Kolten Parker

Kolten Parker is the digital editor of the Observer. He holds a journalism degree from Texas State University and previously worked as a reporter and digital news editor for the San Antonio Express-News. Beyond journalism and politics, he enjoys soccer, skydiving and tacos. The Stephenville, Texas, native can be reached on Twitter or at [email protected].

LGBT Rights

Dan Patrick Is Holding the Legislature Hostage Over ‘Bathroom Bill,’ Property Tax Reform

The lieutenant governor said Wednesday he is prepared to force a special session if those two bills aren’t passed.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said Wednesday he will force a special session unless the House passes versions of the anti-transgender bathroom bill and a property tax reform bill. “I want to avoid a special session, but I’m prepared to go … Read More

Jim Ribgy, SB 4, Protest, Trespass
Texas Legislature

This Week: Abbott to Sign SB 4, A Sneaky GOP Nomination And Bipartisan Support for Medical Marijuana

As the Legislature enters the home stretch of the 85th session, a round-up of this week's Observer coverage.

Keep up with the Observer’s sharp reporting on the Legislature and throughout Texas with this weekly newsletter. Two days after 24 people were arrested while protesting Senate Bill 4, the so-called sanctuary cities ban was approved by the Senate and … Read More

Texas Legislature

This Week: ‘Show Me Your Papers’ and ‘Baby Jail’ Bills Advance

Tears, protests and hate filled the Texas House during a marathon debate on anti-immigrant 'sanctuary cities' legislation this week.

Keep up with the Observer’s sharp reporting on the Legislature and throughout Texas with this weekly newsletter. The Texas House jumped off a political cliff this week by passing anti-immigrant legislation that deputizes local police as federal immigration officers and … Read More


Texas Republicans Vote To Allow Immigration Questioning of Children

Representative Diego Bernal called the vote “soul-crushing.”

Almost all Texas Republicans in the House voted to allow police officers to question children about immigration status during Wednesday’s heated debate on so-called sanctuary cities. The vote was cast during debate on Senate Bill 4, which could jail local … Read More


Texas Lawmaker Wants to Legalize Hunting Feral Hogs from Hot Air Balloons

Policymakers in Texas continue to scratch their heads over the state’s feral hog problem, and the solutions are getting weirder.

May 25 UPDATE: After sailing through House and Senate committees with unanimous approval, both chambers agreed hunting feral hogs out of a hot-air balloon is a practice that should be legal in Texas. Pending Governor Greg Abbott’s signature into law, it … Read More