The Texas Tribune  |  The Texas Tribune
August 20, 2019

In 'Coordinated Ransomware Attack,' 23 Texas Cities Were Targeted

Investigators hadn't determined the origin of the attacks as of Friday evening and were still working to bring cities' systems back online, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Information Resources.
August 16, 2019

In Wake of El Paso Shooting, Texas Governor Launches Domestic Terrorism Task Force

The task force will analyze current and emerging state threats and form stronger prevention strategies. Abbott took similar action — which led to sweeping legislation — after last year's school shooting in Santa Fe.
August 12, 2019

Reversing Lower Ruling, Federal Court Upholds Indian Child Welfare Act

The appeals court overturned a 2018 decision from a federal district judge who ruled that the law, which gives adoption placement preference to Native American tribes, was unconstitutional. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenged the law in 2017.
August 5, 2019

Texas Police Change How They Handle Marijuana Possession

A memo obtained by The Texas Tribune instructs DPS officers to cite and release suspects in misdemeanor marijuana cases "as appropriate." Officials said the goal is to continue enforcement even though some prosecutors aren't taking new pot cases.
July 26, 2019

In Restarting the Federal Death Penalty, U.S. Attorney General Looks to Texas

The federal death penalty hasn't been carried out since 2003. Now the U.S. attorney general wants to adopt the method used in Texas executions to put five men to death.
July 23, 2019

Texas Has a Marijuana Problem After Hemp Legalization. Can It Be Fixed?

Prosecutors and crime lab scientists were scrambling to find a solution after a change in the state's definition of marijuana imperiled criminal cases.
June 25, 2019

Amid Migrant Surge, Texas Will Deploy 1,000 National Guard Troops to Border

Gov. Abbott said the troops will have two main roles: to help at temporary holding facilities for single adult migrants in the Rio Grande Valley and in El Paso, and to help Border Patrol units along ports of entry.
June 17, 2019

Is Texas Too Lax? Vaccine Exemptions Reach All-Time High

Texas has resisted recent attempts to change its vaccine laws, allowing parents to get their children exemptions for "reasons of conscience."
June 10, 2019

A Year After Shooting, Texas Governor Signs School Safety Bills

The legislation addresses “not only the tragedy that took place at Santa Fe,” Gov. Greg Abbott said, “but will do more than Texas has ever done to make schools safer places for our students, for our educators, for our parents and families.”
May 7, 2019

Wait Times at Border Ports of Entry Could Cost Texas Billions in GDP

The the economic losses laid out in the study would represent the loss of one-third of the country’s total trade trade with Mexico over a three-month period.
April 29, 2019

Judge Temporarily Blocks Texas Ban on Contractors That Boycott Israel

Texas has had the anti-boycott law regarding Israel on its books since 2017.
April 23, 2019

Why Is Texas Removing Thousands of Children From Medicaid Each Month?

In Texas, the HHSC uses an automated system to detect income changes in households with children on Medicaid several times a year.
April 9, 2019

Texas May Lose $223M of Special Education Grant After Illegal Funding Decrease

The Texas Education Agency said Friday that it is discussing solutions with the federal government and the Legislature.
April 5, 2019

Texas Bans Chaplains From Its Execution Chamber

Justice Brett Kavanaugh issued an opinion declaring that the exclusion of a Buddhist adviser was religious discrimination and proposed two alternatives for the Texas prison system: Don’t allow any chaplains into the execution chambers, or allow chaplains of all religions.
March 20, 2019

Texas Governor Shifts Bail Reform Toward Bill That Would Give Him More Control

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has prioritized fixing the bail system this session, but he has focused more on making it harder for dangerous defendants to get out of jail.
February 27, 2019

Efforts to Purge Registered Voters in 8 Texas Counties Are on Hold -- For Now

As part of an ongoing flurry of litigation in federal court here over the state’s bungled citizenship review of its voter rolls, a federal judge on Monday told a handful of Texas counties they may not — for now — purge registered voters or send them letters demanding proof of citizenship.
February 21, 2019

Texas Lawmakers Look to the 'Cloud' for Storing Sensitive Government Data

Although some lawmakers have bristled at the idea of private companies storing Texans’ personal information in far-flung locations, proponents of the reforms say data security will be at the forefront of any decision they make.
February 19, 2019

In 2012, There Were 19 GOP Women in the Texas House. Now, There Are 6.

Candy Noble and Angela Paxton were the only freshman female Republicans elected to the Texas House and Senate, respectively, amid a surge of women running for office.
February 15, 2019

Texas Secretary of State Apologizes for Noncitizen Voter List Flaws. He Still Supports the Effort.

In a letter sent to state lawmakers late Wednesday, Whitley largely defended the review efforts as a legally sound exercise, and he did not admit that his office had erred when it mistakenly threw into question the eligibility of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens or when it sent counties lists of voters it knew very likely included naturalized citizens.
February 15, 2019

'The Edge of a Fiscal Cliff': Ohio Transportation Director Seeks $1B for Infrastructure

Highlighting a lack of revenue and too much borrowing, the state transportation director gave Ohio lawmakers a blunt assessment Wednesday of Ohio's road construction finances.
February 13, 2019

Thousands of Texans Shocked by Medical Bills Face a State Backlog of Requests for Help

Thousands of Texans seeking government help with surprise medical bills were hit with another shock last year: a clogged-up consumer protection bureaucracy.
February 5, 2019

After Waiting a Year, Texas Officials Urge Feds to Set Rules for Hurricane Recovery Money

A growing chorus of high-ranking Texas officials is calling on the federal government to establish rules that will allow for the flow of $4.3 billion to the state for Hurricane Harvey recovery.
January 18, 2019

After Medicaid Ruling, Texas Can Cut Planned Parenthood From Program

A federal appeals court has lifted a lower court order that blocked Texas from booting Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid, potentially imperiling the health care provider’s participation in the federal-state health insurance program.
January 17, 2019

Hurricane Harvey Aid Should Be Off-Limits for Border Wall, Texas Governor Says

Over the last week or so, Trump has considered using disaster recovery funds to build a border wall, given that he has not been able to get Congress to appropriate money for one.
January 17, 2019

$7 Million Payout: Firing Football Coaches Proves Costly for 3 Texas Universities

At two of the three schools, Texas State University and the University of Houston, the football programs spent more money than they earned last fiscal year, requiring other university funds to cover the difference.
January 11, 2019

'Religious Liberty Won Tonight': Push to Oust Muslim GOP Leader in Texas Fails

Shahid Shafi will retain his role as vice-chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party despite a push from a small faction of precinct chairs to remove him from his post because he's Muslim.
December 20, 2018

Texas Has Failed to Close Racial Education Gaps. In Some Areas the Fallout Lasts Generations.

Edgewood’s chronic problems signify Texas’ long record of neglecting schools that educate mostly students of color — racial integration and school funding increases have generally come when the courts forced the state’s hand.
December 13, 2018

2020 Watch: Ex-HUD Secretary and Texas Mayor Forms Presidential Exploratory Committee

Castro has been getting ready for a potential run for nearly two years, traveling the country to support midterm candidates and doling out contributions through his Opportunity First PAC.
December 3, 2018

Texas Sues San Antonio to Enforce Its Anti-Sanctuary City Law

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Travis County District Court, centers on a December 2017 incident when San Antonio police discovered a trailer carrying 12 individuals from Guatemala who were suspected of being undocumented.
November 16, 2018

Texas Education Board Moves to Reinsert Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller Into Curriculum

The Texas State Board of Education backed a motion Tuesday evening to reinsert Hillary Clinton into the state's 11th-grade U.S. history standards, two months after voting to remove the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee from the state's curriculum.
November 9, 2018

A Rainbow Wave in Texas? 14 of 35 LGBTQ Candidates Win

The historic number of Texas candidates who ran for offices from governor down to city council positions joined a record-shattering rank of more than 400 LGBTQ individuals on national midterm ballots this year.
October 29, 2018

After Lawsuit Filed, Early Voting Expanded for Historically Black University in Texas

The county will now open a Sunday polling place at Prairie View City Hall and expand voting hours at the university's campus center on Monday through Wednesday of next week to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., instead of the original 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
October 26, 2018

Fight Over Student Voting Rights Erupts at Texas State University

With early voting on campus restricted to three days, civil rights attorneys, voting rights advocates and local Democrats are now raising the specter that the hour-and-a-half waits that students faced at the polling location could not only dim student turnout but also violate state and federal law.
October 24, 2018

Flooding Prompts Austin to Issue Citywide Boil-Water Notice

Early Monday morning, Austin Water issued a boil water notice for all of its customers due to elevated levels of silt from last week’s flooding. And by Monday night, the city was warning residents that "immediate action" was needed to avoid running out of water.
October 15, 2018

As Oil and Gas Exports Surge, West Texas Becomes the World’s 'Extraction Colony'

This boom is engulfing the rest of West Texas, too, extending to areas that drilling hasn’t touched before. As communities welcome the jobs and the new business, they’re struggling with an onslaught of problems that include spikes in traffic accidents and homelessness.
October 4, 2018

A Legal Battle Ensues Over Special Education Funding Cuts in Texas

After arguing its case in a federal appeals court Wednesday, Texas will soon know whether its decision to spend $33.3 million less on students with disabilities in 2012 will cost it millions in future federal funding.
September 4, 2018

Despite Federal Mandate, Texas Says It Won't Fund Education for Migrant Children in Shelters

A letter from the Texas Education Agency about funding for schooling in migrant shelters highlights the ongoing push and pull between federal and state agencies.
August 27, 2018

To Fund Trauma Centers, Texas Sinks Drivers Into Debt

In Texas, people with unpaid traffic tickets can lose their licenses through two separate state policies.
August 24, 2018

After Hurricane Harvey, Still Unclear If Texas Registry Helped People With Disabilities

Texas has a system in place to identify people with disabilities who will need extra help during a natural disaster. But it’s unclear whether any of the people described in the emails signed up for or even knew about it.
August 23, 2018

Convicted Felon Cleared to Run for City Council in Texas

At first glance, it may seem typical that Lewis Conway Jr. got his name on the ballot for a seat on the Austin City Council — he paid the filing fee and turned in his application before the deadline.
June 25, 2018

In Racial Gerrymandering Case, Supreme Court Sides With Texas

Extinguishing the possibility that Texas could be placed back under federal electoral supervision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday pushed aside claims that lawmakers intentionally discriminated against voters of color when they enacted the state's congressional and state House maps.
June 18, 2018

Hundreds March on Texas Tent City Housing Separated Immigrant Children

Days after a tent city went up near El Paso, demonstrators near the facility took aim at the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children from parents who were seeking asylum.
June 11, 2018

Justice Department Won’t Defend Texas-Led Lawsuit to End DACA

The U.S. Justice Department said late Friday it agrees the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program should be terminated. That court filing came after Texas and six other states filed a lawsuit last month to end the 2012 program.
June 11, 2018

After Crowdfunding Law, Texans Raise Nearly $250,000 Toward Testing Rape Kits

The money collected will go to a “dedicated testing evidence account” controlled by the state comptroller. The Governor's Criminal Justice Division will then distribute the funds to qualifying crime labs and agencies on an application basis.
June 8, 2018

Got Gold? Store It in the Nation's First State-Run Gold Depository.

Texans can now store their precious metals in a publicly backed secure vault close to home, as the United States’ first state-run gold depository opens for business in Austin.
June 5, 2018

Emotionally Drained, Financially Strapped: How Texas Teachers Weathered the School Year After Hurricane Harvey

On a bright Thursday in April, in Alief Independent School District’s Mata Intermediate School, sixth-grade teacher Justin Williams walked to his classroom door from the hallway and crooked a finger, beckoning a gangly 13-year-old to come outside.
April 2, 2018

A Decade After Hurricane Ike, Houston Still Hasn't Spent Tens of Millions It Got to Build Affordable Housing

When Tory Gunsolley learned that his agency was about to receive $40 million in federal recovery funds in the wake of Hurricane Ike, he was thrilled.
March 19, 2018

Industrial Facilities Are Polluting Without Penalty

The Brazos River as it flows past Glen Rose on Aug. 2, 2013. Drought conditions have led to a significant decrease in water levels in the river. Use of the river by cattle farmers along its route is another factor leading to a decrease in water quality and shore erosion is.
March 8, 2018

Wave of Women Crashes Texas Primaries

A wave of Texas women candidates won or made it to runoffs in more than 50 primary races statewide amid a surge of interest in running for office among women around the country.
March 7, 2018

Key Results From the Texas Primaries

As polls opened in the Texas primaries on Tuesday, The Texas Tribune laid out seven key questions for election night. Now that the smoke is clearing, here are the answers:
February 27, 2018

Obamacare Fight Not Over: 20 States Sue to Kill It

Texas is suing the federal government over President Barack Obama's landmark health law — again.
January 26, 2018

If DACA Exists in June, Texas Governor May Sue

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday informed the U.S. Supreme Court that if the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program still exists in June, his office would consider filing suit to eliminate the program.
December 5, 2017

Are Gay Spouses Entitled to Marriage Benefits? U.S. Supreme Court Refuses Case That Would Clarify.

Denying the city of Houston’s request, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a June decision by the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled that the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits.
November 27, 2017

Day Care Closures Are Stunting Harvey's Recovery

ORANGE — With her husband incarcerated on a murder charge, Jacquene Fontenot single-handedly wakes and dresses five kids under the age of 5 every morning, drops them off at a local child care center and drives two hours to her job as a custodian in central Louisiana.
November 15, 2017

He Thought He Had a Free Court-Appointed Lawyer. Then He Got a Bill for $10,000. His Story Isn't Unique.

