Honest Austin is a startup and a news publisher. Our day-to-day focus is covering Texas politics, local news in Austin, and business news. But about a year ago we began a side project that we believe ties in nicely with our core mission, while also serving a broader public good.
Texapedia is an encyclopedia of Texas government and civics. It features more than 115 articles about the state’s laws, institutions, and the various branches and layers of government. It’s meant to serve as a resource for students, teachers, and the general public.
The project started quietly, without any kind of…
Consumer prices rose sharply in May, with North Texas recording the highest increase of all metropolitan areas tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to a data release this morning, the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5% in May from a year earlier, while the CPI for the Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington metropolitan area came in at 6.3%. (Austin isn’t among the metro areas included in the latest data release, so DFW may be the nearest proxy).
The CPI is a measure of inflation that tracks a basket of prices, including food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation, doctors’ and dentists’ services…
Hypothetically, the governor’s veto would mean lights out at the Capitol.
It’s a long-time truism in Texas politics that the governorship is relatively weak. Some would go as far as to say that the lieutenant governor holds the more important position.
Compared to some other states, Texas vests relatively more power in the legislature. And unlike the federal government, Texas has a plural executive, in which multiple officers are directly elected rather than appointed by the chief executive.
Battles between the governor and the legislature do happen, but throughout most of Texas history the governorship and legislature have been…
Texas banks and other lenders are “flush with liquidity” in spite of rising loan demand, according to the latest Beige Book report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which came out today.
Competition among banks for loans and a reluctance to relax credit standards to boost lending to small businesses is making it harder for banks generate positive real returns.
“Loan pricing remained competitive, and multiple contacts said they were flush with liquidity and that it was difficult to deploy the excess capital to generate reasonable returns,” says the latest Beige Book report.
The Fed’s Beige Book is an…
“A peace officer may not intentionally use a choke hold, carotid artery hold, or similar neck restraint.”
Law enforcement officers in Texas will not be allowed to use neck restraints while making an arrest under a bill that cleared both chambers of the Texas Legislature this week.
SB 69 will become law September 1, 2021, unless vetoed by the governor. The reform measure comes after national protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd, a Houston native, died after a police officer kneeled on his neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds during an attempted arrest…
Senate Bill 12 is a proposal in the Texas Legislature to regulate social media companies, akin to a Florida law signed Monday to “stop Big Tech censorship.”
Authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and seven other GOP lawmakers, the bill is a response to conservative complaints of being removed, “shadowbanned,” or otherwise censored by social media companies.
The bill passed the Texas Senate in a party-line vote April 1, 18–13, but the Texas House didn’t set it for a floor vote until Monday, May 24. …
The Texas Legislature has increased the penalty for blocking a highway in the face of police sirens, giving police and prosecutors a new tool to quell protests on major thoroughfares.
Protesters blocked major highways in several Texas cities last year during nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
However, the protest tactic predates those protests. In recent years it has become increasingly used by leftist groups that collectively identify as ‘anti-fascists,’ or Antifa.
In Austin, police arrested several leftist protesters on May 1, 2020, International Workers Day, when they blocked I-35 using a convoy of vehicles carrying banners and…
The Texas House of Representatives today voted to bar the Texas Rangers from using an interrogation technique that they’ve been using for more than 40 years.
SB 281 passed the House unanimously with just one minor amendment, having already cleared the Senate in April, also by unanimous vote.
The bill makes evidence obtained during a hypnotic session inadmissible in court.
It defines “investigative hypnosis” as “a technique that uses hypnosis to explore the memory of a witness to enhance the witness’s recall of a legally relevant event, including descriptions of people, conversations, and the environment.”
Backers of the legislation argued…
The Texas Legislature has passed a bill that would penalize cyberbullying by classifying it as an “offense against public order and decency.”
Senate Bill 530 cleared the Texas House today by a vote of 89–51, following its unanimous approval in the Senate three weeks ago. It will become law September 1, 2021, unless vetoed by the governor.
The bill expands on an existing section of the Penal Code, 42.07, dealing with various forms of harassment.
It would make it a Class B misdemeanor if a person “publishes on an Internet website, including a social media platform, repeated electronic communications in…
Forecasters expected a blowout number from an April jobs report released this morning by the U.S. Labor Department. Like a starting gun at a race, it was supposed to show that the pace of hiring in the country had finally picked up, setting the economy off at a sprint.
But instead of the 1 million jobs that economists had forecast, the report showed that U.S. employers added only 266,000 jobs in April. To make matters worse, the Labor Department also revised downward its previously released March number, from 916,000 to 770,000.
“Well — no-one saw that coming,” said ING Chief…