President Obama is urging Americans — especially those in Washington — not to forget about the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.

Flanked by the parents of Newtown victims, Obama pushed for the passage of a number of gun control bills in the Senate, including expanded background checks, stricter gun trafficking legislation and school safety measures.

The address was just one of dozens of rallies across the country. Austin’s Mayor Lee Leffingwell joined the city’s police chief as part of “National Day to Demand Action.”

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says it’s not about infringing on a person’s Second Amendment rights, but about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. He accused lawmakers of distorting the issue.

“It does not add up. You cannot argue against universal background checks with a straight face and tell me that you are in favor of public safety,” Acevedo said.

Fill in the Blanks

Days after the House approved legislation reducing the number of standardized tests and creating new vocational paths, another education bill is gaining momentum at the State Capitol.

The Senate Education Committee approved a measure that gives parents more direct say in how their kids’ schools are run. Senate Bill 1263 speeds up the process parents can take if their local school gets rated as poorly performing.

Our Capital Commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, weighed in on the latest development on education reform.

Testing the Waters

A bill to pump $2 billion dollars into Texas water problems received overwhelming support in the House this week. We spoke to Laura Huffman of the Nature Conservancy of Texas to get a second opinion on the bill.