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Trump administration lifts transgender bathroom guidance

February 23, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transgender students on Wednesday lost federal protections that allowed them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities, as the Trump administration stepped into a long-simmering national debate.

The administration came down on the side of states’ rights, lifting Obama-era federal guidelines that had been characterized by Republicans as an example of overreach.…

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US Defense Secretary Mattis: No plan to seize Iraqi oil

February 20, 2017

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, shifting away from an idea proposed by President Donald Trump that has rattled Iraq’s leaders.

Mattis’ arrived on an unannounced visit in Iraq as the battle to oust Islamic State militants from western Mosul moved into its second day, and as the Pentagon considers ways to accelerate the campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria.…

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Trump seeks national security adviser, health care strategy

February 20, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s holiday weekend featured a raucous campaign rally, a health care strategy session, interviews for a new national security adviser — and even a few holes of golf.

Trump brought four contenders to his private club Mar-a-Lago club in Florida on Sunday as he seeks a replacement for retired Gen.…

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Burrows Files 3 Spending, Accountability Bills Tuesday

February 15, 2017

AUSTIN — District 83 State House Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) introduced three bills on Tuesday, all focused on effective stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars.

“Our state government – legislators and our state agencies – ought to be judged by how well we meet legitimate objectives. These bills encourage proper budget planning and accountability.…

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A look at what comes next in Trump travel ban case

February 10, 2017

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal appeals court has handed a resounding victory to Washington state and Minnesota in their challenge of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, finding unanimously that a lower court ruling suspending the ban’s enforcement should stay in place while the case continues.

The 3-0 decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the states on nearly every issue presented.…

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Trump’s health secretary pick confirmed narrowly for Cabinet

February 10, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Tom Price, President Donald Trump’s choice to be health secretary, is the latest of a handful of Cabinet nominees to eke out a confirmation victory in a bitterly divided Senate.

Following the pattern of strictly party-line votes on two previous nominees — Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos for Education secretary — the Georgia congressman was approved early Friday on a 52-47 vote.…

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Texas Capital Highlights — Feb. 6, 2017

February 7, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is asking the Texas Rangers to help locate Tom Brady’s missing jersey, which disappeared from the New England Patriots locker room after the Super Bowl.

The Republican said in a statement Monday that Brady’s jersey “was stolen” after the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 at Houston’s NRG Stadium, and that city police were already investigating.…

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Seminole, Gaines Leaders Keeping Tabs on 85th Legislative Issues

February 2, 2017

As the political posturing associated with the 85th Texas Legislative Session begins to shape, local municipal leaders are keeping a close eye on Austin happenings to ensure Seminole and Gaines County area residents encounter potentially beneficial regulation changes coming out of the biennial state lawmaking cycle.

Prior to the start of the 85th Session in mid-January, both officials with the Gaines County Commissioners Court and Seminole ISD Board of Trustees identified areas of interest their respective entities would be closely monitoring this session.…

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Texas Capital Highlights — Feb. 1, 2017

February 2, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht asked lawmakers Wednesday to pass legislation to improve security for judges, citing a state judge who was shot and wounded outside her Austin home in 2015.

In his biennial State of the Judiciary address before a joint session of the Legislature, Hecht highlighted the shooting of Judge Julie Kocurek, who was targeted by a gunman in November 2015, to call for passage of a Senate bill with security upgrades for judges and courthouses.…

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Texas House Speaker calls to scrap straight-ticket voting

February 2, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — House Speaker Joe Straus is calling to end Texas’ system of straight-ticket voting, making him the only top Republican in the state to publicly endorse the idea.

Straus said Wednesday Texas should join 40 other states and do away with straight-ticket voting for all elections. Straight ticket voting allows voters to choose a party instead of individual candidates.…

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