Feb 14th - 7:30 pm
Early voting for the march primary starts soon, but many of the advertisements airing on TV now were paid for months ago.
In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to political experts about the strategy behind getting your attention.
From the Washington Post to the New York Times, Sen. Wendy Davis dominated headlines this week. Can she change the popular narrative on guns, abortion law and her life story? Robert Garrett of The Dallas Morning News, Emily Ramshaw of the Texas Tribune and Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report joined us to explore that question and more.
CHECKING THE FACTS
Plus, Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman researched a pair of statements by two candidates for lieutenant governor — all over the 17th Amendment.
Jan 6th - 8:31 pm
Meanwhile, a three-judge panel in New Orleans heard one last round of arguments over the merits of a controversial abortion law. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide on the law’s constitutionality after Planned Parenthood and other groups filed a lawsuit late last year.
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at where both laws stand in Texas.
LETTER OF THE LAW
Ahead of Monday’s hearing, Rep. Donna Howard wrote a letter to the Texas Department of Insurance detailing her concerns with the proposed restrictions. We spoke one-on-one with Rep. Howard about that issue and more.
In Washington, lawmakers got back to work after a long break. We checked in on their efforts to revisit a vote on unemployment insurance and more.
Jan 6th - 2:30 pm
A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard arguments over a controversial set of abortion restrictions Monday, in the last round of questioning before the panel issues its final ruling on the law’s constitutionality.
Attorneys for both sides had 20 minutes each to present their cases to the three-judge panel. The state argued that the law simply regulates the practice of medicine in the state, and that it’s within constitutional boundaries. Attorneys for Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights argued against the law, saying it places a substantial burden on women seeking an abortion.
Abortion providers sued to block two parts of the law after it passed in the summer of 2013. One provision requires doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Another part of the law requires doctors to follow 13-year-old federal standards when administering an abortion-inducing drug, as opposed to an off-label regimen used commonly today. A federal district judge ruled in favor of a temporary injunction for part of the law in October, but the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has since overturned the ruling, allowing the law to go into effect.
The appeals court hasn’t indicated when it would issue its final ruling.
Nov 20th - 8:38 pm
State Board of Education members are busy this week, coming up with the best way to implement new graduation requirements approved as part of a curriculum overhaul last session. Lawmakers reduced the number of standardized tests high school students must pass from 15 to five, and they rewrote course requirements to promote vocational training.
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at where the process stands now, and why Algebra II is the main sticking point.
The state’s new abortion law has survived another test in court, but a newly published article in the journal Contraception argues that its real-world implementation could be negatively affecting women’s health.
We spoke to Daniel Grossman and Joseph Potter of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project about the data they’ve seen.
50 YEARS LATER
In the days leading up to President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Dallas 50 years ago, the working media all had their assignments, eager to capture history. Ahead of our special coverage this week, we looked back at a young radio reporter who wasn’t prepared for the news he had to deliver to listeners across the state.
Nov 19th - 8:56 pm
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to an undocumented University of Texas student about what he hopes to see in the larger political debate.
The David Dewhurst campaign is out with its first statewide TV ad, touting the Texas miracle. Our capital commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, weighed in on where Dewhurst stands in his bid for another term as lieutenant governor.
While most of the Republican races for statewide office have multiple candidates, few have dared to challenge a member of the Bush family in the race for land commissioner. We sat down with David Watts to talk about why he’s giving it a shot
Nov 19th - 6:12 pm
In a 5-4 ruling today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to block parts of a Texas abortion law.
The law took effect on Oct. 31, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a temporary injunction put in place by a lower federal court. It requires doctors who provide abortions to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and provides strict oversight for the way abortion-inducing drugs are administered. Planned Parenthood joined several other abortion providers in a lawsuit in September, claiming the law placed an undue burden on women and would force nearly a third of the state’s abortion facilities to close.
A lawsuit over the law’s constitutionality remains on appeal in a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel will hear arguments on that case in January.
Oct 31st - 7:13 pm
An appeals court has overturned the decision of a federal judge who blocked parts of a controversial abortion bill.
A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Thursday night, allowing the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals to take effect while a lawsuit over the restriction continues.
The ruling comes just three days after District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the same provision serves no medical purpose. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers had argued that the regulations were unconstitutional, and sought to have them delayed through a temporary injunction.
Instead, the new requirements will likely go into effect immediately.
Oct 29th - 8:30 pm
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we look back at the state’s record of success with the appeals court, and look ahead to where the fight is likely headed from there.
TAPPING TEXAS DONORS
New fundraising numbers are out this week from groups working to get the word out about Proposition 6. The Water Texas PAC has raised a total of $2.1 million, adding more than a million to what it raised in the last filing period.
It’s a good sign for supporters of the ballot initiative, but some groups are raising questions about where the support is coming from and why. We sat down with Andrew Wheat with the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice to look at the bigger picture.
Conservative business owners, faith leaders and policymakers met Tuesday in Washington to try to revive immigration reform efforts. We checked in on where the issue stands now.
Oct 28th - 3:48 pm
The political reaction was quick to today’s court ruling that parts of the state’s abortion law are unconsitutional.
Republican Gov. Rick Perry indicated the abortion debate does not end with Monday’s decision.
“Today’s decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently,” the governor said in a press release. “We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans.”
Democratic State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio also issued a statement soon after the ruling.
“I’m grateful that a Texas court agreed today that House Bill 2 would have had harmful effects on women’s access to care and affirmed that the Republican-controlled Legislature went too far in its attacks on women” she said. Van de Putte is considering a run for lieutenant governor.
Oct 28th - 2:26 pm
A federal judge has ruled that parts of the state’s new abortion law are unconstitutional, meaning they won’t go into effect Tuesday as planned.
District Judge Lee Yeakel made the ruling today.
His decision follows a three-day trial over the law, which requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and regulates the way doctors can administer abortion-inducing drugs. Lawyers for Planned Parenthood argued that the regulations would shut down a third of the abortion clinics in Texas. The state has argued that the law protects women and the life of the fetus.
The attorney general’s office is expected to file an appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.