The Daily Texan

All content by Melissa Ayala

Group lobbies to keep college affordable

May 6, 2011

Despite student activist marches, rallies at the Capitol and sit-down meetings with legislators, students have had mixed results with some of their top initiatives. Invest in Texas, a committee...

Impending end of session stresses deadline for bills

May 6, 2011

The end of the 82nd legislative session is drawing near, leaving lawmakers scrambling to hear, vote and amend a bevy of bills. The regular session ends on May 30, and after that, the governor has...

Sen. Zaffirini disagrees with UT chairman’s ideas, proposal

May 4, 2011

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, publicly disagreed with goals UT System Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell proposed in an internal memorandum between the regents. Powell suggested increasing...

Concealed carry amendment kills education legislation

May 4, 2011

Concealed carry on campus may have hit another dead end after Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, pulled down her higher education bill Tuesday. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, had attempted to...

Sonogram bill clears hurdle in TX Senate after compromises

May 3, 2011

Texas senators tentatively approved the abortion sonogram bill Monday, which is one of the five emergency items Gov. Rick Perry announced at the start of the session. The bill would require women...

Texas Senate to tackle budget, concealed carry

May 2, 2011

Texas senators are expected to debate two controversial pieces of legislation this week — the budget and concealed carry on campus. The state House and Senate are looking for methods of...

Students interning at Capitol acquire valuable experience

April 15, 2011

It’s Friday night, and Alex Ramirez sits in the gallery of the Texas House, overlooking the 150 members who debate back and forth across two podiums in the center of the chamber. As a Texas...

Bills propose changes for education even with cuts

April 15, 2011

While Texas House members moved forward Thursday tentatively approving changes to education, Gov. Rick Perry reiterated his plan to increase college affordability. The House’s proposed budget,...

Concealed carry bill stalls after two senators remove support

April 11, 2011

Senators anticipated voting on the concealed carry on campus bill Monday, but it stalled on the floor for the second time in a week. The controversial bill would allow concealed handgun license...

Post-sonogram waiting period in abortion bill under discussion

April 11, 2011

Senators on the State Affairs Committee picked up the sonogram bill on Monday to figure out the amount of time women would have to wait between receiving an abortion sonogram and getting an abortion. The...

Concealed carry bill withdrawn on Senate floor

April 8, 2011

Texas Senators were debating the concealed-carry bill Thursday when Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, temporarily pulled the bill down until Monday. The bill would allow concealed-handgun license...

New teachers face difficulty obtaining jobs after cutbacks

April 8, 2011

Megan Metzger will delay her plan to teach in Texas and head to South America for a job with international volunteer program Cross-Cultural Solutions after she graduates in December. She’s...

Amendment could require ‘family values’ centers at UT

April 5, 2011

State university campuses with gender and sexuality centers could have to add a “traditional family values center” that receives equal state funding if an amendment to the House Budget Bill...

Budget bill passes House, cuts could cost universities

April 4, 2011

House members gathered under the Capitol dome for more than 15 hours Friday and again Sunday to hash out details of the 2012-13 biennium budget, which passed in a 98-49 vote mostly along party lines. Lawmakers...

UT downsizes in advance of Texas House’s budget debate

April 1, 2011

The Texas House will begin debate today on the 2012-13 biennium budget, which includes contentious cuts to education, health care and other human services. Legislators have been working on the bill...

Bill to require every student get vaccinated for meningitis

March 31, 2011

Jamie Schanbaum gave a tear-filled testimony before the Texas Senate Committee on Higher Education on Wednesday, recounting her sophomore year at UT, when bacterial meningitis left her hospitalized...

Education, health care may face budget cuts

March 24, 2011

The Texas House Appropriations Committee passed the 2012-13 biennium House budget bill, which will now head to the floor. The vote took under 20 minutes, without any debate among members, and resulted...

House OKs bill requiring voters to show ID

March 24, 2011

AUSTIN — A bill to require Texans to show photo identification before voting passed the Texas House on Wednesday night despite repeated efforts by Democrats to derail it. The legislation, clearing...

Alum recalls ’66 shooting, urges against guns in school

March 23, 2011

Jim Bryce held back tears as he recounted memories of 45 years ago, when he was supposed to meet a friend for lunch at the Texas Union, but saw a shooter inside the UT Tower on the news. Bryce and classmate...

State senator’s political drive attributed to UT, education

March 22, 2011

It’s the 1970s, and she sits at a registration table helping administrators guide students through the registration process. Inside Gregory Gym, she flips through to find index cards that have students’...

Firearms on campus, Rainy Day Fund use characterize session

March 21, 2011

While students were off during spring break, Texas lawmakers tackled legislation including concealed carry on campus and the Rainy Day Fund. The Rainy Day Fund is an emergency pot of excess revenue...