After Kelly Unterburger and his girlfriend were pulled over for speeding in 2011, a state trooper searched the car and found what was described in court documents as a bag dusted with white powder. Unterburger was arrested for possessing less than a gram of a controlled substance and brought before a North Texas court.
November 10, 2017

What Temporary Housing? Harvey Victims Are Still Waiting.

Coastal Texas officials whose counties and cities bore the brunt of Hurricane Harvey’s deadly blow this summer unleashed a barrage of complaints about recovery efforts at a Texas House subcommittee hearing in Corpus Christi on Wednesday.
November 9, 2017

Despite International Objections, Texas Executes Mexican National

Texas executed a Mexican national late Wednesday night despite a flurry of last-minute appeals and objections from his native country and United Nations human rights experts.
November 3, 2017

With $500 Million Still Unspent From 2008 Hurricane Relief, Will Texas Do Better With Harvey?

The billions in long-term disaster relief dollars that will fund Texans’ recovery from Hurricane Harvey’s devastating blow are still far from reaching state coffers. But there’s already tension brewing over how much federal money should be spent to fix flood victims' homes and how much should go toward repairing government buildings and launching new flood control projects.
October 13, 2017

Texas Executes Man Who Claimed Innocence Til His Death

Robert Pruett was executed in Huntsville Thursday night, completing the death sentence he received more than 15 years ago in the 1999 murder of prison guard Daniel Nagle.
October 3, 2017

Federal Harvey Relief Funds Might Take Years, Officials Say

It could be months, if not years, before southeast Texans and scores of counties and cities receive federal funds to pay for the long-term rebuilding and recovery of homes and communities battered by Hurricane Harvey’s epic rains.
September 26, 2017

To Rebuild Houston and Prevent Another Harvey, Mayor Calls on State and Feds to Do More

Mayor Sylvester Turner said that a lack of immediate state funding for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts is forcing him to push for a property tax hike in this storm-battered city still reeling from the worst rainfall event in U.S. history.
September 25, 2017

The State That Birthed Freestanding ERs Seeks to Better Regulate Them

Patients who visit freestanding emergency rooms in Texas should now have a better idea of whether their health insurance will cover the bill.
September 18, 2017

Why Drivers Are Being Asked to Pay for Rape Kit Testing in Texas

State Rep. Victoria Neave agrees that everyday Texans shouldn't have to pass around a figurative hat to help rape victims get justice; footing the costly bill to test sexual assault kits should be the job of government, she says.
September 11, 2017

Post-Harvey, Extent of Water Contamination Largely Unknown

When Houston-based epidemiologist Winifred Hamilton spent a few days in the field last week collecting samples of the abundant floodwater Tropical Storm Harvey had left in its wake, she was able to practice the health safety advice she had urged her fellow Houstonians to follow.
September 5, 2017

This Voter ID Law Was Deemed Discriminatory. Trump Administration Wants Texas to Enforce It Anyway.

Continuing a dramatic reversal on voting rights under President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Justice is asking a federal appeals court to allow Texas to enforce a photo voter identification law that a lower court found discriminatory.
August 30, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Ruling Against Texas Congressional Map

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put on hold a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas' 36 congressional districts.
August 29, 2017

Houston Mayor Reassures Immigrants Scared to Seek Rescue From Harvey

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Monday morning sent a clear message to members of Houston’s immigrant community who might fear seeking help during Hurricane Harvey because of their legal status.
August 24, 2017

Texas State Senator Runs for Congress

It's official: State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, is running for Congress.
August 22, 2017

Fear of 'Sanctuary' Label Drives El Paso's Rejection of ID Cards for Immigrants and the Poor

The El Paso City Council narrowly voted against creating a municipal identification card program amid concerns that the measure would lead to the border city being perceived as the kind of "sanctuary" jurisdiction that has been the target of President Donald Trump and Texas' Republican leaders.
August 22, 2017

Six Flags Removed Confederate Flags, and the Ag Commissioner of Texas Isn't Happy

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller — the cowboy-hat wearing Republican known for wading deep into partisan and cultural divides — is furious with the Six Flags amusement park chain, calling its decision to take down the Confederate flag and four others that had flown over the park part of a “militant, anarchist movement sweeping our country, destroying and attempting to sanitize our nation’s history.”
August 21, 2017

Millions of Americans Drank Potentially Unsafe Water in the Past 10 Years

As many as 63 million people – nearly a fifth of the country – from rural central California to the boroughs of New York City, were exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once during the past decade, according to a News21 investigation of 680,000 water quality and monitoring violations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
August 18, 2017

Voting Interpreter Case a Win for Non-Native English Speakers and a Loss for Texas

Texas ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act by restricting the interpretation assistance English-limited voters may receive at the ballot box, a federal appeals court found.
August 17, 2017

Texas Governor Echoes Trump's Comments on Removing Confederate Monuments

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday weighed in on the renewed debate over Confederate monuments in Texas, saying that removing them "won't erase our nation's past, and it doesn't advance our nation's future."
August 16, 2017

In Redistricting Case, Court Orders Texas to Fix 2 Maps

Federal judges invalidated two Texas congressional districts Tuesday, ruling that they must be fixed by either the Legislature or a federal court.
August 15, 2017

'Rape Insurance' Bill Becomes Law in Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed a bill that will require Texas women to pay an extra health insurance premium for non-emergency abortions, one of three abortion-related items the governor placed on lawmakers' agendas for the special session.
August 10, 2017

Judge Dismisses Texas' 'Sanctuary Cities' Claim, But Legal Battle Isn't Over

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Wednesday dismissed the state of Texas’ lawsuit against Travis County and other defendants over the state's new immigration enforcement law.
August 9, 2017

In Gerrymandering Case, 16 States Lend Support to Wisconsin

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is backing Wisconsin in a high-profile case asking the U.S. Supreme Court whether lawmakers can go too far when drawing political maps to advantage one party.
July 28, 2017

Texas Executes Man Who Claimed His Lawyers Committed Fraud and Relied on Wikipedia

After more than 12 years on death row, a San Antonio man convicted in a fatal stabbing was executed Thursday night. It was Texas’ fifth execution of the year.
July 20, 2017

Heat Is Part of Life for Texas Prisoners, But Judge Orders Air Conditioning for Some

Just 30 miles south of the urban epicenter of Houston, the scene around one of Texas’ oldest maximum-security prisons has a much more rustic quality.
July 18, 2017

Texas Governor: I'm Keeping a List of Lawmakers Who Oppose Me

Gov. Greg Abbott said that he would publicly call out lawmakers who didn’t support his 20-item legislative agenda while Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick came out swinging against House leadership during Monday appearances on the eve of Texas' special legislative session.
July 17, 2017

With No Opposition in Sight, Texas Governor Launches Re-Election Bid

Warning that “liberals are trying to mess with Texas,” a confident Gov. Greg Abbott promised Friday he’ll fight to keep Texas in conservative hands if voters give him another four years in office.
June 30, 2017

Texas Leads Request for Trump to End DACA Immigration Program

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from nine other states on Thursday urged the Trump administration to end an Obama-era program that’s allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to live and work in the country without fear of being deported.
June 28, 2017

Every Major Texas City, But One, Is Suing the State Over Immigration

The city of El Paso voted on Tuesday to join the growing list of local governments that have filed a legal challenge in hopes of stopping Texas’ new immigration enforcement law from going into effect.
June 22, 2017

4 Biggest Cities in Texas Unite to Fight State's Immigration Law

The largest city in Texas will join San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and other local governments in a lawsuit against the state’s new immigration enforcement law.
June 16, 2017

From Lunch Shaming to Sandra Bland, Texas Governor Signs Slew of Bills

With three days left for him to sign or veto bills passed during the regular session, Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law legislation that would give faith-based adoption agencies legal protection to reject gay parents, let voters decide the fate of Dallas County Schools and create a law named after a woman who died in custody after a controversial arrest.
June 16, 2017

Got Gold? You Can Soon Store It in the Nation's First State-Run Gold Depository

Two years after Gov. Greg Abbott announced Texas would build the country's first state-run gold depository, the project took a major step forward Wednesday.
June 2, 2017

Say Goodbye to Straight-Ticket Voting in Texas

After remaining quiet on the issue during the recent legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law Thursday that will eliminate the straight-ticket voting option starting in 2020.
June 2, 2017

In Texas, 2 of Its Biggest Cities Join Legal Battle Against New Immigration Law

The cities of San Antonio and Austin announced on Thursday they have joined the fight to stop the state's new immigration enforcement law, Senate Bill 4, in federal court.
May 26, 2017

Uber, Lyft Are (Probably) Returning to Austin

Uber and Lyft will relaunch services in Austin on Monday, now that Texas lawmakers have passed a bill overriding local regulations on ride-hailing companies.
May 22, 2017

'This Job Is Hard,' Says Texas GOP Chairman as He Resigns

Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler announced his resignation Saturday, citing personal reasons. It's effective immediately, he said.
May 19, 2017

Rick Perry Advocates for Criminal Justice Reform in Texas

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry entered into politics in his home state again this week, while touting his efforts on criminal justice reform during his tenure as Texas governor.
May 12, 2017

Texas Wins, Environmentalists and Localities Lose Plastic Bag Battle

Attorney General Ken Paxton has dropped a lawsuit against the city of Brownsville over a 2010 ordinance that imposed a $1 per-transaction fee on plastic bags offered at grocery stores and other retailers.
May 8, 2017

Races for Mayor in San Antonio, El Paso, Headed for Runoffs

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor will face councilman Ron Nirenberg in a runoff in her reeelection bid. In El Paso, former state Rep. Dee Margo came up short and will face David Saucedo in a mayoral runoff.
April 21, 2017

FDA: States Can't Import Execution Drugs

Almost two years after Texas tried to import an execution drug from overseas, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled Thursday that the drug can’t be admitted into the United States.
March 30, 2017

Texas AG's Fraud Trial Delayed, Moved to New County

The judge in the securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has ruled that the trial should be moved out of Collin County and delayed.
February 21, 2017

In Voter ID Case, Judge Sanctions Texas for Stalling

A federal judge has ordered sanctions against the state of Texas for blowing past deadlines and ignoring a court order to hand over thousands of pages of documents in a lawsuit challenging its voter registration practices.
January 26, 2017

Texas Governor Doubles Down on 'Sanctuary Cities' -- and Their Sheriffs

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday said he would work to oust Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez if she doesn't fully cooperate with federal immigration officials' requests to hand over jail inmates thought to be undocumented immigrants.
January 23, 2017

On Voter ID, U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Texas Appeal -- Yet

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up Texas’ effort salvage its strict voter identification law, handing at least a temporary victory to civil rights advocates who have successfully argued that the law discriminates against minorities.
January 23, 2017

Texas County's Immigrant Sanctuary Status Sets Up Showdown With State

Newly-elected Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez on Friday made good on her most controversial campaign promise, announcing that her department would reduce its cooperation with federal immigration authorities when they request an inmate be flagged for possible deportation.
January 19, 2017

'Divisiveness' Drives Texas Mayor to Resign After Just 1 Month

About a month after being sworn in, Corpus Christi Mayor Dan McQueen announced his resignation in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, asserting that he could "no longer deal with such differing views and divisiveness," according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
January 18, 2017

Texas, and 13 Other States, Sue Feds Once More Before Obama Leaves

After Donald Trump won the presidential election, Texas Republicans suggested hopefully that their years-long practice of suing the federal government would finally be over.
January 9, 2017

Why Texas Is Cheering a Tax Lawsuit Loss

As gloomy government budget news stacks up in Austin, a state appeals court ruling issued Friday appears to erase a huge worry about the state’s business franchise tax.
January 6, 2017

End of Electricity Program Leaves Poor Texans in Cold Darkness

North Texas was freezing during a three-day stretch last month, but Mary Garcia refused to turn on the heat in her cramped apartment.
December 19, 2016

Texas' Fetal Remains Rule Halted as Legal Battle Ensues

A federal judge has delayed Texas' fetal remains burial rule until Jan. 6.
December 14, 2016

Rick Perry's Complicated Energy Legacy in Texas

As he said farewell to the Texas Legislature in January 2015, Rick Perry couldn’t help but reflect on how energy technology and policy had transformed the state’s landscape — and fueled its economy — during his record 14 years as governor.
December 14, 2016

EPA: Fracking Can Harm Drinking Water

The controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing can contaminate drinking water under certain circumstances, according to a long-anticipated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report released Tuesday.
December 8, 2016

Businesses: Anti-LGBT Bills Could Cost Texas $8.5 Billion and More Than 100,000 Jobs

With the legislative session just weeks ahead, the Texas business community is digging in its heels in opposition to Texas Republicans’ anti-LGBT proposals, warning they could have dire consequences on the state’s economy.
December 6, 2016

Another Texas GOP Elector Refuses to Vote for Trump on Dec. 19

Another Texas Republican elector is objecting to Donald Trump, saying he will not vote for the president-elect.
December 6, 2016

How Texas Jails Reduced Suicides by Almost 60% in 1 Year

Texas county jails have seen a sharp decline in inmate suicides since they began using a revised mental health screening tool last December.
November 21, 2016

Why Is Texas Trying to Hide the Details of a Failed Attempt to Combat Opioid Abuse?

