There was plenty for The Texas Tribune's multimedia team to cover in 2017, whether it was the 85th Texas Legislature, the "bathroom bill," Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts or the numerous retirements from Congress and the Legislature.
Multimedia producers also covered the aftermath in Sutherland Springs after a gunman killed more than two dozen churchgoers, as well as immigration issues, a "sanctuary cities" ban and the debate on Confederate monuments.
Here's a look at some of the multimedia coverage the Tribune produced this year.
State lawmakers started the year at the Capitol with pressing items to address, like reforming the child welfare system. Tensions between the House and Senate peaked when it came to reaching deals on school finance, property tax cuts and several local control issues. One of the session's most contentious issues was the "bathroom bill," as House Speaker Joe Straus refused to negotiate with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on bathroom restrictions for transgender Texans. In late October, Straus announced that his current term, his fifth as speaker, would be his last. The San Antonio Republican said he was ready for a change and would not be on the ballot in 2018.
Here are videos of some standout moments from the legislative session, the "bathroom bill" saga and an interview with Straus.
Texans living in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast knew the potential devastation the storm churning off shore in late August could cause. In 2016, Texas Tribune reporters forecasted the impact such a weather event could have on the region. Many Houston homes had flooded in recent years, and many residents had no clue they resided in a flood zone. Then Hurricane Harvey hit and lingered for days, dumping feet of rain on the region. The multibillion-dollar recovery is ongoing.
The following videos are of an interview with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and a look at just part of what Houston homeowners are dealing with.
Morning services at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in early November became the scene of a massacre after a gunman killed at least 26 people and injured dozens more in the deadliest shooting at a place of worship in American history.
After the shooting, the U.S. Air Force disclosed that it failed to report the gunman’s history of domestic assault to the database, which should have prohibited him from purchasing a firearm.
The development led U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to introduce bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening the federal background check database by ensuring federal and state authorities accurately report relevant information, including criminal history, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Violence at a white nationalist rally in August protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one woman dead. In a news conference the following day, President Donald Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence in remarks that upset Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
Read related Tribune coverage:
As state officials vie for limited federal disaster dollars, housing advocates fear Texans with destroyed homes may fall through a patchwork of government agencies. [Full story]
Months after state lawmakers tried and failed to pass bills restricting transgender restroom access, transgender Texans plan to vie for seats in Congress and the Texas Senate next year. [Full story]
The highest-profile contest of the 2017 regular session of the Texas Legislature — between Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus — could be headed into overtime. But there are still plenty of winners and losers from lawmakers' 140 days at the Capitol. [Full story]