Bills to require vaccine shots for meningitis at University

March 11, 2011

Editor’s note: This is the final installation of a six-part series examining bills that could impact the lives of students. After Rep. Charlie Howard, R-Sugarland, spoke at the funeral of a constituent...

Sonogram bill awaits approval by Senate after passing House

March 8, 2011

In its first vote this session, the Texas House easily approved a bill Monday that would place new restrictions on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion by requiring her to undergo a sonogram at least...

Powers, UT groups lobby government to retain funding

March 3, 2011

President William Powers Jr. testified before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday to explain how the budget cuts will hurt UT while students both inside and outside the committee room made their voices...

Texas’ growth poses challenges for redistricting

March 2, 2011

The state’s large population increase and diversification will be obstacles Texas House members will face when they redraw the lines for state voting districts, said state representatives at a...

Forty Acres prepared legislator’s career

March 1, 2011

Standing at the top of the South Mall, he leans forward as momentum builds and he glides down the sidewalk of the hill. Suddenly, he’s going faster and can see the cars, bicycles and buses...

Forty Acres prepared legislator’s career

March 1, 2011

Standing at the top of the South Mall, he leans forward as momentum builds and he glides down the sidewalk of the hill. Suddenly, he’s going faster and can see the cars, bicycles and buses...

ESPN deal may affect next year’s UT budget

February 24, 2011

President William Powers Jr. testified to the Texas House Higher Education Committee about the UT-ESPN network that is expected to bring $300 million in additional revenue for UT over the next 20 years....

State census data not reflected in student body

February 22, 2011

Census data released last week shows dramatic growth in Hispanic and Asian populations in Texas, but state trends do not necessarily reflect the demographics of UT students. According to the 2010...

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Up for the count

February 18, 2011

Census data released Thursday verifies what most Texans already know — in the last 10 years, the state has seen a huge population boom and dramatic demographic shifts. Texas is still the second...

Hearings allow public to discuss redistricting

February 17, 2011

Wednesday wrapped up the last of the statewide outreach hearings, which invited public testimony about Texas Legislature redistricting — including Austin officials who asked senators not to divide...

Medical branches address proposed cuts

February 16, 2011

Presidents of UT's six medical branches asked state senators Tuesday to reconsider funding cuts that could impact research, residency slots and overall funding for Texas health-related institutions...

Leaders lobby state Senators for financing in next budget

February 10, 2011

UT President William Powers Jr. was not one of the eight UT System presidents who testified before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday because he is in the hospital recovering from a pulmonary embolism. The...

Deep cuts to student aid would reduce availability

February 9, 2011

The commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that lawmakers must make conservative cuts to higher education grants and funding. The...

Perry calls for low-cost degrees, tuition freeze

February 9, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry proposed a four-year tuition freeze on higher education and challenged institutions to develop a $10,000 bachelor’s degree in his State of the State speech Tuesday. Perry addressed...

Legislators push for guns on campus

February 4, 2011

Higher education campuses in Texas have been designated gun-free zones for 15 years, but lawmakers will try again to change that this legislative session. Since the start of the 82nd Texas Legislature...

Proposal may cut traffic, add tolls

February 3, 2011

  A new proposal may alleviate some of the notorious Interstate Highway 35 congestion in Central Texas. The Interstate 35 Corridor Advisory Committee proposed switching I-35 with State...

Constitutionality of health care reform challenged

February 1, 2011

A Florida district judge ruled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional Monday because of its mandate requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance or face a penalty. State...

Textbook bills aim to lower student costs as tuition rises

January 28, 2011

This legislative session, students can keep their eyes on two higher education bills that could significantly alter how much textbooks cost in the coming semesters. UT alumni Rep. Jose Lozano, D-Kingsville,...

Voter ID bill passes Senate along party lines

January 27, 2011

Lawmakers in the Texas Senate voted 19-11 in favor of voter ID on Wednesday along party lines. Amendments adopted include providing English and Spanish versions of education materials, allowing...

Cuts unite student political groups

January 26, 2011

University Democrats and College Republicans may butt heads on most issues this legislative session, but both will lobby to fight higher education funding cuts. “Obviously, we disagree with the...

Honoring the service of wounded warriors

January 25, 2011

Six soldiers who served in Iraq and are now recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center received a warm welcome on the Capitol grounds in commemoration of Wounded Warrior Day on Monday. Gov....

Rally for life

January 24, 2011

More than 1,000 pro-life supporters marched to the Capitol steps Saturday on the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in support of legislation that would require women to see an image of their unborn...