Point of Order with Evan Smith

Texas Tribune

Host Evan Smith takes you inside, behind and underneath the politics and issues of the Texas Legislature — the turning of gears and the pulling of strings that power government in a state like no other. Point of Order features newsmaker interviews with elected officials of both parties and other key members of the Capitol community, plus candidates and campaign pros with their noses pressed against the glass.

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Donna Howard and state Sen. Kel Seliger about sniping and snark on the road to sine die.

May 28

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to San Antonio state Rep. Lyle Larson about his quixotic efforts to move his fellow Republicans to the center on issues like Medicaid expansion, local control and election law — to put the public good ahead of politics and partisanship, he says.

May 25

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Land Commissioner George P. Bush about the state of the state and the issues in play as the 87th session winds down — and about his rumored plans to challenge Ken Paxton in the 2022 GOP primary for Texas attorney general.

May 18

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to former state Rep. Pete Gallego about his first year as the president of his alma mater, Sul Ross State University in Alpine, and — coming out of the pandemic — the challenges and opportunities on the road ahead for higher ed.

May 11

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to LaTonya Goffney, the superintendent of Aldine Independent School District, about public education’s disrupted year — pivoting online, learning loss, budget woes, and what it will take to put the whole thing back together by fall.

May 4

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Elena Marks, the president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation, about long-shot efforts to expand Medicaid in the 2021 legislative session.

Apr 27

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Imelda Garcia, the chair of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Panel, about what it takes to get needles in the arms of Texans — and how long it will really be before we’ve reached herd immunity.

Apr 20

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Senate Transportation Chair Robert Nichols about Infrastructure Week and the challenges of getting people and goods from point to point in a fast-growing, rapidly urbanizing state.

Apr 13

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Chris Turner and Carol Alvarado, the chairs of the Democratic Caucuses of the Texas House and Texas Senate, about a challenging year for their party — from an election that did not produce a comeback for Team Blue to a session in which Republicans appear to be running the table.

Apr 6

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Houston’s top cop, Art Acevedo, about why he’s leaving for Miami, "defunding the police," constitutional carry, qualified immunity and what he really thinks of Greg Abbott and Sylvester Turner.

Mar 30

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to former Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus about life as a civilian, what he’d do about repricing electricity, the conservative case for expanding Medicaid and protecting voting rights, and — just maybe — running for something again.

Mar 23

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo about Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to end coronavirus restrictions — including the mask mandate — as well other points of conflict and tension between cities, counties and the state.

Mar 9

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Renu Khator, the president of the University of Houston, about a difficult 12 months of disruption and dislocation for the more than 47,000 students on her campus — and what state lawmakers can do to help.

Mar 2

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to University of Texas at Austin professor Michael Webber about the state’s failure to prepare for a brutal winter storm, the fragile electric grid we depend on, and whether the future of energy is bright or bleak.

Feb 23

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Trent Ashby about his bill to create a state broadband plan — a long-overdue effort to address our digital deficiency at a time when school, work, and health care have all moved online.

Feb 16

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Nicole Collier, chairwoman of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, about the George Floyd Act, bail reform, marijuana, public safety funding and other items on the agenda in the 2021 session.

Feb 9

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Dr. Peter Hotez, the eminent virologist at Baylor College of Medicine, about mask mandates, vaccine availability, reopening schools and businesses, and the trajectory of the pandemic.

Feb 2

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Sen. Larry Taylor, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, about whether it’s possible to fully fund House Bill 3, learning loss, broadband access, the STAAR test and what he really thinks of Mike Morath.

Jan 26

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In this episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, recorded on January 15 2021, Evan Smith interviews twenty-five term state Rep. Senfronia Thompson about COVID, race, public ed and that whippersnapper Dade Phelan.

Jan 19

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talk politics, policy, priorities and the pandemic with the Speaker-Presumptive of the Texas House, Dade Phelan.

Jan 12

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith and Ross Ramsey discuss the contours of the speaker’s race.

