highlights

Week of Nov. 28 - Dec. 4, 2016

Texas African American History Memorial unveiled at Capitol
AUSTIN — A crowd of citizens and dignitaries gathered on the south lawn of the state Capitol on Nov. 19 to witness the unveiling of the Texas African American History Memorial. 
The 32-foot-wide, 27-foot-tall bronze monument by sculptor Ed Dwight depicts images of African-Americans in Texas from modern times going back nearly 500 years.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a former long-time member of the Texas House of Representatives, spoke at the event.

Week of Nov. 21-27, 2016 (early delivery, Thanksgiving holiday week, posted 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17)

Bill filers jump to early start as legislative session nears
AUSTIN — Just a few of Texas’ 31 Senate members and 150 House members filed a total of 523 pieces of legislation on Nov. 14, the first day lawmakers could submit legislation for the coming session.
The 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature is scheduled to convene on the second Tuesday in January, that is, Jan. 10, at noon. Final adjournment — 140 days later — is set for the last Monday in May, that is, May 29.

Week of Nov. 14-20, 2016

Trump victory turns eyes to possible cabinet nominees
AUSTIN — Republican Donald J. Trump, on his way to winning the presidential election on Nov. 8, won the vote in Texas with 4,651,955 votes, or 52.39 percent of the 8,878,152 votes cast. 
Some 2,842,553 votes, or 43 percent, were cast by Texans for former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, in the race for the White House.

Week of Nov. 7-13, 2016

States, lawmakers file briefs in support of Texas’ voter ID law
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sept. 23 filed a petition on behalf of the State of Texas, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the Texas voter ID law.
On Oct. 31, Paxton announced that a coalition of states and members of Congress had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court, in support of Texas’ voter identification law that passed in 2011 as Senate Bill 14.

Week of Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2016

Officials urge state’s high court not to expand same-sex marriage ruling
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Texas Supreme Court over issues they say were not addressed in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case declaring same-sex marriage a fundamental right.

Week of Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2016

Officials urge state’s high court not to expand same-sex marriage ruling
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Texas Supreme Court over issues they say were not addressed in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court declaring same-sex marriage a fundamental right.

Week of Oct. 24-30, 2016

Judge reaffirms, expands reach of injunction against bathroom directive
AUSTIN — Fort Worth-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor has reaffirmed his Aug. 21 injunction placing a temporary hold on federal guidelines for accommodating transgender students in the use of public school bathrooms and locker rooms.

Week of Oct. 17-23, 2016

Abbott, Patrick, Straus call for action by Child Protective Services
AUSTIN — Texas’ top three officeholders on Oct. 12 instructed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to improve the protection of children at risk of abuse.
With recent data showing the agency is struggling to see children in a timely manner, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus sent a letter to Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman, calling for immediate action to more quickly help vulnerable children. 

Week of Oct. 10-16, 2016

High court refuses to rehear Texas immigration case
AUSTIN — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 denied the Obama administration’s petition for a rehearing of United States v. Texas, a high-profile immigration case.

Week of Oct. 3-9, 2016

State opts out of federal refugee resettlement program
AUSTIN — Texas has acted on its threat to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, Gov. Greg Abbott said on Sept. 30.
Texas had demanded enhanced FBI screening of individuals “from terrorist-based nations” and expressed resistance to the federal government’s request that the Lone Star State increase by 25 percent the number of refugees to be resettled.  An estimated 7,000 refugees have taken up residence in Texas in the past year.