Faced with a rising death toll from opioid abuse, Texas public health officials in May decided to apply for a $1 million federal grant to purchase Naloxone, a drug that, if administered during an overdose, can save the life of a person addicted to heroin or pain pills.
November 11, 2016

On Tuesday, Texas' Largest County Turned Blue

Ending a streak of thin electoral margins, Harris County — the biggest battleground in ruby red Texas with a population larger than 25 other states — turned solidly blue on Tuesday with the largest presidential margin of victory in more than a decade.
November 2, 2016

Texas Orders School Board Members to Educate Themselves

The superintendents and elected school boards of 11 Texas districts — including Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth — have been ordered by the state education agency to attend two-day training programs to learn how to fix their failing schools.
October 27, 2016

Voter ID Problems Pop Up as Texans Head to Polls

This much is clear after two days of early voting in Texas: Legal wrangling over the state’s voter identification law is stirring confusion at the polls.
October 14, 2016

Texans Register to Vote at Record Highs

Texas has a record-breaking 15 million people registered to vote ahead of the November election, the Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday.
October 10, 2016

Judge Drops SEC Case Against Texas AG, But Charges Remain

A judge has thrown out the federal civil case accusing Attorney General Ken Paxton of securities fraud, giving him his biggest legal victory yet since the allegations surfaced more than a year ago.
October 6, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Appears Receptive to Death Sentence Appeal

Hearing oral arguments Wednesday in an appeal by Texas death row inmate Duane Buck, U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared unswayed by the state's contention that Buck's death sentence should stand despite a psychologist's testimony at his trial that black men are more dangerous than whites.
October 6, 2016

Hundreds of Dead Migrants Remain Unidentified Near Texas Border

Shoestring budgets and bureaucratic hurdles are preventing some of the state's top researchers and forensic experts from identifying hundreds of the remains found on or near the Texas border, members of the Texas Forensic Science Commission said Wednesday.
September 28, 2016

Rick Perry Voted Off 'Dancing With the Stars'

Rick Perry did not survive to dance another day.
September 20, 2016

Workers Comp Ruling in Oklahoma Jeopardizes Other States' Systems

In the wake of an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision striking down part of that state's workers' compensation law, Texas is now the only state that lets private companies opt out of a state-run system and draw up their own plans to compensate injured workers.
September 13, 2016

Texas State Rep. Files for Bankruptcy

After a spate of legal troubles in recent years related to his personal injury law practice in Houston – lawsuits resulting in multiple costly settlements, criminal convictions and the suspension of his law license — state Rep. Ron Reynolds has filed for bankruptcy.
September 8, 2016

Feds Accuse Texas of Misleading People About Voter ID Requirements

The federal government is accusing Texas of circulating “inaccurate or misleading information” to poll workers and would-be voters about relaxed identification requirements for the November elections.
September 6, 2016

Texas Stops Helping Poor Families Pay Their Electric Bills

Texas will no longer help low-income families pay their electric bills. Lite-Up Texas, a program that offered discounts to hundreds of thousands of poor Texas families over the years, has run out of money and the discounts ended on Aug. 31, the Public Utility Commission confirmed.
August 29, 2016

U.S. Judge Dismisses Housing Segregation Lawsuit Against Texas

More than a year ago, civil rights and fair housing activists cheered when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit over housing segregation in Texas to go forward.
August 24, 2016

5 States Sue U.S. Over Obamacare Protections for Transgender Patients

Ramping up its fight over the rights of transgender people, Texas filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the federal government over a regulation prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals in some health programs.
August 23, 2016

Study Finds Zero Prosecuted Cases of Voter Impersonation

Politicians and voting rights advocates continue to clash over whether photo ID and other voting requirements are needed to prevent voter fraud, but a News21 analysis and recent court rulings show little evidence that such fraud is widespread.
August 18, 2016

Ruling a Blow to Plastic Bag Bans and Local Control in Texas

A state appeals court has struck down a plastic bag ban in Laredo in a high-profile fight over local control that could ultimately impact similar laws in other Texas cities.
August 8, 2016

George P. Bush, a Trump Holdout, Urges Support for Nominee

Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who has not endorsed Donald Trump, is now asking Texas Republicans to support the party's presidential nominee.
August 4, 2016

Under Court Order, Texas Weakens Voter ID Law for November

Texas struck a deal Wednesday that will soften its voter ID law for the November general election — a development that lawyers suing the state say will make it easier for minorities to cast their ballots.
August 1, 2016

Texas Is Now a Campus Carry State

The new state law allowing guns inside college buildings went into effect Monday. Here’s a rundown of what that means for people on campus.
July 29, 2016

In Latest Lawsuit, Texas Aims to Get Guns Into City Hall

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the city of Austin in Travis County district court, trying to force the city to comply with his reading of the state's open carry law and allow license holders to openly carry handguns in city hall.
July 27, 2016

Abortion Doctors in Texas Must Give Patients Medically Inaccurate Information

Death and infertility were just two of the risks a doctor described to Kryston Skinner when she chose to have an abortion last year.
July 15, 2016

In Texas, Prison Spending Has Increased More Than Schools

Texas spending on prisons and jails is the highest in the nation, a new federal study concludes, and has grown about five times faster than the state's rate of spending growth on elementary and secondary education over the past three decades.
July 13, 2016

Texas Governor, in Recovery, Will Skip GOP Convention

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will not attend the Republican National Convention as he recovers from severe burns he suffered during a family vacation, according to his office.
July 11, 2016

Texas Governor Suffers Severe Burns

Gov. Greg Abbott may not attend the Republican National Convention after suffering severe burns during a family vacation in Wyoming.
June 23, 2016

Why a Texas State Senator Is Suing a Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver

State Sen. Royce West is suing Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant for allegedly trashing — to the tune of more than $60,000 in repairs — a property he had leased to Bryant.
June 20, 2016

Court Dismisses Texas Lawsuit to Keep Syrian Refugees Out

Texas on Thursday lost its fight against the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state, ending a monthslong battle during which refugees from the war-torn country continued to arrive.
June 20, 2016

Federal Rules Could Tame Wild West of Payday Lending

Leonard Abbott of San Marcos had heard of the dangers of payday loans — the small-dollar, high-interest credit that can quickly trap borrowers in a morass of debt.
June 13, 2016

Unethical, Illegal or Neither? A State Lawmaker Helping Businesses Influence Local Policy

An influential Texas lawmaker has a new side gig that’s raising a few eyebrows in capital circles.
June 10, 2016

Texas Files Another Lawsuit, This Time Against Another State

Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday morning that his office is launching a lawsuit against the state of Delaware over millions of dollars he argued are owed to Texas and 20 other states.
June 10, 2016

What's a 'Psychologist'? It's Being Redefined in Some States.

When a patient sits before Dr. Cynthia de las Fuentes, a licensed psychologist in West Austin, she says they get much more than an empathic ear.
June 8, 2016

How Texas Republicans Are Preparing for a Conspiracy Theorist to Be Their New Boss

The Travis County GOP has voted to limit the power of incoming chairman Robert Morrow, a controversial figure whose surprise election earlier this year shook up local politics in Texas' fifth-largest county.
June 3, 2016

Trump University Shut Itself Down in Texas After State Started Investigating

Long before Trump University fell in the crosshairs of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, one of Donald Trump's fellow Republicans drew a bead on the now-defunct school: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
May 31, 2016

In Weighty Water Ruling, Texas' High Court Backs Landowner

The Texas Supreme Court has strengthened protections for landowners who don’t have rights to the water underneath their property.
May 25, 2016

Conspiracy Theorist Loses Race for Influential Education Gig

In a stunning comeback, State Board of Education hopeful Keven Ellis won Tuesday's District 9 Republican primary runoff over Mary Lou Bruner, who drew national attention for social media posts touting far-right conspiracy theories and other fringe views.
May 25, 2016

In Voter ID Case That Could Impact Other States, Texas Defends Its Law

A top lawyer for Texas fiercely defended the state’s strictest-in-the-nation voter identification law on Tuesday in a high-profile case that could ultimately determine at what point states that assert that they are protecting the integrity of elections cross over into disenfranchisement.
May 20, 2016

Judge Orders Ethics Classes for DOJ Attorneys in Immigration Case

The Brownsville-based judge who halted President Obama’s 2014 executive action on immigration has decided that ethics classes are in order for the attorneys who defended the policy.
May 13, 2016

Court Rules Texas School Funding Constitutional But in Need of Reforms

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday issued a ruling upholding the state’s public school funding system as constitutional, while asserting that the state’s more than 5 million students “deserve transformational, top-to-bottom reforms that amount to more than Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid."
May 5, 2016

Judge Blocks Texas From Licensing Immigrant Detention Center as Child Care

An Austin judge temporarily blocked the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from issuing a childcare license to an immigration detention center in Dilley on Wednesday.
May 4, 2016

Texas Sued for Licensing Detention Center as Child Care

Documents from the department show that a March inspection of the Karnes center, operated by the GEO Group, uncovered six deficiencies ranging from insufficient mulch levels on the playground to unclear labeling of children's' allergies and health conditions in their files.
May 3, 2016

Texas, Feds Strike Short-Term Deal on Medicaid Funding

The Obama administration has agreed to temporarily keep some federal Medicaid money flowing into Texas to help hospitals treat uninsured patients, a relief to health care providers that feared losing the funds over state leaders' refusal to provide health insurance to low-income adults.
April 25, 2016

The Decades-Long Mystery of Why Texans Have Been Eating Toxic Fish

When Emma Quintero moved into her modest, bright blue house eight years ago, she'd watch neighbors pass by on their way to fish the murky waters of two sprawling reservoirs and irrigation canals that reach into the Rio Grande Valley like tentacles, delivering water to fields of citrus and vegetables.
April 25, 2016

After Ruling, Texas Seeks Feds' Help With Disabled Kids' Therapy

A Texas appeals court delivered a big loss on Thursday to a group of home health agencies and parents of children with disabilities who sued the state over payment cuts to in-home therapy providers.
April 22, 2016

Texas Health Commissioner Reportedly Retiring

Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor plans to retire at the end of May after 11 months on the job, according to sources briefed on the decision.
April 21, 2016

Texas' Foster Care System Faces $40M Shortfall

The state’s child welfare agency faces a $40 million budget shortfall, a critical shortage of good homes for foster children and overwhelming caseloads for staff, agency leaders told state lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday.
April 21, 2016

Teacher Group Sues Texas Over Plan to Tie Evaluations to Tests

A statewide teachers group filed a lawsuit Wednesday in an attempt to block the state from implementing a controversial system that for the first time ties assessments of educators to student performance on standardized tests.
April 15, 2016

Judge Blocks Texas Immigrant Harboring Law

A federal judge has blocked part of the state’s omnibus border security bill that makes harboring undocumented immigrants a state crime.
April 14, 2016

New Prison Rule Means Texas Jailbirds Can't Tweet

Texas prison inmates shouldn't be allowed to have active social media accounts, even if friends or family on the outside actually run them, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has decided.
April 13, 2016

Sandra Bland Committee in Texas Calls for New Jail, Body Cameras

Waller County, Texas, needs a new jail, local officers need body cameras to record their activities and the sheriff's office needs to promote civility, a study committee formed after the death of Sandra Bland said Tuesday. The county came under national scrutiny in July when Bland was found hanged in her jail cell three days after being arrested for assaulting an officer during a contentious traffic stop.
April 11, 2016

SEC Charges Texas AG With Securities Fraud

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been charged in federal court with allegedly misleading investors in a technology company.
April 11, 2016

Government Business on Your Personal Email? In Texas, That's Public Information.

Public officials who use private email accounts to conduct official business cannot conceal their personal email addresses when releasing public information, a state appeals court ruled Friday.
April 7, 2016

Rick Perry's Criminal Case Officially Dismissed

The criminal case against former Gov. Rick Perry was officially dismissed on Wednesday, weeks after Texas' highest criminal court ordered that it be dropped.
April 5, 2016

In Largest U.S. Settlement, BP Pays Governments $20.8 Billion for Oil Spill

A federal judge on Monday approved a $20.8 billion settlement negotiated between BP and a group of plaintiffs including the federal government, Texas and four other Gulf Coast states and hundreds of local governments stemming from the energy giant's 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
March 30, 2016

No Record of Rick Perry Voting in Texas GOP Primary

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have stumped for Ted Cruz for president, but there's no record he voted in this year's Republican primary in Texas. A spokesman for Perry suggested his ballot may have been lost in the mail.
March 28, 2016

Unlike Other States, Texas E-Verify Law Operates Under Honor System

After former Gov. Rick Perry issued an executive order in December 2014 mandating the use of E-Verify for state agencies, some lawmakers noted the directive lacked a mechanism to ensure compliance.
March 28, 2016

Indictment Aside, Ex-Mayor of Dysfunctional Texas Town Runs Again

Leaning forward on a two-seat swing beneath a shady tree, Ricardo Lopez ticked off his lofty political ambitions:
March 22, 2016

Texas Set to Execute Mentally Ill Man Who Killed Code Enforcement Officer

Adam Kelly Ward, whom appeals courts have recognized as mentally ill, is set for execution Tuesday evening in a 2005 shooting death.
March 21, 2016

More Kids Sleeping in Texas State Offices Amid Foster Shortage

The number of children sleeping in Child Protective Services offices shot up after an internal policy change at the agency limited child placements, according to state data released Thursday.
March 15, 2016

Scant Evidence for Texas Governor's Claims of 'Rampant' Voter Fraud

The governor of Texas thinks that fraud in the electoral system that put him and others in office is “rampant.”
March 11, 2016

Why Texas Hasn't Drug Tested a Single Person Since Law's Passage in 2013

Nearly three years after Texas lawmakers passed a law requiring some applicants for unemployment benefits to pass a drug test, the state has yet to test a single applicant, and it remains unclear when the program will get going.
March 10, 2016

Texas Voter ID Law Gets Another Chance in Court

The full U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to take up the Texas voter ID case Wednesday, adding another chapter to the law’s convoluted journey through the federal court system.
February 24, 2016

Texas Governor Endorses Ted Cruz

Gov. Greg Abbott has endorsed Ted Cruz for president, becoming the highest-ranking elected official in Cruz's home state — and the country — to support the U.S. senator's campaign.
February 24, 2016

