Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

While Texas women petitioned for a suffrage amendment to the state constitution in 1868, racism prevented most of them from working with African-American suffragists. When women won the right to vote in 1918, prejudice in the form of poll taxes, white primary laws and the Ku Klux Klan still deprived black women of their right to vote.

Texas Senate Approves Convention of States Legislation

Feb 28, 2017
Marjorie Kamys Cotera

The Texas Senate on Tuesday voted in favor of a trio of measures calling for a convention of states, officially advancing one of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's emergency items this legislative session. 

Rogi.Official/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed Monday that it no longer intends to argue Texas' voter ID law intentionally discriminates against minorities. The DOJ had opposed the law on those grounds during the Obama administration.

Bob Jagendorf/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

In an unprecedented case, a federal judge ruled Monday that a private prison company can be sued under federal laws prohibiting what amounts to slave labor.

 

Ken Lund/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard: 

Workers at the Mexican Consulate in Austin are hustling and bustling. Some are handing out passports, others are helping people fill out the forms they need to move their furnishings from the United States to Mexico.

 

The narrative trending in the U.S. is that an influx of Mexicans are coming into the country. But there’s another side to the story, large numbers of Mexicans are leaving the U.S. to go back to Mexico.

Tyler Pratt for KUT

The Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in a case that challenges local government employee benefits for married same-sex couples.

From Texas Standard:

State lawmakers have less money to spend this Legislative session and are in the tough position of having to make cuts to state agencies and public universities. Many lawmakers have blamed the budget shortfall on low oil and gas prices.

Courtesy Michael Seifert

From Texas Standard: 

President Donald Trump's proposed border wall expansion could mean many more legal cases regarding how landowners should be compensated for the government condemning their property to house parts of the barrier.

Alexa Ura

An immigrant rights group and the Texas Attorney General's Office both praised an appellate court’s Thursday ruling on a border security case — but for completely different reasons.

Abby Livingston/Texas Department of Criminal Justice

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmate Tuesday, sending his case back to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and invalidating the state's current method of determining if a death-sentenced inmate is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution. Texas' method relies on decades-old medical standards and a controversial set of factors.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Texas health officials cannot kick Planned Parenthood out of the state's Medicaid program.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Immigration officials arrested an El Paso woman who alleged she was a victim of domestic abuse, according to multiple reports.

And the tip that got her arrested may have come from her alleged abuser, according to the El Paso Times.

Bob Daemmrich

FBI and IRS agents raided the San Antonio law offices of state Sen. Carlos Uresti on Thursday morning — confiscating documents and other items.

A law enforcement source told the San Antonio Express-News, which first reported the raid Thursday, that it was connected to Uresti’s involvement with a now-bankrupt fracking sand company that he held a financial stake in.

Becky Fogel/Texas Standard

This story is part of a Texas Standard series examining Texas foster care. It looks at who’s involved and affected by what has been deemed a “broken” system. Original story here.

Christian Enriquez entered the Texas Foster Care system when he was a teenager and says he experienced its dysfunction first hand. He bounced from emergency shelters to Residential Treatment Facilities (RTCs) – a type of live-in group therapy home – and foster homes. Now he lives at LifeWorks, a non-profit organization in Austin that advocates for and provides housing to youth aging out of the foster care system.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an amicus brief Wednesday expressing his support of President Donald Trump's travel ban, effectively becoming the first state attorney general to back the controversial executive order. 

brianswanFlickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

From the viewpoint of Philippe Gelie – a Washington correspondent for the French newspaper, Le Figaro – Texas is divided. It’s divided between urban and rural communities, Democrats and Republicans, immigrants and citizens. Those divisions aren't unique to Texas, he says, they reflect broader fractures in the United States.

WOCinTech Chat/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Fake news is all over the place – you've probably got at least a few people in your Facebook feed that share it. Even some of our elected officials Tweet it out.

But across the nation, educators are ramping up efforts to teach students how to discern real the information from what’s fake. Librarians are at the forefront of that fight for media literacy in schools, colleges and beyond.

Sarah Jasmine Montgomery for KUT

The Texas Legislature gaveled in just a few short weeks ago. And, while lawmakers typically wait until the waning weeks of the session to get anything done, we're answering some of your questions about what goes on under the granite dome for our TXDecides project.

Today’s question comes from Gerryl Krilic:

When a bill is presented, what is the process? How many votes required to pass a bill?

Jenna VonHofe / KUT

Almost a week after Houston hosted Super Bowl LI, the NFL has weighed in on what Texas’ so-called “bathroom bill” could mean for future championship football games in Texas.

klndonnelly/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Big 12 Conference announced it will be withholding a quarter of its revenue from Baylor University, pending a third party review of the school's Title IX changes. If the review is verified, the conference will not withhold the money. This is the first announcement of any "punishment" from the Big 12 or the NCAA against the school since members of the football team were accused of sexual assault.

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