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    Eye on Politics: Gov. Abbott on teacher raises, Paxton in court

    NORTH TEXAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) – Gov. Greg Abbott said he’s “fully committed” to teacher pay raises; suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton appears in court in his state securities fraud case; political reporter Jack Fink sits down with North Texas Congressman Jake Ellzey to talk about Ellzey’s recent trips to Israel and Ukraine. 

    Political reporter Jack Fink breaks down these stories and more in the latest edition of Eye on Politics (original air date: Aug. 3).

    Every week, CBS News Texas political reporter Jack Fink breaks down some of the biggest political stories grabbing headlines in North Texas and beyond. Watch the latest episode of Eye on Politics in the video player above and stream new episodes live every Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. on CBS News Texas. 

    Gov. Abbott says he’s ‘fully committed’ to teacher pay raises

    While in Fort Worth on Wednesday, Abbott said he backs pay raises for Texas teachers: 

    “I am fully committed to putting forth legislation that will even add more to teacher pay raises in the State of Texas.”

    His comments came in response to a question from CBS News Texas during a news conference and bill-signing ceremony related to legislation cracking down on illegal street racing and street takeovers.

    The governor said teacher pay raises may be one of the items on the agenda of the third special session he calls sometime this fall. The state legislature did not approve salary increases for teachers during the regular legislative session earlier this year. 

    Both House Speaker Dade Phelan and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently told Jack they support pay raises for teachers. There’s about $5 billion set aside for public education in the recently approved state budget. 

    Much of that could go toward salary increases for teachers.

    While the governor hasn’t specified a date for a third special session, it will take place after the Senate Impeachment Trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton. That begins Sept. 5 and could last for weeks.

    If he’s convicted, he will be removed from his job.  

    Ken Paxton in court

    Suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton was back in a courtroom Aug. 3 in his state securities fraud case, which is now in its eighth year after a series of delays.

    Attorneys for Paxton said the outcome of his upcoming impeachment trial could impact how he handles the securities fraud charges.  

    Harris County Judge Andrea Beall wouldn’t set a trial date until after the attorney general’s impeachment trial is over. 

    “Logically, if he’s impeached in the Senate, he would have greater motivation to resolve this case on whatever basis because his political career one would think would be dead,” Paxton’s attorney Dan Cogdell said.

    Paxton didn’t say anything to the judge in court on Thursday, but has previously denied wrongdoing in the impeachment and state cases against him.

    Watch the full story below:


    Outcome of Paxton’s impeachment trial could impact state’s securities fraud case

    Jack spoke with former Texas Secretary of State John Scott this week, who just wrapped up a short sting as interim Texas Attorney General. He talked about what the office was like when he arrived. Jack also asked him about elections

     in Texas. 

    Watch that interview below: 


    One-on-One: Jack Fink and former Texas Secretary of State John Scott

    One-on-one with Congressman Jake Ellzey

    This week, Jack sat down with Republican Congressman Jake Ellzey, who recently returned from a visit to Israel. He spoke about that experience, plus his trips to Ukraine and the U.S. economy.

    Watch the full interview alone:


    One-on-one with Rep. Jake Ellzey

    Other political headlines this week

    • Mexican authorities have recovered the bodies of two migrants in the Rio Grande, including one found along the floating buoy barrier the governor recently had installed to keep migrants from crossing into the country.
    • The ACLU has filed suit against Texas to block Senate Bill 12 from taking effect in September. The law prohibits anyone younger than 18 from attending a sexually oriented performance, including drag shows. 
    • The North Texas Job Fair is taking place Monday at the Irving Convention Center. There are about 340 businesses offering a total of 11,000 jobs. The bipartisan event was organized by North Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne. Jack spoke with her about the event. You can watch that conversation here.
    • Deputy Secretary of State Joe Esparza drew the ballot order for the 14 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. Texans will vote on these amendments as a part of the November 7 Election. Click here to read the ballot order as drawn.

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