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

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Like many across the world, you may have come into work late this week because of daylight saving time. Yesterday, lawmakers heard testimony on a bill that could end the “spring forward” clock change once and for all in Texas.

State Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton) says there are a lot of myths about daylight saving time. He says farmers don’t really care for it, and that it doesn’t seem to conserve energy. He even says there are studies showing more car accidents and heart attacks following the clock change.

Job Growth Spurs Temporary Housing Market in Houston

Mar 10, 2015
Courtesy of WaterWalk

Approximately 50,000 people relocate to Houston every year, creating a luxury-housing boom.

Imagine waking up in your luxury apartment. There’s a knock at the door – in wheels some scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, a gourmet breakfast delivered. Every morning. And your company’s paying for all of it. That could be the reality for some Houston transplants as early as June, if David Redfern has his way. He’s the president of Waterwalk.


Update March 10, 2015 9:45 a.m. Texas Tech University's Board of Regents voted Friday to award an honorary degree to Timothy Cole. The Associated Press first reported about this vote on Monday, after the university released a statement on the regents' vote.

Original story Dec. 11, 2014: Timothy Cole was the first person to receive a Texas posthumous pardon for a crime he didn’t commit. That happened in 2010. Now, a Texas resident wants Texas Tech University to grant Cole an honorary degree.

via Xconomy

Texas lawmakers in a transportation committee say they want to make 2015 the year Texas bans texting and driving statewide.

KUT News

A study from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California, Davis, and the Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría, Mexico City, looks at the mental health of children who are U.S. citizens, but whose parents are undocumented Mexican immigrants.  

These U.S.-born children of undocumented parents reported high levels of anxiety and also symptoms of depression if their parents were detained or deported. 

Report: Texas Population to Double by 2050

Mar 5, 2015
Justyna Furmanczyk

From the Texas Tribune: Texas' population is expected to double by 2050 to 54.4 million people, according to projections released Thursday by the state demographer.

That increase will largely be due to more people moving to the state, rather than just by Texans having more children, according to the report by State Demographer Lloyd Potter and his staff. Migration patterns are expected to "substantially alter the future age structure of Texas," the report found.

Tortillas: The Hot Food Trend 500 Years in the Making

Mar 5, 2015

The editors of Food & Wine magazine named homemade tortillas as an upcoming trend. Producer Brenda Salinas puts them on blast.

When Chef Jorge Rojo learned that Food And Wine Magazine had named homemade tortillas a trend to watch in 2015, he scoffed.

Mengwen Cao / KUT News

From Texas Standard:

When Mack Brown stepped down as head coach of the Texas Longhorns football team, he was the second winningest in school history with a national title under his belt. We all know that Mack Brown, but there’s another one — the off-the-field tactician who recruits for nonprofits.

24 Signs You're a True Texan

Mar 3, 2015

How can you tell if someone's a real Texan? Our resident expert shares a cowboy's wisdom on the subject. 

An old rodeo cowboy from George West once helped W.F. Strong define the makings of a true Texan. He told him: "All you gotta do is ask a few questions."

Madison450/wikimedia commons

One day after twenty business leaders issued a public vote of no confidence in the country's biggest newspapers, officials announced they had captured Mexico's most wanted kingpin.

After twenty powerful business groups and think tanks publicly expressed outrage at Mexican authorities over rampant lawlessness, Mexico captured its most wanted drug lord, Servando “La Tuta” Gomez.


Loving Texas is one thing. Teaching your children to do the same when they no longer live here is something else altogether.

Jake Silverstein left his post as editor of Texas Monthly to head up a little outfit called The New York Times Magazine - a tough job but someone’s gotta do it. But back when he was at the helm of Texas Monthly, he was responsible for one of its most popular issues: It featured babies in cowboy boots under a banner asking, “How Do You Raise a Texan?”

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Leaders of the Texas Senate have sent a letter to President Barack Obama [read a PDF of the letter here] about Medicaid. It says that if Texas can’t make changes to how it runs Medicaid now, there’ll be no Medicaid expansion for Texas in the future.

The Affordable Care Act gives states the option to expand Medicaid to cover more people, or in the case of Texas and some other states, not expand it.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News

With vaccines in the news the past couple months, you might have got to wondering about your own.

Remember that card with a record of all of your shots on it? If you’re past your college days, it might’ve been a while since you’ve seen it – if you even have at all. If you didn’t tell your doctor at age 18 that you want Texas to keep that record electronically, chances are your records are gone, but some state lawmakers are trying to change that. 


To celebrate Texas Independence Day, Texas Standard spoke to KERA’s Eric Aasen to get the top five experiences every Texan should try.

Why him?

It’s safe to say one of KERA‘s most popular blog posts ever was Eric Aasen’s 39 Things to Do In Texas Before You Die. People came out of the woodwork with reactions and recommendations for ventures he left off the list.

Nurse Nina Pham tells the Dallas Morning News that while she is Ebola free, she suffers residual effects from contracting the disease from a patient she cared for last fall at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUT News

Advocates for workers' rights say that Texas leads the nation in construction deaths. Some believe the majority of accidents, and even deaths, go unreported due to the legal status of many construction workers.

One of the few studies on the topic is from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think-tank in Austin. In 2007, the CPPP found 142 documented deaths of construction workers in Texas. The second state with the most deaths was California with 81.

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay Monday afternoon in the case of Death Row inmate Rodney Reed. Reed was accused of the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, and he was scheduled for execution on March 5. Since Reed's conviction, many have come out in support of his innocence and argued that, at the very least, further DNA testing is necessary to determine what happened.

Reed's attorney Bryce Benjet, who works with the Innocence Project, said in a statement:

KUT News

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not start accepting applications Wednesday for a program designed to shield more than four million immigrants from deportation, a direct result of this week's federal court ruling that temporarily halts an expansion of the program to people over 30 and to immigrant parents living in the country illegally.

The reaction to this decision runs along party lines. U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, an Austin Democrat, says the deportation relief provided to people who came to the country as children boosts the economy by putting people to work.

Tamir Kalifa/Texas Tribune

Editor's note: read Judge Andrew Hanen's ruling in three parts here, here and here.

Gov. Greg Abbott hailed a federal judge's decision Monday to halt President Obama’s executive action on immigration — a decision that gave the state of Texas an initial victory in its battle against what state leaders call federal overreach.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the Obama administration did not "comply with the Administrative Procedure Act" when the executive action was announced in November. The policy seeks to give as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants — including some 1.46 million in Texas, a work permit and temporary relief from deportation.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Ahead of Sunday's deadline, officials say consumers are stepping up enrollment for 2015 coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law. The President's top health official was in Austin Friday to encourage more Texans to enroll.