Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism
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Oct 21, 2021

Texas Remains Reluctant to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

Texas has had a puzzling past with marijuana. While the state refuses to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana, it has made small strides in recent years to legalize CBD, hemp and medical marijuana. As the laws become more confusing, some cities — like Austin — have chosen to decriminalize misdemeanor amounts of marijuana.

Of the 50 bills pertaining to marijuana introduced during Texas’ 87th legislation — only HB 1535 made it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. This bill expands the number of people eligible for medical marijuana as well as the concentration amount they can have. Bills dealing with penalty reduction or recreational legalization died.

May 21, 2021

Texas Lawmakers Want to Make Single Eyewitness Testimony No Longer Grounds for Death Penalty

A state representative wants to make it impossible to hand down a death sentence in Texas based on the testimony of a single witness without corroborating evidence. Supporters of the change say it’s dangerous to sentence someone to death row based on eyewitness testimony alone. Prosecutors, meanwhile, say they doubt  it’s actually a problem and that the proposal could be a slippery slope that leads to micromanaging their work. 

Apr 01, 2021

Austin Braces for 2021 Legislative Outcomes

As the 87th Texas Legislature approaches mid-session, Governor Greg Abbott’s battle with Austin City Council over police funding is reaching a boiling point as a number of bills take aim at local governments’ control over police funding.  Last August, Austin City Council members unanimously passed the city’s 2021 budget, cutting one-third of the Austin Police […]

Feb 26, 2021

The Future of Free Range Kids in Texas 

A state senator wants to rewrite the Texas Family Code to give parents more leeway in how they supervise their children. Supporters of the proposed change say narrowing the definition of neglect will reduce the workload for Child Protective Services and liberate families — especially poor families. Child advocates disagree.

Dec 16, 2020

Resurgence of Armenian Struggle Painful for UT Student

While Armenia’s modern struggle against the encroachment of others is grabbing headlines today across the globe, it can be said what is happening in Armenia is old news. As the first nation to establish Christianity as its national religion 18 centuries ago in 301 A.D., Armenians have accepted their biblical call to, “glory in their […]

Dec 16, 2020

Love Across the Aisle

Amidst a time of an ever-widening political divide in this country, two people from opposing political parties somehow managed to come together by a force much stronger than hate: love. I met John a year ago in October 2019 on a dating app. He is tall, handsome, but most importantly, incredibly sweet and compassionate. John […]

Dec 16, 2020

Local Businesses Serve Up Lesson in Achieving Voter Turnout

In last November’s election, the voters of Travis County stepped right up for a passion plate of political participation this election. And local businesses would like to think they helped to serve it with a side of incentive. “The idea of getting involved in this year’s election was first proposed by a staff member back […]

Dec 14, 2020

The Uphill Climb for Stricter Gun Laws in Texas

A Republican state representative from Odessa — which witnessed the third mass-shooting tragedy nationwide in a single month last year — filed the first gun-safety-related bill of the upcoming 87th Legislature. 

Nov 23, 2020

Austin Representative Previews 87th Texas Legislature

Lawmakers will wrestle with the budget, health care and once-in-a-decade political redistricting — all in the middle of a global pandemic — when the 87th Texas Legislative session convenes in January. Reporting Texas spoke with Rep. Gina Hinojosa, a Democrat representing House District 49 — the heart of Travis County — about the upcoming legislative session.

Nov 07, 2020

Biden Win Sparks Protest and Celebration in Austin 

About 300 supporters of President Donald Trump gathered on the south side of the Texas Capitol early Saturday afternoon to protest the presidential election of Joe Biden. Protesters, many dressed in red and waving Trump flags, chanted “Biden is a fraud” and “count the votes.” Others held signs that read “Stop The Steal.” Some gathered […]

Nov 05, 2020

A Week With Some of Austin’s Most Vehement, Revolutionary Protesters 

The Mike Ramos Brigade, or MRB, formed the night Mike Ramos, an unarmed 42-year-old Black and Mexican-American man, was shot and killed by Austin police in April. The brigade’s demands started with justice for Ramos. They quickly started calling for justice for all victims of police brutality and the abolition of the criminal justice system, capitalism and the destruction of what they call the ruling class.

Nov 04, 2020

Republicans Dominate Elections in Central Texas

Some experts labeled Texas as a toss-up in the presidential election, with most polls showing a 2-4 point lead for Donald Trump. Trump outperformed those expectations, winning by closer to 6 percentage points. Other races included a U.S. Senate race won easily by GOP incumbent U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and several Central Texas congressional races where Republicans won easily.

Oct 18, 2020

Trump March Fizzles in Downtown Austin

The march, the fourth annual iteration of the event, attracted a much smaller crowd than previous marches, which have seen upward of 300 attendees. The marchers were unfazed by the lackluster turnout and insisted that it wasn’t a sign of flailing support for an embattled president.

Oct 14, 2020

Updates: On Election Day, Austin Voters Encounter Short Lines at the Polls; No Reports of Intimidation Efforts or Voting Issues

During early voting, Reporting Texas correspondents will regularly file reports from Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell counties, as well as early voting locations in Travis County. On Election Day, correspondents will post dispatches from polling places around Travis County. Check back for updates.

Apr 14, 2020

Pre-Pandemic Politics: Democratic Socialism and the Youth Vote

Until his decision in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak to drop out of the presidential race, Bernie Sanders continuously captured the youth vote in the 2020 Democratic primaries, including a 65% backing from voters under 30 in Texas. Primary election results before the country was ensnared by the COVID-19 outbreak show his democratic socialist […]

Apr 14, 2020

Presidential Politics Dominated Forty Acres Before Pandemic

Before a global pandemic pierced mosts Americans’ imaginations, the nation wondered if the youth vote, including students at the University of Texas, would turn out for the presidential election. With this backdrop, for the first time in decades, Texas had a major voice in determining the Democratic nominee. And in typical fashion, Travis County took […]

Sep 26, 2019

Racial Politics and Economic Woes Roil an East Texas City

How the battle over an East Texas city’s economic development corporation laid bare racial fault lines in the age of Trump.

May 22, 2019

Lois Kolkhorst, Rising Star in the Texas GOP, Won’t Back Down

Authoring hot-button socially conservative legislation has established Sen. Lois Kolkhorst as a leading voice in the socially conservative block of the Republican party in Texas. (Story also appeared in the Victoria Advocate.)

May 14, 2019

Mystified by Texas Politics? We’ve Got Answers

Find out why Democrats disappeared and get a quick look at the state’s most notorious political scandals.

May 08, 2019

Texas Pundits Ponder the Importance of the BriLab Scandal 40 Years On

Billy Wayne Clayton, the figure at the center of the scandal, remade the office of Texas House speaker.