019 state budget finally approved by both houses of the 85th Texas Legislature on May 27. SB 1 appropriates $216.8 billion in total spending for the state’s budget during the 2018-19 biennium.
Update, Week of May 29 - June 4, 2017
Legislature completes regular session with main task accomplished
AUSTIN — The 140-day 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature ended on May 29 with hugs, tears and fanfare, plus demonstrations against “anti-immigrant” legislation and a scuffle involving members on the House floor.
Early Delivery, week of May 29 - June 4, 2017
Legislative session to finish as nation observes Memorial Day
AUSTIN — State lawmakers worked through rapidly shrinking lists of bills as daily procedural deadlines took effect in the final days of the 140-day, 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature.
Week of May 22-28, 2017
State budget bill moves forward as conference committee agrees
AUSTIN — Texas Senate and House budget conferees met frequently last week and on May 20 managed to reach compromise on a $218 billion state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019.
Sigma Delta Chi awards announced
The Society of Professional Journalists has announced the recipients of the 2016 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism. Two Texas newspapers are among the honorees.
Judges chose the winners from entries in categories covering print, radio, television and online. The awards recognize outstanding work published or broadcast in 2016.
Week of May 15-21, 2017
Legislature grinds toward May 29 close with much still to accomplish
AUSTIN — With a mere two weeks remaining until the end of the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature, lawmakers have not yet finalized a state budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
Week of May 8-14, 2017
House joins Senate in passing constitutional convention measure
AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on May 4 approved Senate Joint Resolution 2, a measure calling for a convention of the states, as contemplated and enabled by Article V of the U.S. Constitution.