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Karen Brooks Harper—Capitol Correspondent

Karen has two decades of reporting and editing for major newspapers, online news and local TV networks. She specializes in political and news feature writing and has a strong background in Latino issues, including border politics and immigration.

Lawmakers fail to reach deal, revisit transportation in third special session

State lawmakers ended their second special session of the summer July 30, only to be called back that evening for a third session after the House and Senate could not agree on a way to fund the state’s highways. more »

Aug 8, 2013 12:00 AM The Woodlands

Lawmakers revisit transportation funding in third special session

Lawmakers ended their second special session of the summer July 30, only to be called right back that evening for a third session after the House and Senate could not agree on a way to fund the state’s highways. more »

Jul 31, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol 2 Comments

Area legislators focus on bills including those dealing with ethics, public education, water plan

During the 83rd Legislative Session, lawmakers worked to pass more than 1,400 new laws. Below is a roundup of some of what Houston-area lawmakers pushed for, passed or had rejected by their peers during the 140-day session. more »

Jul 25, 2013 12:00 AM Katy

Bills move ahead as second special session nears end

Texas lawmakers sent some of the strongest abortion restrictions in the nation to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk July 15, ending weeks of emotional protest and national debate over the issue. more »

Jul 25, 2013 12:00 AM Southwest Austin

Transportation funding last roadblock to session end

With the time running out on the second special session set to end July 30, attention turns to transportation funding, and Gov. Rick Perry tells lawmakers he would love to see them go home "as soon as you get a transportation bill on my desk." more »

Jul 24, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol

Surrounded by Republican lawmakers, Gov. Rick Perry signs the state's new abortion regulations into law July 18.

Photo by Annie Drabicky

Perry signs new abortion restrictions into law

Gov. Rick Perry signed into law July 18 a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and strengthening the regulations placed on abortion clinics. Opponents vowed to challenge it in court. more »

Jul 18, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol

Abortion bill progresses in second special session

Texas lawmakers came a step closer to passing new safety standards for abortion clinics July 10 when the House gave final approval to the measure, sending it to the Senate on a vote of 96-49. more »

Jul 18, 2013 12:00 AM Cy-Fair

Area legislators focus on bills including those dealing with ethics, public education, water plan

During the 83rd Legislative Session, lawmakers worked to pass more than 1,400 new laws. Below is a roundup of some of what Houston-area lawmakers pushed for, passed or had rejected by their peers during the 140-day session. more »

Jul 18, 2013 12:00 AM Cy-Fair

Lawmakers pass abortion, juvenile justice bills as second special session nears end

Lawmakers have made significant progress on all of Gov. Rick Perry’s agenda items during the second special session. They are poised to pass most of the agenda before the session must end on July 30. more »

Jul 17, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol

Dallas area legislators focus on bills including those dealing with public education, craft brew industry

During the 83rd Legislative Session, lawmakers worked to pass more than 1,400 new laws. Below is a roundup of some of what DFW-area lawmakers pushed for, passed or had rejected by their peers during the 140-day session. more »

Jul 15, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol

Lawmakers move quickly in second special session

Lawmakers are working quickly on legislation that deals with transportation funding, abortion restrictions and juvenile justice during the Texas Legislature’s second special session, which convened July 1. Gov. Rick Perry called the session after law more »

Jul 11, 2013 5:04 AM Georgetown

Area legislators focus on bills, including those dealing with ethics, public education, water plan

During the 83rd Legislative Session, lawmakers worked to pass more than 1,400 new laws. Below is a roundup of some of what Houston-area lawmakers pushed for, passed or had rejected by their peers during the 140-day session. more »

Jul 11, 2013 12:00 AM The Woodlands

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, speaks on the Senate floor June 25 during her filibuster of an abortion bill. Supporters filled the gallery above her—quietly during the afternoon and early evening, and then more raucous the closer the session came to its end at midnight.

Photo by Annie Drabicky

Filibuster ends first special session; Perry calls another for July

The eyes of the world were on the Texas Senate on June 25 when Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, staged a dramatic protest of a bill that would have created some of the strongest abortion limits in the nation. more »

Jul 11, 2013 12:00 AM The Woodlands

Abortion limits bill makes progress in second special session

Texas lawmakers came a step closer July 10 to passing controversial new safety standards for abortion clinics when the House gave its preliminary approval to the measure. more »

Jul 10, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol

Houston-area legislators focus on bills including those dealing with ethics, public education, water plan

During the 83rd Legislative Session, lawmakers worked to pass more than 1,400 new laws. Below is a roundup of some of what Houston-area lawmakers pushed for, passed or had rejected by their peers during the 140-day session. more »

Jul 8, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol

Area legislators focus on bills including those dealing with ethics, public education, water plan

During the 83rd Legislative Session, lawmakers worked to pass more than 1,400 new laws. Below is a roundup of some of what Houston-area lawmakers pushed for, passed or had rejected by their peers during the 140-day session. more »

Jul 5, 2013 12:00 AM Tomball | Magnolia

Lawmakers move quickly in second special session

Lawmakers convened July 1 for a second special session, at a cost of an estimated $30,000 per day. more »

Jul 5, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol

Austin legislators focus on bills including those dealing with public education, gun control, health care

During the 83rd Legislative Session, Austin-area lawmakers focused on both local and statewide issues. Legislators passed more than 1,400 new laws during the 140-day regular session. more »

Jul 3, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol

Lawmakers take on accountability, testing, curriculum in public schools

The education of 4.3 million public school students is one of the state’s top priorities, with some of the biggest battles in the Capitol raging over private school vouchers, curriculum, graduation rates, school accountability and teacher pay. more »

Jun 27, 2013 12:00 AM Katy

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, speaks on the Senate floor June 25 during her 13-hour filibuster of an abortion bill.

Photo by Annie Drabicky

Dramatic filibuster kills abortion-limits bill, ends first special session

The eyes of the world were on the Texas Senate on June 25 when Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, staged a dramatic protest to a bill that would have created some of the strongest abortion limits in the nation. more »

Jun 26, 2013 12:00 AM At the Capitol 3 Comments