In Texas, Living on the Border Is Actually Safer Now

It’s a scene repeated often in Texas towns along the Rio Grande: a white U.S. Border Patrol van sporting the agency's trademark green stripe competing with a Laredo Police Department car at a busy Stripes convenience store.
February 17, 2016

Why Cops Are Starting to Carry Credit Card Machines

If a California-based company has its way, the following scenario could become common across Texas: A police officer pulls over a driver, not for speeding or some other traffic violation, but for outstanding court fines.
February 11, 2016

Despite Mass Arrests of Top Officials, Texas Town Hopes for Better Future

In several ways, Councilman Joel Barajas has been completely alone.
February 1, 2016

Court Sends Warning to Movie Producers Who Want to Film in Texas

A Texas appeals court ruled Friday that the Texas Film Commission acted within its authority when it decided after the release of the film "Machete" to deny its producers state incentives.
January 26, 2016

Texas Sued Over New Law on Harboring Immigrants

Taking aim at a new Texas law making it a state felony to harbor undocumented immigrants, a national civil rights group announced Monday that it is suing the state.
January 25, 2016

Rick Perry Endorses Ted Cruz

Former Gov. Rick Perry has endorsed Ted Cruz for president, Politico reported early Monday.
January 18, 2016

Texas AG Creates Anti-Human Trafficking Unit

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday announced a new unit in his office dedicated to combating human trafficking.
January 18, 2016

The States Where Jails Most Often Refuse to Hold Immigrants for Feds

More than 18,000 times over the past two years, local jails across the country have failed to hand over deportable immigrants to federal authorities, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement records obtained by The Texas Tribune.
January 14, 2016

Rick Perry Has a New Gig ... in Dental Insurance

A year out of office, former Gov. Rick Perry has a new job: chief strategy officer at MCNA Dental, the largest privatively held dental insurance company in the country, according to a spokesman for Perry.
January 11, 2016

Texas Governor Calls on States to Amend U.S. Constitution

In a fresh — but long shot — assertion of states’ rights, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday called for a convention of U.S. states to pass nine new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, measures meant to limit the powers of the federal government.
January 7, 2016

Confusion About Zoos and Guns in Texas

The next battle over gun rights in Texas may take place in an unlikely setting: the zoo.
December 18, 2015

Judge: Texas Foster Care System Violates Children's Rights

Texas has violated the constitutional rights of foster children by exposing them to an unreasonable risk of harm in a system where children "often age out of care more damaged than when they entered," a federal judge ruled Thursday.
December 18, 2015

Austin Passes Stricter Rules for Uber, Lyft

The future of popular vehicle-for-hire services Uber and Lyft in Austin was up in the air early Friday morning after the city council voted 9-2 in favor of an ordinance aimed at regulating the firms more like traditional taxi companies.
December 16, 2015

2 Presidential Candidates Miss Filing Deadlines in Many States

Two bottom-tier Republican presidential candidates have missed the filing deadline for the Texas primary.
December 14, 2015

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Criminal Charges Against Texas AG

A Collin County judge has denied Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's requests to dismiss criminal charges accusing him of financial fraud.
December 2, 2015

Obama's Small But Significant Immigration Win

The Obama Administration won a small but significant battle on Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court denied Texas’ request for an extra 30 days to respond to the White House’s petition for review of a controversial immigration case.
December 1, 2015

Online Veterinarians Lose Legal Battle Against Texas

A Texas veterinarian who offered pet-care advice online lost a battle against state regulators on Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case.
November 24, 2015

Some Texas Politicians Don't Have to Live in Austin Anymore, But Most Still Will

Given the chance to move away from Austin following the Nov. 3 passage of Proposition 3, which repealed the state capital residency requirement in the Texas Constitution for certain statewide elected officials, reps for four of the five eligible said they would continue to live near the Capitol Complex.
November 20, 2015

Texas Reassesses Whether Superintendents Need Education Experience

The State Board of Education on Wednesday rejected a rule change that would have allowed school boards to hire anyone they wanted as superintendent — even if the candidate had no public education experience — as long as they had some kind of post-baccalaureate degree and intended to pursue superintendent certification.
November 17, 2015

In Immigration Fight, Texas AG Keeps Information About the Undocumented Secret

A ruling from the Texas Attorney General's office has just made it more difficult to access information about the kinds of crimes undocumented immigrants have committed in Dallas County — and whether local officials turned those offenders over to federal authorities.
November 16, 2015

After Sandra Bland's Death, Texas Jails Change How They Assess Suicide Risks

The state agency that oversees jails is issuing a new intake form so jailers will ask more specific, direct questions when booking people.
November 9, 2015

Court: 2016 Texas Elections to Proceed With Current Maps

To avoid confusion and uncertainty, the state’s 2016 elections for Congress and the Texas House will proceed under the current political maps, a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio said late Friday.
November 5, 2015

Texas' New Policy for Cities That Don't Cooperate With Federal Immigration

If Texas sheriffs do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities, they will face losing state grant money, Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday.
October 29, 2015

On Planned Parenthood, Texas Gets a Warning From the Feds

The Obama administration has warned state officials that pushing Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Medicaid program could put Texas at odds with federal law.
October 28, 2015

Texas Governor Threatens Dallas Sheriff for Protecting Undocumented Immigrants

Gov. Greg Abbott criticized Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez in the wake of reports that she planned to free some immigrants processed through the Dallas County jail rather than hand them over to federal authorities.
October 23, 2015

3 States File New Obamacare Lawsuit

In Texas' latest salvo against Obamacare, Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit over a fee states must help cover to pay for the sweeping federal health reform law.
October 23, 2015

Texas Is Largest State Suing EPA Over Clean Power Plan

Texas is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over President Obama’s plan to combat climate change, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday. It is doing so in partnership with a bipartisan coalition that includes 23 other states.
October 22, 2015

Texas Is Executing Fewer People

Texas will sentence fewer people to die in 2015 than in any other year since the state’s death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
October 22, 2015

Under Indictment, Texas AG Recuses Himself From Some Duties

The office of Attorney General Ken Paxton says he is recusing himself from some of his professional responsibilities as he fights an indictment on securities fraud charges.
October 12, 2015

Texas Lt. Gov. Wants Legislators to Work on School Choice

School choice, including controversial tax credit scholarships, tops a lengthy list of public education issues Dan Patrick has asked state senators to study ahead of the 2017 legislative session.
October 12, 2015

Court Halts EPA Water Rule in Every State

A federal appeals court has blocked a major Obama administration clean water rule, handing an early victory to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other states trying to drown it in court.
October 9, 2015

Texas Joins Other States and Localities in Suing Volkswagen

Following in the footsteps of Harris County and the city of Dallas, the state announced Thursday it is suing Volkswagen in connection with the German automaker's admitted use of software that allowed its vehicles to circumvent emissions limits.
October 5, 2015

Texas Walks Back Plan to Cut to Therapy for Disabled Kids

Following an outcry from dozens of state lawmakers, Texas’ top health agency announced Thursday it will make less drastic cuts than originally planned to a therapy program for children with disabilities.
October 5, 2015

Professors Seek Gun-Free Classrooms on Texas' Gun-Friendly Campuses

For University of Texas at El Paso professor David Smith-Soto, the fight against allowing guns in his classroom began with a quiet act of civil disobedience this summer.
September 30, 2015

Why Do Rich People Live in Public Housing in Texas?

A recent audit found more than 25,000 families living in public housing nationwide that made more than the income limit to qualify for rent subsidies. Of those, 1,056 live in Texas.
September 29, 2015

The Real Texas Border Security Problem: Weeds

Carrizo cane sprouts along the banks of the Rio Grande, providing easy cover for smugglers and drug mules. A new state law says it should be eradicated, and the governor requested $10 million to do the job. But lawmakers neglected to set aside any money for razing cane.
September 25, 2015

Concealed Carry Permits Don't Affect Crime

A study looked at Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas and found no connection between allowing concealed weapons and crime rates, which are trending downward nationwide.
September 25, 2015

Court Makes It Easier for Companies to Keep Government Contracts Secret in Texas

Over the objections of Attorney General Ken Paxton's office, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling in June making it easier for private companies to keep secret details of their contracts with the state of Texas and local governments, a move that public information advocates warn is ripe for abuse.
September 21, 2015

Texas Drops Lawsuit Against Town's Fracking Ban

The Texas General Land Office has dropped its lawsuit against Denton's obliterated ban on hydraulic fracturing and moratorium on new gas drilling, officially resolving all litigation over the local vote,
September 18, 2015

Texas Suing Injured State Workers to Avoid Paying Medical Bills

At least 80 injured state workers in the past decade have been taken to court by Texas' Office of Risk Management after being awarded compensation from the state's Division of Workers' Compensation.
September 14, 2015

How Texas Plans to Make Freshman Year of College Free

The Texas State University System has an idea for future students busy with families and jobs: Don't even show up on campus freshman year.
September 8, 2015

Why the EPA Water Rule Applies to Only Some States

The Obama administration’s controversial new clean water regulations apply in Texas after all.
August 31, 2015

Texas Struggles to Maintain Electric Grid Due to Massive Utility Bankruptcy

Energy Future Holdings, saddled with more than $40 billion in debt and struggling to reorganize in court, owns all or part of three crucial pieces of the state's grid.
August 28, 2015

Texas AG Paxton Pleads Not Guilty, Loses His Lawyer

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's first courtroom appearance as a criminal defendant was a 30-minute affair in which Paxton's lead lawyer quit for unspecified reasons, the attorney general requested that no cameras be allowed at his trial and the judge admonished everyone to limit public statements about the case.
August 25, 2015

Texas AG Condones Governor Using Private Email for Public Business

Gov. Greg Abbott's many redactions and unilateral decisions to withhold information — along with all the exceptions written into disclosure laws each year by the Texas Legislature — are leaving the public less and less informed about the activities of the government they pay for, transparency experts said.
August 25, 2015

Why Texas' Anti-Obesity Program Didn't Work

The $37 million program, Texas Fitness Now, primarily gave money to schools to buy sports and gym equipment from 2007 to 2011. Four years later, kids are just as fat.
August 21, 2015

Texas on Trial for Undrinkable Water

The state of Texas should have done more to protect the safety of drinking water for two small border communities in Webb County, defense lawyers argued Thursday in the criminal trial for two former water treatment plant employees.
August 19, 2015

Court Rules Houston Anti-Discrimination Law Requires Voter Approval

Texas Supreme Court ruled the city council must reword the language because the vote should be on whether to affirm the ordinance, not repeal it.
August 19, 2015

Who's Responsible for the Undrinkable Water in Texas?

Incompetence, local politics, lack of resources — all have been blamed for the foul tap water that periodically streams from the faucets of about 8,000 residents in two small border communities.
August 12, 2015

Texas Beard Policy for Prisoners Won't Cost Taxpayers

New rules allow prisoners to grow facial hair but will require more frequent ID photos. Prisoners have to pay the addition cost themselves.
August 7, 2015

Study: Voter ID Law Discouraged Even People With Proper Cards From Polls

Texas’ strict voter identification requirements kept many would-be voters in a Hispanic-majority congressional district from going to the polls last November — including many who had proper IDs — a new survey shows.
August 3, 2015

Texas AG Arrested for 3 Felony Charges

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state’s top law enforcement officer, turned himself into jail Monday to be booked on felony securities fraud charges.
July 30, 2015

Uber Offering Services to Disabled Riders in Austin

Uber is adding the Texas city to a small list of cities where it has wheelchair-accessible vehicles,
July 30, 2015

Jail Failed to Perform Required Mental Health Check on Sandra Bland

The woman who was found hanged in one of the jail's cells on July 13, should have received a court-ordered mental health exam once she indicated she had tried to commit suicide in the past, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards confirmed Wednesday.
July 29, 2015

In EPA Ruling on Cross-State Air Pollution, Both Sides Claim a Win

Texas’ Republican leaders and environmentalists are both claiming victory Tuesday following an appeals court ruling that requires the federal government to ease limits on certain emissions for Texas and a dozen other states.
July 24, 2015

Court Throws Out One of Rick Perry's Indictment Charges

A state appeals court on Friday ruled against one of two counts in the indictment against former Gov. Rick Perry.
July 24, 2015

Ruling a (Possibly Temporary) Loss for LGBT in Houston

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the Houston City Council must repeal or put up for public vote a 2014 ordinance that extended protections to gay and transgender residents.
July 24, 2015

Sandra Bland Case Exposes Deficiencies in Jail Oversight

When Sandra Bland was booked at the Waller County Jail, she told the staff she had attempted suicide before — a staff, it turns out, who had not been sufficiently trained on how to safeguard the well-being of inmates who are mentally ill, suicidal or pose a risk to themselves.
July 24, 2015

Even Environmentalists Praise Texas' Latest Move

The Texas Water Development Board has approved nearly $4 billion in financing for dozens of projects to increase water supplies across the state, and a handful to promote conservation.
July 23, 2015

Texas' Birth Certificate Problem

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal district judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims a state agency violated the U.S. Constitution by denying birth certificates to U.S.-citizen children of immigrant parents.
July 21, 2015

Texas Is No Longer in a Drought

The water planning agency called the drought disappearance “big news” Monday in its weekly drought report, but also offered a reminder that the national monitor “favors soil conditions” and that “reservoirs are still low in West, Far West, and South Texas.”
July 21, 2015

5 States Quietly Concede Fight Over Same-Sex Benefits

Almost a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quietly conceded a case against the federal government over medical leave benefits for certain same-sex couples.
July 15, 2015

Texas County Clerk Resigns to Avoid Performing Gay Marriages

Rusk County's Joyce Lewis-Kugle is the first Texas elected official to quit office rather than abide by the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
July 15, 2015

New Test Causing Fewer Texans to Earn GEDs

The new examination costs more and can only be taken on computers. Only 30 percent of those taking the online test have passed,
July 15, 2015

Undercover Planned Parenthood Video Prompts Texas Probe

After an anti-abortion group on Tuesday released an undercover video showing an executive at Planned Parenthood discussing how to preserve an aborted fetus’s organs for medical research, Gov. Greg Abbott announced an investigation into the alleged practice.
July 14, 2015

Did a Scientology Group Kill a Texas Mental Health Bill?

