Texas

Up-to-the-minute road conditions

January 24th, 2014 at 8:02 am by under Weather

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – Check on the links below to get the most updated information on road conditions and closures in:

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Texas 2014: Faces In the Races

July 31st, 2013 at 5:31 pm by under Politics
Top L to R: GOP gubernatorial candidates former Texas Workforce Chairman Tom Pauken and Attorney General Greg Abbott. Bottom L to R: possible Democratic gubernatorial contenders Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worh, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro

Top L to R: GOP gubernatorial candidates former Texas Workforce Chairman Tom Pauken and Attorney General Greg Abbott. Bottom L to R: possible Democratic gubernatorial contenders Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro

During the 2014 election season, virtually every statewide office in Texas is up for grabs, because Gov. Rick Perry is stepping down. Here is a list of the big races people will be watching: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner, comptroller and railroad commissioner.

The only declared GOP gubernatorial candidate beyond Attorney General Greg Abbott is former Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken. Perry appointed him to that post years ago, yet he did not support Perry in last year’s presidential election.

Pauken has much less money than his primary competitor, who already has more than $20 million to spend. Abbott’s campaign has also been outshining Pauken’s, making a splash on the road and with media. While Abbott considered the heir apparent to Perry, insiders say the two men do not always see eye-to-eye. And Perry has yet to publicly support Abbott’s bid.

Democrats literally have no candidates for any statewide office at the time, except a dark horse for land commissioner – a former El Paso mayor. Most Democrats are waiting to see if Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth or San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will throw their hat in the race for governor first. On a side note, Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin, will be up for reelection in Congress next year, too.

While the abortion filibuster did a tremendous service for Davis’ popularity in the state, some have suggested she run for lieutenant governor instead and leave the top bid for governor to Castro. However, Matt Angle – a Davis adviser – and Harold Cook, former head of the Texas Democratic Party, have publicly said lieutenant governor would be an unwise move for Davis.

Texas GOP lieutenant governor candidates. Top L to R: Ag Commissioner Todd Staples and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Bottom L to R: Sen. Dan Patrick, Houston, and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson

GOP lieutenant governor candidates. Top L to R: Ag Commissioner Todd Staples and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Bottom L to R: Sen. Dan Patrick, Houston, and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson

The lieutenant governor race will include some of the biggest names in Texas politics. It certainly has the most declared candidates, so far – all in the Republican Party, of course. Lt. Gov David Dewhurst might have a tough time holding the spot after losing to Ted Cruz last year for U.S. Senate and also for what many people see as poor leadership in the Texas Senate this session.

The other three candidates all have very strong campaigns, making this an extremely competitive race: Ag Commissioner Todd Staples, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and perhaps the most conservative member of the State Senate, Dan Patrick – who just scored a major endorsement from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Then there are the federal races. In the U.S. Senate, Republican John Cornyn will run for reelection, as he has held the office since 2002. Cruz’ seat is not up until 2018.

All U.S. House seats are at stake. In the Central Texas area, those include:

  • District 10 (now held by Republican Michael McCaul)
  • District 17 (now held by Republican Bill Flores)
  • District 21 (now held by Republican Lamar Smith)
  • District 25 (now held by Republican Roger Williams)
  • District 35 (now held by Democrat Lloyd Doggett)

All State House members must run for reelection next year. Regarding Central Texas races, the only seat that should be competitive is HD 50, currently held by Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin. There is a special election this coming November for someone to hold the seat until next year’s election, as he steps aside to lead Google Fiber. Whoever wins the special election would have a big leg up going into 2014.

Some State Senate seats are up for grabs across Texas, as well. Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, drew one of the short straws this session. That means the term he was elected to in 2012 expires in 2014. Each legislative session after redistricting, the 31 senators hold a lottery to determine which get a four-year terms and which get a two-year term. In between redistricting, the terms are all for four years. Watson’s seat is considered safe for any Democrat

Among the local delegation, Watson joins long-serving Democrat Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, whose district snakes north to Austin. There are also freshman Republicans Charles Schwertner of Georgetown and Donna Campbell of San Marcos in the two-year club. Veteran Republican Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay drew a four-year term.

Additionally, if and when the legislature passes the transportation funding amendment in this third special session, voters will likely have to approve it in next year’s November election. Voter approval is required to amend the Constitution, in this case diverting money from the Rainy Day Fund.


Behind the scenes: Texas lawmakers debate abortion measures

June 24th, 2013 at 6:53 am by under Politics

Texas lawmakers worked overnight, debating a handful of controversial abortion-related measures. KXAN had crews at the Capitol during the 15-hour standoff between Democrats and Republicans. Take a peek behind the scenes at our live shots during the morning show by clicking on the Instagram video box/link below:


In Session. In-depth: Texas Gun Business

May 7th, 2013 at 3:48 pm by under Politics
Gov. Rick Perry welcomes Shield Tactical from California to Shiner. (Josh Hinkle/KXAN)

Gov. Rick Perry welcomes Shield Tactical from California to Shiner. (Josh Hinkle/KXAN)

This weekend on “In Session. In-depth,” we focus on gun control and big business. One state’s loss might be Texas’ gain. As much of the country restricts firearms, Gov. Rick Perry is asking gun companies to set up shop here. But more business might mean more competition for an already booming industry.

