Greg Burnam

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Posts by Greg Burnam

Capital Tonight: Abbott pushes for pre-trial DNA testing

A bill limiting statewide officials to two consecutive terms passed out of the Senate Tuesday. If approved by the House, the bill would go to voters in November.

A joint committee is looking into the relationship between the University of Texas Board of Regents and UT President Bill Powers. The committee asked for a year’s worth of communication between the Board of Regents and all University of Texas staff.

Attorney General Greg Abbott discussed a recently proposed bill to ensure DNA testing of evidence is done before cases that involve the death penalty begin.

Abbott described the bipartisan bill as a way to streamline the criminal justice process.

“We need to get all that [DNA testing] done upfront, to make sure that we convict the right person, or if the DNA evidence shows the person was innocent, they are released,” Abbott said.

Paul Brown also spoke to Abbott about the Second Amendment and gun-control efforts in Washington.

Harold Cook and Ted Delisi sat down with Paul Brown to discuss a statement Gov. Rick Perry made to a Florida political blog. In an interview with The Shark Tank, Perry said he’ll likely make an announcement about a possible 2016 presidential run later this year.

Capital Tonight: Lawmakers mull drug testing for benefits

Lawmakers are considering a bill requiring drug testing of those receiving unemployment benefits. Both sides gave testimony this week about the bill’s effect on those receiving unemployment.

Reporter Roundtable

Paul Brown sat down with Aman Batheja of the Texas Tribune, Peggy Fikac from the Houston Chronicle and Terry Stutz from the Dallas Morning News to discuss Gov. Rick Perry’s appearance at CPAC, lawmakers turned lobbyists, and all the week’s events in Texas politics.

Texas White House

The importance of the LBJ Ranch to Central Texas dates back over 50 years. Superintendent Russ Whitlock discussed the park’s importance and how recent budget cuts affected the operating budget.

Click the image below to watch Friday’s full episode.


Capital Tonight: Testing the limits of education reform

The path toward public education reform

A proposal to reduce the number of tests needed to graduate in Texas came up before the Senate Education Committee Tuesday. It would reduce the number of tests from 15 to four or five. Some teachers fear the change could jeopardize education standards.

Beverage distributors and craft brewers reached an agreement on a proposed bill that would allow smaller breweries to sell their beer directly to customers in some cases.


Fracking in Texas

Railroad Commissioner David Porter sat down with Paul Brown to discuss the benefits of fracking to the Texas economy. A study on the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas was released by the Texas Railroad Commission.


The Eagle Ford Shale Task Force Report looks at the economic benefits of fracking, the infrastructure needed and the Railroad Commission’s regulations on the industry.

For the full interview, click the video below.


Capital Commentators

Harold Cook and Ted Delisi sat down with Paul Brown to discuss George P. Bush’s announcement that he’s running for land commissioner next year. They also discussed election laws and a poll recently conducted by the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas


Capital Tonight: Calls for Medicaid expansion growing

More than a thousand Texans gathered at the Capitol Tuesday, asking lawmakers to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Although Gov. Rick Perry has said he’s against expanding Medicaid in its current form, Democratic Rep. Lon Burnam has a proposal modeled after Arizona’s plan that could gain bipartisan support.

Impassioned testimony

A proposed bill aimed at reducing the number of wrongful convictions in Texas drew emotional testimony at a House committee hearing Tuesday. The bill would establish a review commission to investigate the role prosecutors and judges play in the process.

Where do Texans stand on gun control?

James Henson with the Texas Politics Project joined Paul Brown to discuss recent polling numbers on gun control. The poll looks at where Texans stand on high-capacity magazines, semi-automatic weapons and gun laws in general.


Capital Tonight: Texans move on as sequester talks sputter

Despite an hour-long meeting at the White House Friday, no deal was reached to avoid an automatic $85 billion in automatic spending cuts.

Paul Brown sat down with Scott Braddock from the Quorum Report, Ben Philpott fromKUT and Jonathan Tilove from theAustin American-Statesman to talk about the failed negotiations, along with Medicaid expansion, education funding and more. 


Rep. Paul Workman

As a member of several committees dealing with business, manufacturing and economic development, Republican Rep. Paul Workman is well suited to talk about industry in Texas. The Austin-area lawmaker stopped by the studio to talk about his goals for the session.


Ashes and taxes

Democratic Sen. Carlos Uresti has introduced a new bill to raise the legal buying age for cigarettes to 21. Click the image below to see the full story.



Capital Tonight: Distracted driving bill returns to House

A bill to ban texting while driving is back before lawmakers this session. Texting behind the wheel is illegal in 39 states, and many local ordinances already ban the practice, but it’s a statewide measure that couldn’t get past the Governor’s pen in 2011. Click the image at the bottom to hear more about why it might stand a chance this time around.

Battleground Texas

Joshua Treviño of the Texas Public Policy Foundation discussed efforts to turn Texas into a swing state. Treviño also shared the strategy he would take if he were a Democrat.


Capital Commentators

Harold Cook and Ted Delisi sat down with Paul Brown to discuss Gov. Chris Christie’s recent announcement that he would accept Medicaid funding under the Affordable Care Act. They also discussed Gov. Perry’s recent call to re-evaluate testing for Texas students.



Capital Tonight: Sen. Cruz returns to Texas

Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz stopped by a gun manufacturing business in Leander Tuesday to reiterate his stance on gun control.

“I will fight every day to protect our constitutional right to bear arms,” Cruz said.

Karina Kling spoke with Harold Cook and Ted Delisi about Cruz’s growing influence in Washington. They also discussed Sen. John Cornyn and how the possibility of a primary challenger might be affecting his votes.


Funding infrastructure

Transportation is a top issue this legislative session. Tuesday, TxDOT hosted its annual Texas Transportation Forum in Austin. Innovate funding ideas, such as toll roads, could help fund future road building in Texas.



Gridlock in Washington

President Obama spoke about the challenges Washington lawmakers face in trying to avoid the sequester scheduled for March 1, which would automatically cut $1.2 trillion in spending from defense and social programs.


Click the image below to watch Tuesday’s full episode.