The governor's early June veto of Senate Bill 359 caught many of the measure’s proponents off-guard. The legislation had sailed through the House and Senate with little debate and only a handful of negative votes.
July 8, 2015

Texas Democrats Ask Governor for Task Force on Confederate Monuments

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus, Democrats in the House and Senate asked for the creation of a task force to consider whether the numerous Confederate monuments, markers and statutes on the Capitol grounds are “historically accurate, whether they are appropriately located on the Capitol grounds, and whether any changes are needed.”
July 8, 2015

New Texas Nutrition Policy: Deep Fryers and Soda Machines in Schools

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller discussed new initiatives in consumer protection and his fight against what he considers "federal overreach."
June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Kills EPA Mercury Rules

A coalition of states including Texas has defeated the Environmental Protection Agency in a battle over major regulations on mercury, acid gases and other toxic metals emissions that spew from power plants.
June 26, 2015

Texas Joins Growing Movement to Remove Felons' Barriers to Food Stamps

If they finish their sentences and comply with any terms of parole, Texans convicted on felony drug charges soon will be able to receive food stamps, though another strike will put them back under a lifetime ban.
June 23, 2015

Texas GOP Politicians Shamed Into Returning Money From White Supremacist

Earl Holt, who heads the Missouri-based Council of Conservative Citizens, has given to dozens of Republican candidates and causes across the country, according to federal records. In Texas, he has spread around several thousand dollars over the past four years.
June 22, 2015

Texas Governor Decriminalizes Truancy

Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation late Thursday, saying criminalizing school absences doesn't work
June 22, 2015

Texas Supreme Court Rules AG Can't Stop Same-Sex Divorce

Five members of the Texas Supreme Court affirmed a 2011 opinion from the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals that said the attorney general's office did not have standing to appeal the divorce between Texas residents Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly.
June 22, 2015

Fearing Bigger Government, Texas Governor Vetoes Dozens of Bills

With his first session officially behind him, Gov. Greg Abbott has wielded his veto pen against 42 bills, the largest batch of legislation to draw a Texas governor's disapproval since the 2007 session.
June 22, 2015

Texas Ousts Planned Parenthood From Cancer Program

A months-long effort to keep Republicans from pushing Planned Parenthood out of a state cancer screening program for low-income women ended in defeat on Saturday when Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed off on the proposal.
June 19, 2015

Fried Food and Soda Make a Comeback in Texas Schools

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Thursday restored the option for public schools to serve certain fried foods and soda by lifting a decade-old statewide ban on deep fryers and soda machines.
June 17, 2015

Texas Makes It Tougher to Sue Polluters

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed legislation that sets a five-year statute of limitations and caps payouts at about $2 million when counties sue companies that have fouled their water or air.
June 16, 2015

Texas Governor Signs Billions in Tax Cuts

Declaring “a new era of job growth in the state of Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed a $2.56 billion bill cutting the franchise tax rate paid by businesses by 25 percent.
June 15, 2015

In Texas, People Can Now Carry Guns Openly and on College Campuses

Calling it a salute to the “genius” of the country’s founding fathers, Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday signed legislation allowing Texans with licenses to openly tote their handguns in a hip or shoulder holster.
June 11, 2015

Texas Governor Won't Sign Water Conservation Bill

Gov. Gregg Abbott said the bill would go "too far" in pursuit of water conservation by giving a local water utility authority that belongs to the state.
June 10, 2015

Texas Governor Signs $310 Million Border Security Bill

To Gov. Greg Abbott, signing a sweeping, multimillion-dollar border security bill hundreds of miles from the Rio Grande made sense.
June 9, 2015

Appeals Court Approves Texas Abortion Restrictions

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state can require abortion clinics to meet costly ambulatory surgical center standards,
June 8, 2015

Energy Legislation Dies in the Texas Legislature

Who killed the State House and Senate's top energy bills? Their autopsy evokes the names of T. Boone Pickens and Koch Industries and involves plenty of squabbling between the chambers.
June 8, 2015

Texas Ends Rick Perry's Controversial Startup Fund

Shortly before former Gov. Rick Perry officially launched his second presidential campaign in Dallas on Thursday morning, his successor ended a long-criticized initiative from Perry’s tenure.
June 5, 2015

Why Rick Perry Thinks Governors Make Better Presidents

Launching his presidential campaign Thursday in a sun-soaked airport hangar here, Rick Perry worked hard — sweating profusely in the process — to tell supporters who exactly he is: the proud son of Paint Creek, Texas; an Air Force veteran who has never forgotten what the military taught him; the longest-serving governor of one of the biggest states.
June 3, 2015

Texas Touts Transportation Funding Successes in Forgettable Session

Last year, Texans saw Greg Abbott on the side of a traffic-choked highway in the Dallas area, promising to put billions more toward transportation if elected governor.
June 3, 2015

Texas Governor Vetoes Bill to Help Drug Overdosers

Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed two bills on Monday, including one aimed at encouraging people to call 911 during drug overdoses, even if they are in possession of illegal substances themselves.
June 2, 2015

Texas Legalizes Use of Medical Marijuana Oil for Some

Offering what he said would be "healing and hope for children who are afflicted by relentless seizures caused by epilepsy," Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation Monday legalizing low-THC cannabis oils as treatment for certain medical conditions.
June 1, 2015

Texas Immigration Reform Bills Go Nowhere

Promises to enact tough immigration legislation remain unfulfilled.
June 1, 2015

Why Texas Legislature's 2015 Session Will Be Forgotten

What makes a legislative session epic, or at least interesting, is peril: a Legislature facing some sort of crisis.
May 28, 2015

Climate Change, a Factor in Texas Floods, Is Largely Ignored by Lawmakers

Climate change is taking a toll on Texas, and the devastating floods that have killed at least 15 people and left 12 others missing across the state are some of the best evidence yet of that phenomenon, state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said in an interview Wednesday.
May 27, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Takes On Texas Redistricting Case

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear a case that centers on how Texas draws its political districts, a longtime point of dispute between the state and voting rights advocates.
May 27, 2015

In Texas House, Both Sides Claim Some Wins

As the clock struck midnight, the failure of an anti-abortion initiative — dear to the hearts of the far right — marked the end of a tumultuous day on the floor of the Texas House that saw the passage of sweeping ethics reform and a version of legislation allowing concealed carrying of handguns on college campuses.
May 26, 2015

Texas House to Take Up Bill to Allow Guns on Campus

After a month of discussion over whether to attach a bill requiring public universities and colleges to allow concealed handguns on their campuses to another piece of gun legislation — an effort to squeeze the controversial measure through — House lawmakers opted to consider the bill, Senate Bill 11, on its own.
May 20, 2015

Texas Blocks Local Drilling Regulations After Town Banned Fracking

Saying Texas needs to avoid a “patchwork of local regulations” that threaten oil and gas production, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed legislation that would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of drilling-related activities.
May 19, 2015

Despite Waco Shooting, Texas Lawmakers Still Push Open Carry Laws

Some critics told the panel Monday that a proposal to allow concealed handgun license holders to openly carry the firearms would have made the Waco shooting worse. But the panel approved the bill and sent it to the full Senate, where it is likely to have enough votes to pass.
May 13, 2015

Texas Lawmaker Attacks 'Superficial' Ethics Reform Efforts

State Rep. Byron Cook, chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, said the legislation, Senate Bill 19, attempted to address problems that don’t exist without fixing the ones that do.
May 8, 2015

Texas House Approves 'Official' State Hashtags

May 7, 2015

Texas Isn't Going to Ban Powdered Alcohol Anytime Soon

The author of a bill to ban the substance postponed the measure until July 4 — more than a month after the end of the legislative session.
May 6, 2015

Who Killed Online Voter Registration in Texas?

A bill to bring online voter registration to Texas is dead thanks to a small but vocal group of officials from the state's largest county, according to the measure's sponsor, state Rep. Celia Israel. But Israel, whose legislation had the backing of a majority of the Texas House, says she's not giving up.
May 4, 2015

Texas Supreme Court Declines to Rule on Controversial Water Case

Justices won't review the appeals court’s ruling in Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Glenn and JoLynn Bragg – the first time a Texas appeals court found that groundwater regulation resulted in a violation of property rights under the Texas Constitution.
April 29, 2015

Federal Judge: Why Hasn't Texas Fixed Its Voter ID Law Yet?

Judge Catharina Haynes stopped short of rebuking state lawmakers, but she sounded perplexed that lawmakers had not made the law more palatable to critics as it winded through the federal court system.
April 29, 2015

Atheist Gets Approval to Set Up a 'Reason Station' Inside a City Hall in Michigan

Thanks to a February federal court victory, Douglas Marshall set up the table with pamphlets for the first time today. It's across from a prayer station that has been in City Hall since 2009.
April 22, 2015

How Google and Automakers Are Trying to Kill the Self-Driving Car

The technology giant and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers are working to defeat a bill to update Texas law for driverless cars.
April 21, 2015

Despite Threats to Hospital Funding, Texas Governor Still Won't Expand Medicaid

Gregg Abbott's refusal to expand Medicaid will likely lead to a fight with the feds over billions of federal dollars for hospitals.
April 20, 2015

Feds Threaten Texas: Expand Medicaid or Risk Hospital Funds

Federal officials called the state's health agency this week to say that Texas' reluctance to expand Medicaid will play into whether his administration extends a waiver that helps the state's hospitals cover uninsured patients.
April 3, 2015

Water Ruling Cuts Texas' Power in Droughts

A state appeals court has sided with farmers, ranchers and other longstanding water rights holders in a Brazos River case with widespread implications for future water battles in drought-prone Texas.
March 25, 2015

Texas Uses Obamacare Cash to Fund Medicaid

Facing a $338 million unpaid bill for Medicaid, Texas lawmakers voted Tuesday to help pay for it with a $102 million cash infusion that came from the feds under the Affordable Care Act.
March 19, 2015

Texas City Quits Fossil Fuels

On Wednesday Georgetown’s municipal utility unveiled plans to abandon traditional electricity sources like coal and gas power plants and instead use wind and solar energy to meet all power needs.
March 19, 2015

Texas Sues Feds Over Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

The state of Texas is suing the Obama administration for giving medical leave benefits to certain same-sex couples, according to an announcement Wednesday from Attorney General Ken Paxton.
March 17, 2015

Fracking Fail: How One Texas City's Ban Didn't Work Out

Four months after the Denton, Texas, historic vote, top state lawmakers don’t appear to be scratching their heads. Petroleum is winning hands down, and local control appears headed for a beating.
March 16, 2015

Texas' Lobbying Disclosure Laws Are Meaningless

Lobbyists don’t have to report the names of the legislators they are entertaining unless the expenditures go over $114 per day.
March 13, 2015

For-Profit Companies Play a Big Role in Texas Water Planning

An infusion of $2 billion into Texas' state water plan — once a little-known wish list of water projects — has highlighted the role of private engineering and consulting firms, which play a big role in writing it.
March 11, 2015

Undrinkable: Many Along Texas Border Still Live Without Clean, Safe Water

Turn on the faucet. Fill a glass with water. Drink it. Acts so commonplace you perform them without thinking twice.
March 10, 2015

Part of Texas Comptroller's Office Will Focus on Endangered Species

A law passed in 2011 put endangered species in the comptroller's purview. The idea was that any time a Texas animal ends up on a federal endangered species list, industrial activity is in danger.
March 9, 2015

Rick Perry Is Still Trying to Be President

On the ground in Iowa, which will kick off the 2016 primary season, the Texas governor is taken seriously.
March 6, 2015

Rick Perry Supporters Form Super PAC

Allies of former Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday rolled out a Super PAC that can raise unlimited amounts of money to boost the likely 2016 presidential candidate.
March 4, 2015

Texas Not So Enthusiastic About Governor's Pre-K Initiative

The legislative proposal Greg Abbott favors has attracted mixed reactions from early education advocates, who hope it can be strengthened. The plan as it stands will barely change the status quo.
March 4, 2015

Texas GOP Says Medicaid Expansion 'Simply Not Worth Discussing'

Leading Texas Republicans on Monday asked the Obama administration for greater flexibility to administer Medicaid — a move that has gotten little traction in the past — while reiterating that they would not participate in an expansion of the program under the Affordable Care Act.
March 3, 2015

Texas Republicans Champion Higher Wages for Health Care Workers

Advocates for the elderly and people with disabilities have long pushed for higher wages for personal care attendants, who are typically paid through Medicaid-contracted companies. This year, the cause has been newly championed by a group of fiscally conservative state leaders, led by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
February 25, 2015

Rick Perry's Tax Subsidies Could Haunt 2016 Bid

After Rick Perry won an upset race for agriculture commissioner in 1990, he needed a flashy issue — something that would bring him a little notoriety, get him out on the road.
February 9, 2015

Texas Again Trying to Test Welfare Recipients for Drugs

Opponents of the latest bill argue that there’s little evidence that recipients of welfare use their cash assistance to purchase drugs, and that drug testing won't help families in need.
January 30, 2015

Rand Paul Taps Texas GOP Chairman for Adviser

Weighing a 2016 run, Paul has added Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri as a senior adviser.
January 29, 2015

Texas Legislator Required Muslim Office Visitors to Declare Allegiance to the U.S.

A Muslim group has asked Texas House Speaker Joe Straus whether state Rep. Molly White violated ethics rules by instructing her staff to ask Muslim visitors to her office to declare their allegiance to the United States.
January 28, 2015

Judge Refuses to Throw Out Rick Perry's Criminal Charges

A judge on Tuesday rejected former Gov. Rick Perry’s attempt to throw out a two-count indictment against him, saying it's too early in the case to challenge the constitutionality of the charges.
January 27, 2015

Disabled Inmates Abused in Texas Prisons

A report contends that correctional staff at the Estelle Unit regularly neglect, abuse and even violently beat blind deaf, and otherwise disabled prisoners with little to no consequences. Inmates Abused in Prison
January 27, 2015

Ruling on Veteran Tuition Could Cost Texas Millions

U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. ruled on Monday that the University of Houston could not deny a veteran free tuition benefits granted under the Texas Hazlewood Act because he was a resident of another state when he enrolled in the military.
January 20, 2015

Perry Finally Spends BP Oil Spill Money

Gov. Rick Perry on Monday ensured that BP will not be able to take back a $5 million grant that sat unused – and seemingly forgotten – for years after the company gave it to Texas following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
January 19, 2015

Prosecutors Say Rick Perry Forced an End to Several Cases by Vetoing State Funding for Offices

Travis County prosecutors said Saturday they dropped several criminal investigations — including one involving no-bid state contracts — after the Texas governor ended their funding in 2013.
January 16, 2015

After 14 Years in Office, Gov. Rick Perry Says Goodbye -- and Hello

This is a leap, but not a long one: Gov. Rick Perry started his second bid for the Republican nomination for president on Thursday, delivering a valedictory speech to the Texas Legislature on his way out of an office he has held for more than 14 years.
January 14, 2015

Texas Has a Very Complicated Cupcake Policy

Though few seem to be aware, yes, parents can bring cupcakes – or other junk food – to classroom birthday parties and school events.
January 12, 2015

Texas Bill Would Withhold Pay from Employees Enacting Gay Marriage

State or local government employees giving out same-sex marriage licenses would stop receiving their salaries under a bill filed Wednesday for the 84th legislative session.
January 9, 2015

Texas Will Eliminate Some Specialty License Plates

If fans of Dr Pepper and the Fort Worth Zoo don't get it in gear, their chance to buy specialty license plates might soon be gone. The Houston Rockets are hanging by a thread.
January 7, 2015

The Organization That Built Texas Conservatism

The Texas Public Policy Foundation has a new building, and can claim credit for the conservative makeup of the 2015 Legislature.
December 31, 2014

What Happened to Rick Perry's Plans for Toll Roads?

The Texas governor had a toll road plan “as Big as Texas.” Then things got complicated.
December 22, 2014

Texas Counties Can't Use Oil Revenue to Fix Roads

Officials in many of the counties hoped to lease mineral rights beneath county roads and rights of way to energy companies. But a 54-year-old opinion from the attorney general’s office gives leasing rights, and the revenue, to the state.
December 12, 2014

New Math Standards Are Difficult for Many Texas Schools

Three months into the school year, standards are challenging. As parents and educators question whether the rigor of the new curriculum is developmentally appropriate, school officials say they lack the resources to help teachers learn new material.
December 12, 2014

Texas Judge Allows Gay Marriage Ban to Continue

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio won't lift a stay to allow gay marriages to go into effect immediately.
December 10, 2014

Lone Star Brewers Sue State for "Stifling the Texas Craft Beer Renaissance"

The heads of Live Oak Brewing in Austin, Peticolas Brewing Company in Dallas and Revolver Brewing in Granbury, say Senate Bill 639 is unconstitutional.
December 9, 2014

Texas Will Shut Down 14 Charter School Operators

Texas law requires the Texas Education Agency to revoke a school's charter if it fails to meet state academic or financial accountability ratings for three years.
December 8, 2014

Texas Governor's Mansion Renovated for Handicapped Governor-Elect

A few renovations are needed before Greg Abbott, the first Texas governor to use a wheelchair, moves to the 1856 house in January.
December 8, 2014

Texas Works to Improve Visitors Program for Prisoners

The Texas prison system is making it easier for family members to visit loved ones behind bars.
December 8, 2014

Report Concludes How Texas Could Have Handled Ebola Better

Building on previous suggestions, including the establishment of two specialized Ebola treatment centers, a task force on Thursday released its full report on how the state could better handle an outbreak of an infectious disease.
December 4, 2014

New Texas House Rules Require the Press to Pledge Not to Lobby

Under the new procedure, reporters will be required to affirm that they do not lobby or advocate for a political party, group or individual.
December 4, 2014

Texas Gov. Perry Issues His Own Executive Order on Immigration

At a news conference Wednesday, Perry said he would be requiring all state agencies to use E-Verify, a federal electronic employee verification system that aims to prevent the hiring of illegal workers.
December 3, 2014

Appeals Court Issues Stay for Schizophrenic Texas Death Row Inmate

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a two-say sentence stay for the defense team of Scott Panetti, who tried to call John F. Kennedy, Pope John Paul II and Jesus Christ as witnesses in his murder trial.
December 2, 2014

Denton Defends Texas' First Fracking Ban

One day before its first-in-Texas ban on hydraulic fracturing is set to take effect, Denton called the oil and gas extraction technique a “public nuisance” that the North Texas town has the right to regulate.
November 17, 2014

Texas Orders Low-Performing Charter Charter Schools to Close, But Many Stay Open

In June, the state education agency revoked the charter of the Honors Academy Charter School District, Well into the new school year, all seven Honors Academy schools, which enroll a total of almost 700 students, are still open.
November 14, 2014

Local Resistance Aids Drop in Detaining Immigrants in Jail

Federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants in Texas jails longer so they can possibly be deported have dropped by the thousands, according to report released Wednesday.
November 14, 2014

Perry-Appointed Board Backs Medicaid Expansion in Texas

A board of medical professionals appointed by Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that the state should provide health coverage to low-income Texans under the Affordable Care Act — a move the Republican-led Legislature has opposed.
November 12, 2014

San Antonio Turns to the Private Sector for Water Needs

Frustrated for decades in its search for a new source of water, the Texas city thinks it has finally divined the answer. It will pay big money to let private companies do the work.
November 10, 2014

Few White Democrats Left in the Texas Legislature

After the winners of Tuesday’s elections are sworn in, there will be only seven white Democrats left in the Texas Legislature.
November 10, 2014

Bipartisan Lawyers Want Case Against Rick Perry Dismissed

A bipartisan group of lawyers led by former Texas Solicitor General James C. Ho filed an amicus brief Monday in Austin, asking a judge to dismiss the case against the state's governor.
November 6, 2014

Lawsuits Already Filed against Texas Town's Hours-Old Fracking Ban

Just hours after Denton residents voted to ban hydraulic fracturing, the Texas General Land Office and the state’s biggest petroleum group fired off separate legal challenges to the new rule.
November 3, 2014

San Antonio Approves Historic Water Project

The San Antonio City Council on Thursday unanimously voted in front of a packed chamber to approve a controversial pipeline that would bring in groundwater from 142 miles away. The $3.4 billion project would pipe in 16 billion gallons of water each year from Central Texas' Burleson County.
October 30, 2014

After Earthquakes, Texas Tightens Oil Disposal Rules

Texas regulators on Tuesday tightened rules for wells that dispose of oilfield waste, a response to the spate of earthquakes that have rattled North Texas.
October 29, 2014

What Would George P. Bush Do as Texas Land Commissioner?

The typically obscure agency will draw more notice if political scions becomes responsible for butting heads with some of the state's most powerful and politically influential interests.
October 27, 2014

Jeb Bush 'More Than Likely' to Run for President in 2016

During an interview for ABC News' This Week, George P. Bush, the Republican nominee for land commissioner, said it was "more than likely" that his father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will make a 2016 run for the White House.
October 23, 2014

Texas Agency Responsible for Protecting State from Pollution Is Fighting Tougher Ozone Standards

Led by the state's chief toxicologist, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has spent months fleshing out its position that ozone levels in polluted cities across Texas aren't harmful to human health.
October 23, 2014

For the First Time in 8 Years, Austin Gives Housing Vouchers to a Lucky Few

For as many as 40,000 low-income Austin households being squeezed by high rents in a booming city, Wednesday offers the barest glimmer of hope.
October 17, 2014

Austin, Texas, Has a Renewable Energy Plan. The City-Owned Utility Isn't on Board.

Austin Energy has balked at the council’s green proposal and said it would be too expensive for ratepayers. And since then, a debate has ensued over how to be politically progressive and economically practical at the same time.
October 15, 2014

Meet Sam Houston, the Democrat Running a Lonely Campaign for Texas Attorney General

With little money and swimming against the tide in conservative Texas, Democrat Sam Houston has little choice but to campaign for attorney general "the old fashioned way" — on the cheap, and largely from the front seat of his Toyota Prius.
October 15, 2014

Court Reverses Ruling on Texas Voter ID Law

Texas should require photo voter identification in this year’s general election, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, overturning an earlier ruling by a federal district judge in Texas.
October 14, 2014

Rick Perry Relaxes Rules for Private Firms That Miss Job Goals

Since 2003, Gov. Rick Perry’s Texas Enterprise Fund has given out more than $500 million to private firms in exchange for a promise to create jobs in Texas.
October 10, 2014

Court Refuses to Reconsider Texas Abortion Ruling

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday refused to reconsider a March ruling that allowed Texas to require physicians who perform abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of an abortion facility.
October 9, 2014

Only Debate in Texas Race for U.S. Senate Will Probably Air in Spanish

The lone debate scheduled between Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and his Democratic opponent, David Alameel, could end up only being broadcast in Spanish.
October 8, 2014

University of Texas to Provide More Information about Graduates' Salaries, Debt Load

But starting this week, potential students can see how much they money they could expect to make monthly at different points in their career, as well as how much they might repay each month in loans.
October 8, 2014

Texas Elections Don't Have Many Debates

Candidates for three of the eight major statewide races on this year’s November ballot appear likely to reach Election Day without ever engaging in a debate with their opponent, according to campaign representatives.
October 7, 2014

Texas Students Not so Excited About Fixed-Rate Tuition Plans

The number of first-time students choosing the new plans ranges from zero at some universities to 4,000 at the University of North Texas. Varied interest may be because, under such the plan, first-year students tend to pay more than their counterparts on the traditional track.
October 3, 2014

Rick Perry's Worst Days

As the Teflon governor of Texas enters the last months of his 14 years in the state's top job, his troubles are piling up and the allies and colleagues who have often rallied to his side are turning their attention to other things.
October 3, 2014

Texas Abortion Law to Take Effect While Still Being Appealed

As it hears arguments in an appeal of a federal judge’s decision overturning new requirements for Texas abortion facilities, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the state could enforce the requirements in the meantime.
October 3, 2014

The Unlikely Plaintiff against Texas' Voter ID Law: a Judge

While a federal judge in Corpus Christi mulls whether the state's requirement to show photo ID to cast a ballot violates the federal Voting Rights Act, a judge on the highest criminal appeals court in Texas is taking another approach: He's suing the state over its relatively new voter ID law.
October 2, 2014

Can Texas Handle a Public Health Emergency?

State officials have characterized the response to an Ebola diagnosis in Dallas as top-notch, but medical experts argue that the state’s public health infrastructure may be vulnerable.
October 1, 2014

States with Serious Abortion Restrictions Also Have Poor Health Outcomes

A recent study looked at 14 types of abortion restrictions that state legislatures have implemented across the country. The authors then plotted each state's number of restrictions against an evaluation of health outcome statistics.
October 1, 2014

In Texas Gubernatorial Debate, Abbott Gets Aggressive

Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has mostly avoided direct confrontation with his opponent in the race for Texas governor, took a hard swing at Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis over her ethics as a lawmaker in a televised debate Tuesday night.
September 30, 2014

To Address Today's Immigrants, People in Many States Look to 1980s Sanctuary Strategy

Last week, faith-based and congressional leaders from Arizona, Illinois and Pennsylvania announced a multistate sanctuary movement patterned off a similar effort that took place in the 1980s. Texas could be next.
September 26, 2014

Texas High School Graduation Rates Improving, Mysteriously

The state’s headway with graduation rates has not been matched by similar success in measures that track students’ college and career readiness, prompting questions about what it takes to earn a high school diploma.
September 23, 2014

EPA Supports Texas Oilfield Waste Disposal Plan

Staffers at the federal agency have praised a Texas Railroad Commission proposal aimed at curbing earthquakes possibly triggered by the high-pressure injection of oil and gas waste.
September 22, 2014

Rick Perry on Immigration, Abortion and the Presidency

As he considers a second run for president, Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday that he continues to support a Texas program that proved a political liability during his failed 2012 bid.
September 19, 2014

Texas May Increase the Number of Toll Roads in the State

Local and state leaders made clear that the state expected to pursue more toll projects. Neither the state nor the federal government is likely to approve other funding options like raising the gas tax.
September 18, 2014

Are Oil and Gas Operators Cheating Texas Landowners?

