Week of April 24-30, 2017
House passes legislation to reform school finance law
AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on April 19 approved school finance legislation that would reduce the amount of local tax dollars that property-rich school districts are required to share with other school districts under the so-called “Robin Hood” process.
Week of April 17-23, 2017
Federal judge says again, Texas voter ID law is discriminatory
AUSTIN — U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi on April 10 ruled the State of Texas has failed to prove that the voter identification law was not written with discriminatory intent and purpose.
Free sales webinar April 21
Ever hear an advertiser claim they get "nothing" from print?
Learn how to win over print-haters with a free webinar April 21, sponsored by The Newspaper Manager and The Magazine Manager.
TPA members may attend THE Revenue Conference at lower rate
Texas Press Association is co-sponsoring a revenue conference with the Inland Press Association and The Blinder Group, enabling TPA members to attend the April 26-27 event in Austin at a lower rate.
Week of April 10-16, 2017
Next step: House, Senate must work toward agreement on state budget
AUSTIN — After more than 15 hours of floor debate, the Texas House of Representatives on April 7 approved a balanced, $218 billion, state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019.
As legislative clock ticks, Texas newspaper issues are very much in limbo
More than half the 2017 legislative session is in the rear-view mirror, and things are getting tense in Austin. Money is short and tempers are getting shorter…even between members of the same party.
Week of April 3-9, 2017
Governor welcomes Justice Department’s sanctuary cities announcement
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on March 27 praised an announcement by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Department of Justice will withhold and take back federal funds from cities that do not comply with federal immigration laws and enforcement directives.
News Media Alliance Launches Campaign to Support Real News
The News Media Alliance today announced the launch of a national campaign focused on combatting the increasing prevalence of fake news. The campaign, Support Real News, shines a light on the harm to the public caused by fake news and the importance of real news produced by respected, trusted news organizations employing high-quality, investigative journalists.
Week of March 27 - April 2, 2017
Senate panel OKs budget for upcoming two-year period
AUSTIN — A state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019 cleared the first in a series of hurdles when the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved committee substitute Senate Bill 1 on March 22.
The legislation next moves to the full Senate for consideration.
Week of March 20-26, 2017
State budget progresses toward vote by full Senate
AUSTIN — The Senate Finance Committee, at work on the 2018-2019 state budget since January, on March 16 approved workgroup recommendations in preparation for a final vote.
Week of March 13-19, 2017
Federal court panel rules against Texas redistricting plan
AUSTIN — Three of Texas’ 36 congressional districts are unconstitutional because of racial or political gerrymandering, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled on March 10.
Tips for protecting sources and yourself
Journalist’s Resource offers some digital security tips for reporters designed to help them protect their sources and themselves. The tip sheet offers free resources as well as links to tutorials.
Read the recommendations here.
‘The Litigation Exception:’ A strange creature of darkness in government
Section 552.103 of the Texas Public Information Act—the “litigation exception”—is a uniquely strange exception to “prompt” disclosure of public information. Generally, it permits a governmental body to withhold information “relating to litigation of a civil or criminal nature” in which the government is, or may become, a party, viewed as of the date a requestor asks for the information.
Sunshine Week great time to show support for TPA legislative team
Sunshine Week, March 12-18, is the perfect time to show support for government transparency issues championed by the Texas Press Association in the 85th session of the Texas Legislature.
Week of March 6-12, 2017
House, Senate approve bills to protect children in foster system
AUSTIN — Both houses of the Texas Legislature last week passed bills to improve the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in response to Gov. Greg Abbott's call for emergency action to improve child protection programs.