John Savage

John Savage is a writer based in Austin and a previous Observer legislative fellow.

Dan Patrick

School Vouchers Survive Texas Senate

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has championed school voucher legislation since he entered the Senate in 2007, comparing the effort to the civil rights struggle. After numerous defeats during past sessions, Patrick’s voucher crusade came a step closer to reality Monday … Read More

Fracking equipment near homes in Denton, in the Barnett Shale region.

House Stampedes to Overturn Fracking Bans

The House moved to limit local control over oil and gas activities Friday, raising the ire of environmentalists and cities across the state. House Bill 40 by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) is widely seen as a response to a … Read More

Criminal Justice

Senate Moves to Decriminalize School Truancy

Under his legislation, Whitmire said school administrators and judges would have all the same tools they have now to try to ensure kids are not skipping school. The difference, he argued, is there would be no criminal charge to follow a young person around for the rest of their life. Read More