Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

Politics

Therapists: Calling Health Care for Trans Kids ‘Child Abuse’ Is Hateful and Dangerous

Central Texas counselors and psychologists who work with transgender adolescents say Texas politicians’ recent statements about trans therapy are an attempt to rile up voters at the cost of an extremely vulnerable community.   

As Texas Republicans Attack Gender-Affirming Health Care, Moms of Trans Children Say They’re Not Backing Down

Parents of transgender children in Texas say they are “freaking out.” They are unnerved by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive on Feb. 22 telling the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate reports of transgender youth in Texas receiving gender-affirming health care. Abbott’s letter contends that procedures such as hormonal treatments, gender-aligning surgery or the use of puberty-blockers is child abuse under state law. 

On March 2, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said it had filed a lawsuit to block Abbott’s directive. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a DFPS employee who is a parent of a transgender teenager and has already had an investigator come to their home.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greg Casar Rally Progressive Voters in Austin 

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, urged Austin voters to rally behind congressional candidate Greg Casar Sunday. 

During Rally in Austin, O’Rourke Denounces Abbott Over Jan. 6 and Electric Power Grid

O’Rourke is traveling around the state and hosting a series of rallies dubbed the Keeping the Lights On: A Statewide Drive for a Brighter Texas campaign.

May 05, 2022

Conservative UT-Austin Students Say They Often Feel Marginalized by Peers

A number of conservative students at the University of Texas at Austin say they feel marginalized for their political beliefs. In the era of growing intolerance, where labels such as “woke politics” and “culture wars” makes “political correctness” seem almost polite, conservative students on college campuses, including UT-Austin, also say they often find themselves branded […]

Feb 06, 2022

Rally Urges Texas Republicans to Ban Vaccine Mandates, Critical Race Theory

Saying that Republican leaders failed to complete their conservative agenda, hundreds rallied at the Texas Capitol on Saturday to call for another special session of the Legislature.

With wind blowing, crowd chanting and signs raised, the Save Texas Peaceful Rally and Prayer featured speakers decrying vaccine mandates and “critical race theory” in schools.

“We do not co-parent with the government,” read one sign in the crowd. Others said, “End medical tyranny,” “Freedom not force,” and “Mandate personal liberty.”

Jan 29, 2022

Texas Politicos Praise Trump at First Rally in Texas Since Presidential Defeat

Texas’ top GOP elected officials heaped praise on the former President and used incendiary political rhetoric. Speakers included Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. The scene reflected Trump’s vise-like grip on the Texas GOP and the prominent role his supporters will play in the upcoming Republican primary elections. 

Jan 22, 2022

Anti-Abortion Protesters Celebrate Legislative Success During Capitol Rally

About 4,000 anti-abortion protesters descended on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol Saturday for the  annual Texas Rally for Life.

Dec 20, 2021

Texas College Republicans Secede from National Organization Because of ‘Rigged’ Election

A group of College Republicans say they accepted the results of the 2020 presidential election, but they did not acknowledge the outcome of their organization’s own recent national election.
On Aug. 16, the Texas Federation of College Republicans seceded by unanimous consent from the College Republican National Committee because the Texas College Republicans claimed the election for CRNC chair was fraudulent.

The CRNC is the national organization for the College Republicans. It is composed of all the state federations and claims to have more than 250,000 members across the country with a presence on almost 2,000 college campuses.

Oct 29, 2021

Planned Parenthood’s Place as Texas’ Anti-Abortion Law Causes Panic Among Some

If the rally at the Texas capitol and others across the nation last month are any indication, feelings of panic and outrage have erupted from not only women, but from others who have childbearing loved ones and oppose a move away from reproductive rights. On Sept. 1, Texas Senate Bill 8 went into effect. It imposes […]

Oct 29, 2021

Are Texas Democrats Starting to Take Rural Voters Seriously?

As they begin their 2022 campaigns for state offices from governor to comptroller, Democrats know they can count on support in Texas’ fast-growing cities. They see increasing their share of votes in rural counties, which have long titled heavily Republican, as a key part of their strategy to win statewide office for the first time in three decades.

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 […]

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