Inside Texas Politics begins with the 2017 legislative session. In studio, Democratic State Rep. Nicole Collier from Fort Worth and Republican State Rep. Jason Villalba from Dallas. They joined host Jason Whitely and Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegram to discuss potential changes to the state’s A-F grading system for schools, Speaker Joe Straus’ unanimous re-election, reaction to the Fort Worth police officer who was suspended for 10 days for escalating a high-profile situation, Dallas’ police and fire pension problems, and Collier’s “zombie debt” bill.
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Speaker Straus, the Republican from San Antonio, won a fifth session as speaker which ties a record in Texas. Ross Ramsey, the co-founder and executive editor of the Texas Tribune, joined the program from Austin to discuss how Straus works with Lt. Gov. Patrick and his priorities, Attorney General Ken Paxton’s upcoming trial for securities fraud charges, and the demand from Republican state legislators that the federal government reimburse Texas for border security costs.
Congressman Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, suggested Fort Worth's police chief could have done more. The department suspended one of its officers for escalating a situation and arresting a woman who called for officers initially. It set off protests and sparked this next commentary, as well. Here's Ed Gray from the Commish Radio Show with My Voice, My Opinion.
Conservatives own AM radio and have the largest audience in cable television news. But as the Trump administration takes over, a communications firm says the GOP will need to work on its messaging – especially before dismantling the Affordable Care Act. Laura Barnett, a Vice President at Spaeth Communications in Dallas, was in studio to explain.
The president-elect and the press were the focus of Flashpoint Sunday morning. From the right, Mark Davis of 660 AM The Answer and from the left, author and producer Katie Sherrod.
Reporters roundtable puts the headlines in perspective each week. Bud and Ross returned to discuss potential cuts state lawmakers must make because of lower revenue estimates, the political futures of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus, and changes to the state’s A-F system to grade schools which superintendents complain is unfair.