The Texas Supreme Court weighs in on a mineral rights fraud case.
September 17, 2014

Texas School District Will Create 'Petroleum Academy'

Midland, Texas, will launch a pilot program in January for a special high school for students who want to work in the oil industry.
September 16, 2014

Study Says Faulty Drilling Wells, Not Fracking, Tainted Drinking Water

A group of Duke University scientists often accused of anti-fracking bias have published their most definitive research to date linking shale gas exploration with methane gas contamination of drinking water.
September 10, 2014

Former Rick Perry Campaign Manager Gets in the Pot Business

Joe Allbaugh, former FEMA director and Perry and Bush campaign manager, gets piece of pot business, He says his mind was changed through his wife’s fight with cancer.
September 8, 2014

Anti-Abortion Groups Say Davis' Disclosure Changes Nothing

Reacting to news that state Sen. Wendy Davis had two abortions for medical reasons, including one because brain damage was detected in her unborn child, Texas’ leading anti-abortion groups reiterated their opposition to the termination of pregnancies, including ones where severe disabilities can be detected in a fetus.
September 2, 2014

Texas Voter ID Law Goes to Court

Plaintiffs will try to convince U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos that the law puts an unfair burden on minority voters.
August 28, 2014

Wendy Davis Introduces Education Platform

Her new policy ideas draw praise and criticism from critics.
August 27, 2014

The National Guard on the Border Doesn't Reassure All Texans

Is Rick Perry overdoing border control?
August 27, 2014

It's Election Season, But Texas Has Bigger Things Going On

Despite the calendar, campaigns are taking a back seat in the Texas news cycle.
August 26, 2014

Undocumented Immigrants Need Lawyers to Use U.S. Legal System

The Texas Bar Association has created a web page for lawyers interested in providing help, but immigrants face more than the challenges of a complicated system. They must also grapple with judges who apply legal standards differently.
August 26, 2014

Houston's Recycling Center Has a Problem: Its Neighborhood

Environmental justice advocates question Houston's recycling plan. Where should the new sorting facility be located?
August 26, 2014

Texas Finally Buys Long-Planned Conservation Land

The state purchases conservation land in Calhoun County with oil spill money.
August 21, 2014

ACA Signups Are Difficult for Recent Legal Immigrants

Glitches threaten Obamacare coverage for some immigrants, even when they have the proper documentation.
August 21, 2014

Texas Expands How Much Radioactive Waste It Can Store

Texas’ only radioactive waste site has permission to dramatically expand its capacity, take in new types of waste and reduce its financial liability should its owner suddenly close up shop.
August 19, 2014

Rick Perry Assembles a High-Powered Legal Team

Three days after he got indicted on corruption charges, Gov. Rick Perry rolled out a high-powered defense team that slammed the prosecution as outrageous and political — but left a lot of answered questions.
August 6, 2014

Border Towns Hoping for Help Despite Congressional Inaction

Congress left towns and counties on the Texas-Mexico border hanging last week when it adjourned without sending a supplemental budget measure to the president.
August 4, 2014

Texas Schools Plan for Surge of Undocumented Immigrants

With a lot of uncertainty, schools try to prepare for new arrivals.
August 4, 2014

Why Toledo, Ohio's Water Crisis Is a Warning for Every State

No states require testing for such toxins, which are caused by algal blooms. And there are no federal or state standards for acceptable levels of the toxins, even though they can be lethal.
August 1, 2014

Texas Looks to Study the Transportation of the Future

It's time for self-driving automobiles, jet packs and hover cars, really.
July 22, 2014

Farmers Insurance Company Gave a Lot of Money to Texas' Greg Abbott

The state's GOP attorney general got $50,000 from the company PAC amid a lawsuit about homeowners’ insurance rates. Was there preferential treatment?
July 21, 2014

No Smoking in Most Texas Jails, But Many May Soon Sell E-Cigs

Some sheriffs are interested in selling electronic cigarettes so jails can shore up tight budgets.
July 17, 2014

Voters to Decide Whether to Be First Texas Town to Ban Fracking

Voters will decide whether this North Texas college town will become the state's first city to ban hydraulic fracturing.
July 16, 2014

Appeals Court Rules Race Can Factor into College Admissions

In a 2-1 decision Tuesday, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled — for the second time — that the University of Texas at Austin can use race as an element of its admissions decisions for candidates not admitted via the state's Top Ten Percent Law.
July 15, 2014

Texas Utilities Might Be Ready for New EPA Regulations

Politicians are complaining about the climate targets, but some say Texas utilities — companies that would be tasked with helping Texas comply with the regulations — are well-positioned to meet the potential carbon target due to investments in natural gas and renewable energy sources
July 14, 2014

Texas Scientists Bothered by Climate Change-Denying Politicians

Climate scientists say Texas is missing an opportunity to plan for the future.
July 9, 2014

BP Wants Unspent Spill Recovery Money Back

After watching a $5 million grant to Gov. Rick Perry’s office go unspent nearly four years after it was presented in the wake of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is asking Texas for its money back.
June 24, 2014

The Texas Immigration Problem Is About to Become a Huge Health Problem

Health officials say the immigrant surge is a medical crisis because of the conditions where people are housed.
June 23, 2014

The Real Energy Innovation of Texas

The state is an important testing ground for energy storage.
June 19, 2014

Texas Seeks Boost in Border Patrols

The Texas Department of Public Safety has been instructed to immediately increase its efforts to secure the Texas-Mexico border with a $1.3 million-per-week operation, the offices of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday evening.
June 18, 2014

It's Costing More to Build Energy Infrastructure in Texas

Recent jury verdicts in eminent domain cases reflect an upward trend in the cost of building oil and gas pipelines in Texas.
June 13, 2014

Texas' Plan for Getting Veterans Health Care Faster

Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday announced that the state has reached agreements with health facilities to provide care for veterans who cannot get timely treatment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
June 12, 2014

Lawmakers to Investigate Why Texas Has Some of the Longest VA Wait Times

State lawmakers preparing to hear from veterans about excessive wait times at VA clinics have new ammunition: In a new report, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that Texas medical facilities have some of the longest patient wait times in the nation.
June 10, 2014

The Texas Car-Share Battle

Uber and Lyft are rolling forward in the state, but uncertainty lingers.
June 3, 2014

New Texas Laws Are Keeping Kids Out of Court

Texas students receive fewer disciplinary tickets thanks to reforms.
May 30, 2014

Texas AG Allows Execution Drug Secrecy

In a reversal of his previous rulings, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Thursday decided that the Texas prison system can keep secret from the public information about pharmacies that provide execution drugs.
May 22, 2014

People Running for Texas Agriculture Commissioner Don't Talk Much About Farming

The candidates are talking more about conservative credentials and pot than farming woes.
May 21, 2014

Texas Is Dangerous for Walkers

Texas gets low marks on pedestrian safety.
May 19, 2014

Why Texas' Department of Public Safety Is Getting Ripped

A law helps state workers find time for the gym.
May 14, 2014

Texas Inmate's Execution Halted over His Mental Competency

A federal appeals court halted the planned execution in Texas of Robert James Campbell just hours before he was to be put to death Tuesday based on questions about whether the 41-year-old inmate is mentally disabled.
May 12, 2014

Texas' Big Medicaid Waste

Texas cancels its Medicaid contract with Xerox and sues over allegedly misspent money.
May 12, 2014

Texas Strip Clubs Lose Appeal on Pole Tax

A $5-per-patron fee is not an unconstitutional occupation tax and must be paid by Texas strip clubs that serve alcohol, an appeals court ruled Friday.
May 8, 2014

Lawyers for Death Row Inmates Challenge Texas' Execution Process

Lawsuits address the transparency of the state's execution system.
May 8, 2014

Lawsuits Challenge Transparency of Texas Execution Process

Lawyers have zeroed in on Texas' secrecy in the aftermath of a botched execution in neighboring Oklahoma, raising questions about whether the lack of information about how the death penalty is implemented could lead to cruel and unusual punishment.
May 6, 2014

Texas Comptroller Demands New Fees from State’s Strip Clubs

A controversial strip club fee that lawmakers approved in 2007 is still winding its way through the courts, but Comptroller Susan Combs is demanding the clubs to pay six years' worth of “pole taxes.”
May 5, 2014

Rick Perry Seems to be Considering a 2016 Run

The Texas governor talks 2016 on "Meet the Press."
May 1, 2014

Texas Carries Drug Used in Botched Oklahoma Execution

The drug used in Tuesday night’s botched execution in Oklahoma – midazolam – is stored by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and can be used at any time in the state's death penalty protocol, raising concerns among defense lawyers and others about the state’s secretive lethal injection process.
April 28, 2014

Why Hasn't Texas' Law to Reduce Standardized Testing Worked?

New law limits standardized tests, but not school-level examinations or prep work.
April 22, 2014

Texas to Examine What Happens to Mentally Ill, Drug Addicted Inmates

Since 2005, the number of Texas parolees who commit new crimes has dropped, but room for improvement remains. On Tuesday, lawmakers will examine ways to reduce recidivism among those with mental illness and substance addiction, a group most at risk to reoffend.
April 16, 2014

Texas Could Rake in Millions for 'Active Shooter Response Training'

One state university could get $15 million in federal money to support programs that train police how to address situations like the recent Fort Hood shooting.
April 14, 2014

Texas Takes First State Steps to Regulate Bitcoin

Texas will not treat Bitcoin and other virtual currencies as legal money, according to a new memo from the Texas Department of Banking. Yet some companies that deal in Bitcoin transactions could draw state oversight, even if they are based outside of Texas.
April 11, 2014

Some Doctors Switch Back to Making Patients Pay Cash

Giving up on red tape, health care providers turn to a cash-cased model, “direct primary care," to cut costs.
April 8, 2014

Texas Governor's Campaign Backers Also Beneficiaries of State Economic Development Programs

Prolific donors are behind Rick Perry's marketing tool.
April 7, 2014

Texas Issues New Rules for Foster Care

After a rise in foster care deaths, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has approved new regulations.
April 3, 2014

Judge Blocks Two Texas Executions, Says Inmates Have a Right to Know About the Drugs That Will Be Used to Kill Them

“Until Plaintiffs have full disclosure of the product with which Texas will cause their death, they cannot fully develop a challenge to its process,” U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said in her ruling.
April 3, 2014

State Impact of the Supreme Court's Campaign Donations Ruling

In a 5-4 decision, the justices struck down federal limits on how much an individual may make in total political contributions, also known as aggregate limits.
April 2, 2014

Texas' Next Big Crop: Pot?

Is marijuana a potential moneymaker for Texas farmers?
April 1, 2014

Texas GOP Candidate for Governor Wants to Link Pre-K Funding to Outcomes

Greg Abbott proposes an addition $1,500 per preschool student if they're inn programs that meet "performance requirements set by the state."
April 1, 2014

Texas Governor Won't Comply with Prison Rape Law

Rick Perry says that federal anti-rape standards are "impossible."
March 31, 2014

San Antonio: Innovative, Creative, Environmentally Conscious. And Still Running Out of Water

Despite policy successes, water still vexes San Antonio.
March 27, 2014

Dallas Institutes Plastic Bag Tax

As Texas debates whether plastic bag bans violate the state's health and safety laws, Dallas passes its own restriction.
March 24, 2014

Impact of Texas Oil Spill Will Be Huge

The Galveston Bay spill will take a gigantic economic and ecological toll on the state and the region.
March 21, 2014

Texas Government's Big Gender Wage Gap

The evidence that men make more in government is most striking among the highest-paid workers at state agencies.
March 17, 2014

The Other Woman in the Texas Gubernatorial Race

If Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wins, his wife will become the first Latina to be the first lady of Texas.
March 12, 2014

The Big Change in Texas Elections? More Time.

A shift in election law has prompted Texas to extend the time between primaries and runoffs. That means primary night results might not carry into runoffs.
March 11, 2014

Texas Hydropower Plan Stalled by Drought

Faced with dwindling water supplies, the Lower Colorado River Authority, which supplies water and energy to much of Central Texas, is limiting downstream water releases.
March 10, 2014

Texas Tries to Build a Bullet Train, Yet Again

The fast train failed once, but It's back for another go.
March 10, 2014

Harvey Hilderbran Ends Run for Texas Comptroller

The state legislator ended his campaign Friday after finishing second in the Republican primary.
March 6, 2014

Two More Texas Abortion Clinics Close

An abortion provider will shutter clinics in McAllen and Beaumont due to strict abortion regulations passed by the Legislature last year.
March 5, 2014

Texas Election Teaches Tea Party That Money Matters

As the Republican primary results poured in Tuesday evening, a general rule of thumb emerged in races featuring Tea Party insurgents challenging Republican incumbents: Money matters.
March 4, 2014

What to Watch in the Texas Primary

Tuesday's primary is the first of three elections that will select the state’s next set of officeholders.
February 28, 2014

Rick Perry Doesn't Endorse Many Candidates

On lists of endorsements, the governor of Texas' name is rare.
February 18, 2014

When Pregnant Women Go to Jail

Pregnant inmates in Houston find help to stay out of prison in the future.
February 18, 2014

No, Texas Drug Laws Are Probably Not Going to Change

Expecting pot penalties to decrease? Slow your roll.
February 13, 2014

Wendy Davis Calls for More Early Education in Texas

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate calls for increased access to full-day prekindergarten classes.
February 12, 2014

Rick Perry Helps Out Texas GOP Gubernatorial Candidate

Greg Abbott brings the Texas governor into the fold on his campaign trail.
February 7, 2014

San Antonio Gives Up on Groundwater Plan

The city's water system asked the private sector to develop plans for a new water supply for the growing region 3 years ago. The utility has decided not to use any of them.
February 6, 2014

The New Fracking Problem: A Water Shortage

A new report indicates that water availability is a risk for oil and gas drillers.
February 5, 2014

GOP Candidate for Texas Governor Proposes More Border Security

Greg Abbott touts a $300 million border security proposal.
February 3, 2014

In a Rare Occurrence, Texas’ Anti-Regulation Stance Hurt Business

How anti-regulation politics may have been a problem for the energy industry.
January 31, 2014

