Jim Malewitz, Texas Tribune

Homepage of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Houston.

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos has said no to Russian officials’ request to watch Texans vote, according to correspondence obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Cheryl Gerber for the Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas wants to take its voter identification battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the justices to hear his arguments about why the state’s photo ID requirements for voting do not discriminate against Hispanics and African-American voters. 

Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

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.

“Limited funds are being spent on inaccurate materials,” the U.S. Department of Justice wrote in a legal filing Tuesday.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In 2012, Greg Abbott caused a stir when he issued this warning to international election observers: Don’t set foot inside Texas polling places.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

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. 

The state reached the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and minority rights groups just a few weeks after a federal appeals court ruled that Texas’ 2011 voter identification law was discriminatory.

Cheryl Gerber and Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas’ voter identification law violates the U.S. law prohibiting racial discrimination in elections, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, facing federal and state securities fraud charges, is getting more than a little help from his friends to foot his growing legal bill.

The Republican accepted more than $329,000 earmarked for his legal defense from donors and “family friends,” according to a newly released financial disclosure statement.

Alexa Ura / Texas Tribune

Texas universities can deny free tuition to veterans who gained state residency only after enlisting in the military, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday — a decision that could ease some, but not all, concerns about a prominent benefit program’s spiraling costs.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The criminal case against former Gov. Rick Perry was officially dismissed on Wednesday, weeks after Texas' highest criminal court ordered that it be dropped

Judge Bert Richardson, who presided over the case in Travis County and now serves on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, signed an order dismissing the abuse of power indictment related to a 2013 veto threat. 

Callie Richmond for the Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday to block President Obama’s Clean Power Plan has helped state Republicans — at least temporarily — dodge major action on climate change.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

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

The Florida-based insurer does business in Texas, and was a major donor to Perry’s presidential campaign.

Flickr user Señor Codo

In another lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state of Texas is taking aim at tightened standards on ground-level ozone — President Obama’s effort to cut down on smog that chokes the nation’s skies. 

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

It's official: Texas is once again Bush country.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Over the objections of Texas officials, the Obama administration on Wednesday proposed a long-delayed rule to slash levels of ozone – a smog-forming pollutant known to worsen asthma, lung disease and heart conditions.

The regulation is the latest example of the federal Environmental Protection Agency's use of the Clean Air Act to crack down on the pollution wafting from factories, power plants and tailpipes.

World Resources Institute via Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

DENTON – Voters will decide whether this North Texas college town will become the state's first city to ban hydraulic fracturing. 

After a public hearing Tuesday night that stretched into Wednesday morning, the Denton City Council rejected a proposal to ban the method of oil and gas extraction inside the city, which sits on the edge of the gas-rich Barnett Shale. The 5-2 vote kicked the question to the city’s November ballot, the next step in a high-profile property rights clash that will likely be resolved outside of Denton.   

Justin Dehn, Texas Tribune

As chilly weather grips much of Texas, the state's electricial grid operator is asking consumers to reduce their energy use, though it says a brief threat of rolling blackouts has been averted. 

In an alert sent at 8 a.m., the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the grid covering 85 percent of the state, issued an emergency alert, meaning the grid's power reserves had dropped below a comfortable threshold. 

But the situation, ERCOT said, was improving.

I-Hwa Cheng for KUT News

Texas policymakers searching for ways to curb energy use across their rapidly growing state might want to examine efforts in their capital city.

Austin is among large U.S. cities doing the most to conserve energy, according to a study released Tuesday by a national group that promotes energy efficiency. The Washington D.C.-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy analyzed conservation efforts across the country’s 34 most populous cities, ranking Austin sixth behind Boston, Portland, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle.