Columns/Opinions

Tue
21
Feb

Emergency items hit the Senate floor

By CARLOS I. URESTI

As we complete the first month of the 85th Legislative Session, the Senate has passed several pieces of legislation relating to the Governor's emergency items. Bills that address those emergency items are the only bills that may be heard during the first 60 days of the legislative session.

This session, Governor Greg Abbot proclaimed 5 emergency items in his State of the State Address. A few items that were widely expected to be included, such as private school vouchers, were left off the list.

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Tue
21
Feb

The Funnies

By LEE PITTS

As a youngster I never dreamed I'd one day make my living as a writer, but that doesn't mean I didn't hope to be syndicated in newspapers and magazines nationwide. What I really wanted to be was a cartoonist. There was only one problem... I can't draw. I know what you're thinking, I can't write either but that hasn't stopped me from being a cowy columnist.

I grew up on the funny papers. Although we really couldn't afford it, my mother always made sure we subscribed to two newspapers. She knew it was important for our education. All my life I've read three things religiously every day: the sports and business sections and the funnies. It's no accident that I grew up to be an entrepreneurial sports loving humorist.

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Tue
14
Feb

Identity Crises

By LEE PITTS

There are many pros and cons of being me. The pros are I have a wonderful wife and a wonderful life, while my biggest cons are a sickly body and a terrible name. A person's name is like a Knight's crest, a blue blood's coat of arms and the convention badge you wear that says, "Hello, my name is." While you may be proud of your name and write it with a big fat Sharpie marker, I write mine small and in fine point. You see, Lee is not my real name. It's bad enough but my real name is Leland. There, I've said it. Now the whole world knows my darkest secret. (I never could keep a secret.) The only people who've ever called me Leland were a couple aunts and my mom when she was really mad at me and called me all three of my bad names, as in, "Leland Warren Pitts, did you spill chocolate milk all over that cloth rocking chair I just finished upholstering?"

 

Tue
14
Feb

What we talk about when we talk about school vouchers

By ROSS RAMSEY

It comes in with a different name every legislative session, this idea of letting students take their public school money with them if they decide to go to private schools instead. Vouchers. School choice. Scholarships. Education Savings Accounts. It’s not a complicated idea, but it’s a controversial one. And it’s not as partisan as you might think, in part because it mixes up each of the major political parties’ ideas about how government works.

 

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Tue
07
Feb

Close loopholes in state Public Information Act

GUEST COLUMN KIRK WATSON AND GIOVANNI CAPRIGLIONE

After the Sharpstown fraud and bribery scandal rocked the Texas Capitol in the early 1970s, Texans opted to "throw the rascals out" and elect a reform- minded Legislature to clean up the mess. A cornerstone of the 63rd Legislature's reform agenda was the Public Information Act of 1973, which empowered the people to see what their government officials were doing and hold them accountable. Lawmakers clearly stated that the public's right to know, in most cases, should prevail over other interests because information is key to accountability.

 

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Tue
07
Feb

Gypsies, Tramps & Beeves

By LEE PITTS

I get my news from paperview. I read the newspaper. I don't watch much television and have found that your average security camera monitor is more entertaining than TV. I do however watch the occasional weather report on TV, but I don't know why I bother because it's always the same: "Torrential sunshine today with scattered darkness tonight." In our area weatherpersons come and go like gypsies and cold fronts. Some are good and some are bad. Generally speaking I've found that the best TV weatherpersons are found where the weather is the worst. My problem with most TV weather reports is that the weather is not taken seriously enough. To me the weather report is far more important than what happened in Syria or what Congressperson got caught with his pants down, or his hand in the till. I guess I've been in the beef business for too long but the weather is no joking matter.

 

Tue
31
Jan

The mechanics of the Texas Legislature

By ANDREW MURR

The 85th meeting of the Texas Legislature began on Jan. 10th. Unlike the U.S. Congress which meets practically year round, our state legislature meets for just 140 days every two years, so we have to get down to business and focus on our primary task – passing another fiscally conservative, balanced budget. The first two to three weeks of the session are largely ceremonial, however.

 

Tue
31
Jan

Session watch: legislature begins and budgets arrive

By CARLOS L. URESTI

The 85th Legislative Session kicked off earlier this month with much less fan-fare than in years following a gubernatorial election. Being the mid-term for our Governor and Lt. Governor means there are no inaugural festivities at the state level. Of course, at the Federal level, there was a plethora of celebrations, and protests, surrounding our new President Donald Trump.

 

Tue
24
Jan

Marches come one day after inauguration of new president

By Ed Sterling

Tue
24
Jan

You Can Never Be New Again

By lee pitts

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