Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune

Border & Immigration
1:50 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Patrick, Van de Putte Hone Their Immigration Messages

Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick, who are facing off in a fiery race to become the state's next lieutenant governor, address delegates at their respective party's state conventions in June.
Bob Daemmrich / Alyssa Banata/Texas Tribune

As the recent surge of Central Americans entering the country illegally through Texas’ border with Mexico has drawn national attention, it has also become a major talking point for the 2014 candidates for lieutenant governor.

And while state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, have distinct differences on immigration and border security, political observers say they each have advantages as the issue remains at the forefront.

Van de Putte has indicated that the state should secure the border by providing local law enforcement with ample resources to ensure "that troopers can focus on catching criminals, not kids” while calling for immigration reform at the federal level to get to the root of illegal immigration.

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GOP Convention
8:05 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

GOP Approves Hardline Immigration Stance in Party Platform

Delegates wave Dan Patrick posters advocating a more secure border on the Texas Republican Convention floor on June 7, 2014.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

FORT WORTH — After several hours of debate Saturday, the final day of the biennial state GOP convention, Republican delegates voted to remove the "Texas Solution" from the party’s official platform, reverting to a more hardline stance on immigration.

About 8,000 delegates gathered to consider the party platform and eventually rejected a proposed immigration plank that included language calling for a provisional visa program for immigrants. In its place, they adopted a plank that echoes the party’s 2010 platform. It does not call for a guest-worker program and instead calls for ending in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants and prohibiting sanctuary cities — municipalities that do not enforce immigration laws.

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GOP Convention
4:17 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Draft of State GOP Platform Cuts Guest-Worker Language

A fight on Immigration language in the party platform is expected this year.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

As Texas Republicans prepare to convene Thursday in Fort Worth for their three-day state party convention, an early draft of the party's platform shows that language, approved two years ago,supporting a guest-worker program could be removed.

The draft, which was obtained by the Texas Tribune, shows that the language calling for a guest-worker program has been replaced with language to support the enactment of a provisional visa program. The guest-worker program language in 2012 was an unprecedented change to the official state party platform. It called for a national temporary worker program, which would allow foreign nationals to come to the U.S. when jobs are available but citizens are unavailable.

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Health
1:42 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Cost of Hepatitis Drug Raises Questions About Access

Solvadi, a costly but effective new hepatitis C treatment.
Gilead Sciences

A new treatment for hepatitis C is considered a breakthrough for people with the liver disease. But the high cost of the drug — about $1,000 a pill — has complicated efforts to get the medication to Texans who receive government-subsidized health care.

The state’s prison system and the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program, which covers poor children and people with disabilities, are trying to determine who qualifies for the drug, which is 80 to 90 percent effective but can cost $84,000 for a 12-week regimen.

In Texas, where roughly 300,000 people have chronic hepatitis C and many more may carry the virus, the treatment has raised ethical questions about who gets the drug.

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Texas
11:24 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Governor Candidates Sparring Over 'Third World' Remark

Laura Buckman / Bob Daemmrich

The latest debate between the major candidates for governor is taking place in the letters to the editor section of McAllen's newspaper, The Monitor. The sparring began after remarks about the border made by Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, in which he compared public corruption in South Texas to “third-world country practices.”

Abbott made the comment during a campaign stop in Dallas last week. Democrats immediately took issue with his comparison. His expected Democratic opponent, state Sen. Wendy Davis, joined them with a letter to The Monitor on Sunday. She called on Abbott to apologize for his remarks, disputing his comparison and calling it hurtful to the state and harmful to economic development in border communities.

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Texas
9:54 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Texas Supreme Court to Consider Online Defamation Case

Courts could be able to forcibly remove defamatory statements from the internet, if the Texas Supreme Court sides with Austin businessman Robert Kinney.
Frank Swift for Texas Tribune

Robert Kinney says his former boss wrote false and defamatory things about him online, and he wants the state's highest civil court to order the remarks be deleted.

In a case that could have far-reaching effects on individual freedom to post online, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments from both sides on Thursday about whether the Texas Constitution allows the court to force Kinney's former boss to unpublish negative postings about his former employee.

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Business
10:29 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Beyond Perry, Future of Deal-Closing Fund Uncertain

Since creating the fund 10 years ago, Gov. Perry's Texas Enterprise Fund has given $508 million to businesses relocating to Texas.
Photo illustration by Gage Skidmore / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

When Gov. Rick Perry steps down at the end of this year, he will have awarded more than $508 million from the taxpayer-financed Texas Enterprise Fund to businesses looking to relocate to the state or expand existing operations here.

But the future of the fund, which critics call corporate welfare, is unclear. The two front-runners to replace Perry, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, have offered mixed messages on the economic development fund in the past, leaving questions about whether it will extend beyond Perry's tenure. 

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Williamson County
4:01 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Ken Anderson to Serve 9 Days in Jail

Ken Anderson at his court of inquiry earlier this year.
Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

GEORGETOWN — Former Williamson County State District Judge Ken Anderson, who oversaw the wrongful murder conviction of Michael Morton as a prosecutor, was sentenced to nine days in jail on Friday and will surrender his law license as part of a deal to resolve criminal charges and a civil lawsuit.

 Anderson entered into a comprehensive settlement involving all matters before the court. Those include a charge of criminal contempt tied to an accusation of failing to disclose evidence during Morton's 1987 trial, and the State Bar of Texas’ disciplinary case against Anderson over prosecutorial misconduct allegations. Charges of tampering with evidence were also dropped as part of the settlement.

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