We speak with the governor one-on-one, then our political roundtable weighs in on his plan and other gun items at the Capitol.

  • Paul Burka, Texas Monthly
  • Christy Hoppe, Dallas Morning News
  • Jay Root, Texas Tribune.

Join us for “In Session. In-depth.” this Sunday at 8:30 a.m.


In Session. In-depth: Sen. Wendy Davis

March 29th, 2013 at 4:33 pm by under Politics
Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth (Texas Senate)

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth (Texas Senate)

This weekend on “In Session. In-depth,” Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, talks to us about the fight for more education funding. What are the true difference between the Senate and House versions of the budget? And could more money come before lawmakers wrap up in May? Davis found herself in the political spotlight after filibustering the school finance bill last session, and now she speaks out about reports of a possible run for governor.

Plus, Reps. Donna Howard, D-Austin, and Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, join our roundtable. The duo is among a small handful of Central Texas lawmakers on the House budget-writing team. Hear their predictions for the remaining financial fight this Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on KXAN News.


In Session. In-depth: Halftime at the Capitol

March 21st, 2013 at 6:12 pm by under Politics

It’s halftime at the Texas State Capitol! What issues rank the highest on the scoreboard? Who are the legislature’s MVPs? And who are those standout rookies?

Joining us on the political roundtable this week – Mike Ward with the Austin American-Statesman, Corrie MacLaggan with Reuters and Brian Sweany with Texas Monthly.

Plus, we take a look at an ongoing “water war” between Texas and Mexico. Join us for “In Session. In-depth.” this Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on KXAN News.

Texas State Capitol (Josh Hinkle/KXAN)

Texas State Capitol (Josh Hinkle/KXAN)


In Session. In-depth: Rep. Richard Pena Raymond

March 14th, 2013 at 5:57 pm by under Politics
Rep. Richard Pena Raymond, D-Laredo (Texas House of Representatives)

Rep. Richard Pena Raymond, D-Laredo (Texas House of Representatives)

Ever wondered why Texas lawmakers meet only once every two years? One lawmaker says the state’s size, population and massive budget deserve more attention. We speak with Rep. Richard Pena Raymond, D-Laredo, about his proposal to gather the legislature in Austin annually.

We also break down the technology driving lawmakers this session. Plus, a group of “little” lobbyists mix pie with politics at the State Capitol. Join us for “In Session. In-depth.” this Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on KXAN News.


In Session. In-depth: Texas Casino Legislation

February 20th, 2013 at 2:24 pm by under Politics

Interstate 10 sign outside Lake Charles, Louisiana (Josh Hinkle/KXAN)

This week on a special gambling edition of “In Session. In-depth,” the chips fly, as both sides of the long-standing Texas casino debate take part in our roundtable – former state lawmaker John Montford from the pro-casino lobby “Let Texans Decide” and Rob Kohler from the anti-gaming Christian Life Commission. Tim Eaton from the Austin American-Statesman also joins the discussion.

Plus, we travel to neighboring Louisiana – a casino-friendly state –

to weigh the benefits with the bad. Where does that state spend its revenue, and is a re-introduced gambling bill in Texas really the answer to funding problems?

Join us Sunday at 8:30 a.m. for “In Session. In-depth.” right here on KXAN.


In Session. In-depth: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst & Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams

February 7th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by under Politics

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaks with KXAN about the Texas school finance lawsuit (Julie Karam/KXAN).

This Sunday on KXAN’s “In Session, In-depth,” Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams discuss the future after the state’s school finance trial decision.

Plus, Kate Alexander of the Austin American-Statesman, Clay Robison of the Texas State Teachers Association and Erin Cargile of KXAN News talk about proposed education reforms, testing and possible school funding restoration.

Join us for “In Session, In-depth” this Sunday morning at 8:30 on KXAN News.


In Session. In-depth: Health & Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek

January 31st, 2013 at 6:30 pm by under Politics

HHSC Commissioner Kyle Janek (State of Texas)

This Sunday on KXAN’s “In Session, In-depth,” Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek discusses the Women’s Health Program, the state’s Medicaid situation and lawmakers’ health care budget challenges.

Plus, Corrie MacLaggan of Reuters, Emily Ramshaw of the Texas Tribune, and Texas Medical Association President-elect Stephen Brotherton, M.D., weigh in Gov. Rick Perry’s State of the State and his legislative vision for Texans’ health.

Join us for “In Session, In-depth” this Sunday morning at 8:30 on KXAN News.