Alex Samuels

Alex Samuels is a newsletters fellow for The Texas Tribune and a journalism senior at The University of Texas at Austin. Alex has worked for USA Today College since her sophomore year and has been a collegiate correspondent and their first-ever breaking news correspondent. She also worked as an editorial intern for the Daily Dot where she covered politics, race, and social issues.

Ståle Grut / Flickr

Five days after a controversial amendment defining "sex" as "the physical condition of being male or female" was added to a statewide ride-hailing bill, representatives from Uber and Lyft called the addition disappointing and unnecessary — though both companies stopped short of saying they'd withdraw their support. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After a lengthy debate among lawmakers over the best way to regulate services like Uber and Lyft, the Texas House backed a proposal that would override local regulations concerning ride-hailing companies.

Data Shows Dukes Has Missed Most Votes In Texas House

Apr 12, 2017
Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, has missed more than 100 record votes during the current legislative session, the most of the 150 members of the House, according to a Tribune analysis of data from a legislative analytics website.

The 11-term Democrat — who was indicted in January on abuse-of-office charges — has missed 64 percent of the votes taken so far during the legislative session as of Friday, according to data collected by recordvotes.com.

Qiling Wang for Texas Tribune

Texas Republicans followed North Carolina’s lead earlier this year in unveiling their own “bathroom bill.” Since then, supporters have described the Texas bill as similar to the North Carolina law yet different in important ways.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

A state district judge has denied a request to dismiss four of the 13 felony charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin.

On March 8, Dukes’ lawyers asked for dismissal of the charges, arguing the state's statute of limitations had run out before Dukes was indicted on four counts related to travel vouchers she submitted in 2013 and 2014.

Via Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, will ask a Travis County judge on Wednesday to dismiss four of the 13 felony counts against her. 

Dukes' attorneys filed a motion arguing that the four counts of tampering with a government record — which stem from travel vouchers she submitted in 2013 and 2014 — should be dismissed because the statute of limitations had lapsed before Dukes was indicted in January. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an amicus brief Wednesday expressing his support of President Donald Trump's travel ban, effectively becoming the first state attorney general to back the controversial executive order. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

"Who doesn't know what's going on with Dawnna Dukes?"

On a rainy Sunday two days before a case against Dukes, the longtime state representative of House District 46, is scheduled to get a grand jury hearing, Joseph Frederick, 57, asked the question with a laugh while getting his hair cut in Delton's Pecan Street Barber Shop in Pflugerville.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: A hotly contested legislative session in 2015 led to two controversial gun laws: One that allows for the open carry of handguns and another that permits the concealed carry of handguns on Texas college campuses. 

Courtesy Texas Tribune
Pictures from campaign and professional websites

Despite announcing her plan six weeks earlier to resign instead of serving another term, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes handily won re-election earlier this month.

Charles Pierce/Codie Smith

Voters in state House District 46 face an unusual predicament this November — unless they want to flip Republican, most of those casting ballots in the reliably Democratic district will opt for an incumbent Democrat who's already said she won't serve.

John Harvey/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Texas has a record-breaking 15 million people registered to vote ahead of the November election, the Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday.

Texas has 15,015,700 voters registered according to a preliminary estimate — over 777,000 more than were registered in time for the March primaries. The deadline to register to vote was Tuesday.

Via Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, is resigning in January, she said in a statement Monday. 

The 11-term state representative said her resignation was a result of health issues related to a 2013 car accident and concerns over caring for her 9-year-old daughter. 

Qiling Wang for KUT

As one of the first black students to attend the University of Texas at Austin, Charles Miles faced a circumscribed life. It was 1956, and there were many places he and other blacks were not allowed to go. So when the pastor of a nearby church announced that blacks were welcome there, Miles and his friends saw no reason to not attend.