Oct 2020

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In the last episode of our podcast about the 86th Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to House Speaker Pro Tem Joe Moody and Senate President Pro Tem Kirk Watson about what state lawmakers did for us and to us this session — and what they’ll do next.We’d love to know how you discovered the Point of Order, and what you think of our first season. Please take a moment to complete our short survey: texastribune.org/pointoforder

May 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Reps. Ina Minjarez and Matt Krause about the issues that have divided an otherwise unified House in the last weeks of the session, including abortion and religious liberty.We’d love to know how you discovered the Point of Order, and what you think of our first season. Please take a moment to complete our short survey: texastribune.org/pointoforder

May 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state demographer Lloyd Potter about coming changes to our population with profound public policy implications: explosive growth, rapid urbanization, and demographic inevitability.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Like what you hear? Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

May 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Celia Israel, a founding member of the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus, about sexual orientation, nondiscrimination and public policy — how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Like what you hear? Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

May 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Reps. Dade Phelan and Donna Howard about the work done and not done in the lower chamber so far this session — and what’s likely to happen on the last stretch of road to Sine Die.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Like what you hear? Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

May 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Chris Paddie, who chairs the House Energy Resources Committee, about the impact of oil and gas activity on the Texas economy, the downside of the upside, and what the future holds.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Like what you hear? Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Apr 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Austin Mayor Steve Adler about House Bill 2 — a property tax bill the chamber is expected to tackle Thursday — and his strong objections to the precise plans for property tax reform favored by state leaders.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Like what you hear? Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Apr 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Dallas Morning News Editor Mike Wilson and Debbie Hiott, the general manager of Austin public radio station KUT, about the romantic ideal and precarious reality of the Capitol press corps.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Like what you hear? Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Apr 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Sen. Jose Menéndez about marijuana’s bipartisan moment — how the politics of legalization, decriminalization, medical cannabis and CBD oil make for strange budfellows.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Like what you hear? Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Mar 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to House members Mary Gonzalez, Sarah Davis and Toni Rose about gender, politics and public policy in a state where the population is majority female but elected officials are overwhelmingly male.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Like what you hear? Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Mar 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Four Price about the public policy challenges and opportunities in communities that may be losing population but remain critical to our history and heritage.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. We welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Mar 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Renu Khator, the chancellor of the University of Houston System, about access, affordability, excellence, graduation rates, and the importance of educating a diverse student population.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. We welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Mar 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to former Speaker Tom Craddick, the longest-serving lawmaker in state history, about how life and work under the pink dome has changed since he was first elected half a century ago.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. We welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Feb 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Poncho Nevarez, chair of the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee, about the president’s emergency declaration — and how the Texas legislature should address the issue of unauthorized immigration.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Also, we welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Feb 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith asks state Rep. John Zerwas, the chief budget writer in the Texas House, whether we have enough money to fund today’s priorities and tomorrow’s — and which hard choices we have to make.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Also, we welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Feb 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks with state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, the Douglas MacArthur of the war on rising appraisals and profligate local officials, about his vision for real reform — and whether it has the votes.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Also, we welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Feb 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks with Right on Crime’s Marc Levin and House Criminal Jurisprudece Committee Chair Nicole Collier about reducing the size of the prison population, the death penalty, and more.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Also, we welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Jan 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to House Freedom Caucus member Jonathan Stickland about the state of grass roots conservatism and the agenda his wing of the GOP will push this session.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Also, we welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Jan 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks politics, policy and the emerging demographic majority with State Rep. Rafael Anchia, Cristina Tzintzun of Jolt Texas and Albert Morales of Latino Decisions.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends to subscribe wherever they listen to podcasts. Also, we welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Jan 2019

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In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Dan Huberty, the chairman of the House Public Education Committee, about what it will take — and what it will cost — for state lawmakers to solve the state's most intractable problem.If you enjoy Point of Order, tell your friends. We welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Jan 2019

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Welcome to the second episode of Point of Order, a new podcast in which Evan Smith takes you inside, behind and underneath the politics and issues of the Texas Legislature. Baring something unforeseen happening, State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) is poised to become the next Speaker of the House. Who is Dennis Bonnen, and what will his rapid response mean for Texas? Evan Smith asks three state representatives what they foresee in a Bonnen House. Mary González (D-Clint), Jeff Leach (R-Plano) and Drew Springer (R-Muenster) join Evan in this conversation that was recorded before a live audience on November 29, 2018 on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. We hope you’ll enjoy Point of Order. We welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at podcasts@texastribune.org.

Dec 2018

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This conversation is the pilot episode of a new podcast called Point of Order. Evan Smith sits down with Texas House speaker Joe Straus the morning after the midterms to talk everything from the balance of power in the Texas House to President Trump's tweets.

Nov 2018

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Join host Evan Smith for one-on-one interviews with elected officials of both parties and other key members of the Texas Capitol community, plus candidates and campaign pros with their noses pressed against the glass. Coming in January 2019.

Nov 2018

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