Texas A&M University: the Same Fee All 4 Years

The Texas college adopts a guaranteed tuition plan.
January 29, 2014

Wendy Davis Says Opponent Is Waging a Smear Campaign

The state senator says her critics have picked on the "wrong Texas gal."
January 28, 2014

Texas Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Has a New Tactic: Spanish

Greg Abbott bolsters outreach with a Spanish-language website.
January 15, 2014

Texas Will Delay New Unemployment Drug Testing Program

The Texas Workforce Commission said it will not be able to start the drug testing program on the state’s timetable because the United States Labor Department has not set the required parameters.
January 6, 2014

Texas' Kinky Friedman Wants to Run Again

In third statewide bid, Friedman hopes to win with marijuana.
October 4, 2013

Wendy Davis Announces Run for Texas Governor

State Sen. Wendy Davis, standing on the stage where she got her high school diploma more than 30 years ago, finally announced Thursday what has been anticipated, telegraphed and talked about for weeks: She is running for Texas governor.
September 16, 2013

State Records Show Little Need for Texas' New Abortion Law

In their successful push this summer for strict new regulations on abortion facilities and the doctors performing them, proponents of the legislation said it was needed because conditions at existing facilities made it unsafe for women seeking to terminate pregnancies.
August 6, 2013

Celebrated Texas Sen. Wendy Davis to Run for Governor or Re-Election

In remarks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Davis said she’d either run for governor or try to hold on to her hard-fought state Senate seat.
July 30, 2013

Study Links State Prison Reforms to Drops in Welfare Spending

Prison reforms may result in better conditions for inmates, but those improvements come at the expense of welfare cash assistance and other government relief for the needy, according to a study released this month by Rice University and Louisiana State University.
July 18, 2013

Texas Abortion Bill Signed into Law

HB 2, which was filibustered by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, in the first special session, passed in both the House and Senate last week during the current second special session. The law, which would impose several new regulations on abortions and abortion providers, has drawn criticism from abortion advocates and incited demonstrations from both sides.
July 8, 2013

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Not Running for Re-Election

Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday that he will not run for re-election next year, creating the first open race for Texas governor since 1990 and making Attorney General Greg Abbott the instant favorite to replace him.
July 8, 2013

Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Announce Political Plans Monday

It's looking increasingly unlikely that Gov. Perry will seek a fourth term in the Governor's Mansion.
July 1, 2013

Texas' 2nd Special Session Gives Rick Perry More Time to Decide His Future

Gov. Perry had signaled that he would make his decision about the 2014 governor’s race known by July 1. But that turned out to be the day the next 30-day special session begins.
June 28, 2013

Texas State Senator Announces Run for Lieutenant Governor

Citing the need for "authentic conservative leadership" in Texas, state Sen. Dan Patrick announced on Thursday that he would run for lieutenant governor against incumbent David Dewhurst.
June 28, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Tosses 2 Texas Voting Cases

In the wake of its decision to strike a section of the Voting Rights Act earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday tossed out two Texas cases on voter ID and redistricting.
June 28, 2013

On Abortion, Rick Perry Says Wendy Davis Didn't Learn from Herself

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday slammed the woman who this week led a filibuster in the state legislature, derailing sweeping abortion legislation.
June 27, 2013

Texas Abortion Fight Sparks a Second Special Session

Gov. Rick Perry also put transportation funding and a juvenile justice measure on the agenda for the session, which is set to begin July 1.
June 27, 2013

Abortion Filibuster Thrusts Davis into Spotlight

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, which Governing previously named a legislator to watch, entered the national spotlight this week when she successfully led a rare and possibly temporary victory to kill a restrictive abortion bill.
June 26, 2013

Technicality Kills Controversial Abortion Bill in Texas

Republican senators made a last-ditch effort to approve SB 5, voting 19-10, but by then the clock had ticked past midnight. Under the terms of the state Constitution, the special session had ended, and the bill could not be signed, enrolled or sent to the governor.
June 17, 2013

Texas Enacts Unemployment Drug-Testing Law

Gov. Rick Perry has signed a bill that will subject Texans applying for unemployment benefits to a drug test if their responses to a screening questionnaire indicate possible drug use.
June 12, 2013

Is it Constitutional to Treat Truancy as a Crime?

On behalf of seven Dallas-area students, Texas Appleseed, Disability Rights Texas and the National Center for Youth Law will ask the Justice Department to declare that the state's process of prosecuting truancy as a crime is unconstitutional.
June 11, 2013

Transportation Funding Added to Texas' Special Session Agenda

Gov. Rick Perry has asked the legislature to consider the funding of transportation infrastructure projects during their current special session.
June 11, 2013

Statewide Workplace Smoking Ban Fails in Texas

For a fourth consecutive legislative session, a proposed statewide ban on smoking in public workplaces fell short, as critics argued that such a ban could unconstitutionally curtail businesses’ freedom.
June 10, 2013

Texas Governor Heads to NYC to Raid More Jobs

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is making another jobs raid, this time in New York City. His visit will be supplemented with a $1 million television advertising campaign in the city promoting Texas' pro-business environment.
May 29, 2013

Texas Water Plan Faces Legal Challenges

After a ruling by the 11th Court of Appeals in favor of landowners seeking to block construction of a reservoir, the state's water plan may be subject to an increasing number of legal challenges.
May 28, 2013

Texas Legislature Called into Special Session

Gov. Rick Perry on Monday called lawmakers back into an immediate special session to consider redistricting measures for the Legislature and the Texans who serve in the U.S. Congress.
May 17, 2013

Texas Enacts Law to Prevent Wrongful Convictions

Known as the Michael Morton Act, the law aims to avoid wrongful convictions by preventing prosecutors from suppressing evidence.
May 16, 2013

Texas GOP Donor Releases Anti-Obamacare Songs

Houston physician and Republican campaign donor Steve Hotze has written two songs about his opposition to federal health reform.
May 10, 2013

Texas Scrutinizes Chemical Stockpiles in Wake of Plant Explosion

Following the explosion of a fertilizer plant last month, officials and residents across the state are reexamining safety regulations.
April 22, 2013

Will Rick Perry Run for Governor Again?

The Texas governor has said he won't lay out his political plans until June. Whether he decides to run for a fourth term in office may affect races across the state.
April 16, 2013

Report Urges Texas to Divert Prostitutes from Jail

A new report shows that reducing penalties for prostitution and sending more defendants to diversion programs would decrease the practice and save the state money. A bill that would follow that recommendation is under consideration by the legislature.
April 10, 2013

Texas Asks for Feds' Help Getting Water from Mexico

Gov. Rick Perry and a number of Texas politicians are seeking help from the Obama administration to hold Mexico to its treaty obligations to release water from the Rio Grande to Texas cities along the border.
April 1, 2013

Texas Courts Gun Manufacturers

Texas Governor Rick Perry is pushing to have more weapons made in the state. His office has sent letters to 34 different firearms and accessories manufacturers in other states encouraging them to relocate to Texas.
March 27, 2013

Water-Free Fracking Catching On in Texas

New early-stage technology that uses chemicals for fracking is gaining popularity in the state as a way to alleviate concerns over the high quantities of water needed for hydraulic fracking.
March 25, 2013

Texas Seeks to Move Gold Deposits Back Inside State Borders

In a move aimed to make the state appear more financially stable, the Governor and some lawmakers are working on a bill that would move the state's gold deposits from a Federal Reserve Bank in New York City to a secure location in Texas.
March 7, 2013

Texas Seeks New Execution Standards for Intellectually Disabled

A new bill seeks to clarify the standards used when deciding to execute intellectually disabled criminals.
March 5, 2013

Texas Governor Speaks Out on Release of Immigrants

The Texas Governor, outraged at the release of undocumented immigrants due to Federal budget cuts, has written a letter of protest to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
March 1, 2013

GOP Leaders in Texas Want More Flexibility on Medicaid

GOP leaders in Texas are remaining firm about not doing the Medicaid expansion as designed in the Affordable Care Act, but are leaving the door open to work with the Obama administration if they are given more flexibility.
March 1, 2013

Mental Health Training for Teachers Being Considered in Texas

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, filed legislation Thursday that would provide mental health training to Texas teachers.
February 8, 2013

Despite Reforms, Some Texas Elected Officials Still Lobby

Ten years ago, the Texas Legislature passed laws to clamp down on lawmakers lobbying state agencies on behalf of private clients. Despite the reforms, some elected officials continue to find work lobbying, or something that resembles it in the eyes of critics.
February 5, 2013

Texas Schools Inadequately Funded, Court Rules

In a decision certain to be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, state district Judge John Dietz ruled that the state does not adequately or efficiently fund public schools.
January 23, 2013

States Consider Special Fees for Electric Cars

While many states offer tax incentives for people to purchase energy-efficient vehicles like hybrids and electric cars, lawmakers in several states have proposed levying special fees on owners of some such vehicles.
January 18, 2013

Social Media Bills to Protect Online Privacy Filed in Texas

With the emergence of new technology, legislators have filed a bevy of bills that could change the way some Texans use social media.
January 16, 2013

White House Responds to States' Secession Petitions

Responding to petitions from eight states calling for the right to secede, the White House has called for healthy debate, but to not let "that debate tear us apart."
January 10, 2013

Small Changes Could Make Big Difference for Immigrants

As Congress prepares for what is expected to be a contentious debate over immigration reform, with issues like the DREAM Act and what kind of reforms constitute "amnesty" expected to be at the forefront, immigration lawyers say addressing lesser-known and arcane policies could be just as important and effective.
January 2, 2013

Texas Lawmakers Turn to Guns to Beef Up School Security

Following the shootings at a Connecticut elementary school, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.
December 17, 2012

Talk of Term Limits Returns to Texas

The Tea Party want to replace some current lawmakers with fresh ones, preferably from their own flock.
December 14, 2012

Texas' Death Row Population at Its Lowest Since 1989

The population on Texas' death row is at its lowest in more than 20 years, and the state has seen a 75 percent drop in death sentences since 2002.
December 12, 2012

Texas Gov. Perry Backs Abortion Ban After 20 Weeks

Opponents say such legislation erodes women's legal access to abortion, and that a similar fetal pain law in Arizona is currently being reviewed by a federal appeals court.
December 10, 2012

Texas Regulators Prepare Major Drilling Rule Changes

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial process of shooting water, sand and chemicals underground to access oil or natural gas trapped in shale rock, has made plenty of headlines in recent years. But the drilling process involves many other steps beyond breaking up rock, and several opportunities for things to go wrong.
December 7, 2012

Entire El Paso School Board Stripped of Authority After Cheating Scandal

The move comes in the wake of accusations that the trustees failed to catch a scheme tied to former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia that either removed or advanced students who were not passing.
December 6, 2012

UT System Tackles Issue of Growing Student Debt

On the agenda for Thursday morning's meeting of the University of Texas System Board of Regents is a discussion on a topic near and dear to the pocketbooks of many students and their parents: student loan debt.
November 27, 2012

Florida Gov. Scott Challenges Colleges to Offer $10,000 Degree

Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a similar challenge in 2011. Since then, 10 Texas universities have announced the launch of such a degree plan, or the intention to launch one in the near future.
November 12, 2012

Despite "Green" Label, Austin is a Growing Oil and Gas Hub

Subjects like solar panels and smart-grid technologies become a topic of discussion at plenty of Austin happy hours. But when dozens of people gathered at a lakeside bar earlier this month, the talk drifted toward oil prices, shale plays and hydraulic fracturing.
November 12, 2012

Texas' Online University Graduates Its 1st Students

Cherlyn Jones was one of 110 students who walked across the stage at the Hilton as part of the first-ever graduating class of WGU Texas, the state’s online university. Gov. Rick Perry signed an executive order creating the school in August 2011. Just more than a year later, 450 total students from around the state have completed degrees.
October 29, 2012

In College Entry Rule, Reality Can Trump Logic

Let us pause for a moment to consider the legislative wizardry of the late Irma Rangel. The Kingsville Democrat shared much of the credit for the brainstorm that created the state’s top 10 percent rule for colleges in 1997. That law says high school graduates in that top tier get automatic admission into state colleges and universities.
October 25, 2012

Texas Towns Pass Lighting Laws to Protect Star-Gazing

A small but growing number of Texas cities are passing lighting ordinances to keep the night sky dark as the state grows.
October 19, 2012

With the Death of Texas Sen. Mario Gallegos, What Happens to His Seat?

The late Texas state Sen. Mario Gallegos' name will still appear on the ballot in November, and if he wins, Gov. Rick Perry will call a special election to fill his seat.
October 17, 2012

Voting by Party is Fast But Problematic

Lots of people get elected by voters who didn't look at their names but instead voted by choosing all candidates from one party or another.
October 16, 2012

Some Texas Inmates Forego Health Care to Avoid Higher Fees

When lawmakers decided to charge inmates $100 a year for medical treatments, they expected it to help plug holes in the prison budget. But critics of the new policy say the result is less health care for sick inmates.
October 11, 2012

Study: Texas Can't Handle Care if Planned Parenthood is Defunded

Women's access to affordable health care will be reduced if the state follows through with its plan to eschew federal funding for the Women’s Health Program and create a state program instead, according to a new study from George Washington University.
October 10, 2012

Veterans Need More Mental Health Help, Says Texas Lawmakers

Seeing a recent increase in suicides by military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Texas lawmakers are looking for ways to address mental health challenges faced by soldiers as they come back to the state.
September 28, 2012

Do Jewish Prisoners Have a Right to Kosher Food? Court to Decide

The court will decide whether a Jewish inmate has a right to be provided a kosher diet. Lawyers say the change would cost TDCJ between $1,000 and $3,000 per year, or an extra 0.02 percent of the agency's annual budget.