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

Liang Shi for KUT

One of the most conservative groups in Texas is calling on the state to expand Medicaid – a government-run health care program for low-income people. The Affordable Care Act offers states federal dollars to expand Medicaid, but the U.S. Supreme Court made expansion optional and Texas political leaders have decided not to expand.  

Image via Flickr/Jerald Jackson (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard: There are lots of reasons people choose not to live in the cities where they work: cheaper housing, better schools, personal safety, or just wanting some distance between you and the 9-to-5.

Images Money/flickr

From Texas Standard: In Olney, Texas, a family earns $227,709 — but they also receive taxpayer subsidies for rent. A new federal Department of Housing and Urban Development audit finds that 41 percent of families in public housing are making $10,000 more than the income cap.

Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

An abortion clinic in El Paso has reopened and resumed scheduling appointments after closing in April of 2014.

This clinic is a plaintiff in a case that could go before the Supreme Court in a lawsuit involving state restrictions on abortion facilities and doctors passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013 and adopted into law the same year.


From Texas Standard

The migrant crisis of 2014 dominated the news last summer. But this week, papers in Houston and San Antonio are reporting that last month nearly 10,000 immigrant families and unaccompanied children were detained at the Texas-Mexico border.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

At today’s address before the United States Congress, Pope Francis touched on some of the most divisive issues in American politics. One of those issues has special resonance in along the Texas-Mexico border.

Nathan James/flickr

From Texas Standard: 

Marco Rico from Dallas never had a daughter. So when his granddaughter was born, he was over the moon.

Image Courtesy of Tice Family. Facebook/FREEAustinTice

From Texas Standard:

At a major intersection in Humble, Texas – just north of Houston – a striking new billboard officially unveiled today. It faces south on the Eastex Freeway – you can't miss it.

It will give many people pause, but that's the idea. 

24 Things That Have Changed in Texas

Sep 23, 2015

From Texas Standard: 

Things are different in now in Texas.  

Image via Flickr/Andrew Scott (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard

Only 32 percent of federal district court judges and 35 percent of federal appeals judges are female, according to the National Women's Law Center.

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Deep cuts to a therapy program for poor and disabled children will not take effect Oct. 1, a state district judge ruled Tuesday afternoon — the second such delay in recent weeks.

Image via Flickr/Mark Robinson (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard: 

Everywhere you go these days, you see services for pets and pet owners. From pet sweaters to pet spas, the American pet industry is a $60 billion business – that’s almost double what it was just over a decade ago.

Image courtesy Jeff Gillis, savesandy.org

From Texas Standard: 

Tuesday, China's president arrives in the U.S. for a high-level state visit. President Xi Jinping's first stop is Seattle, and he'll be in Washington to meet President Obama at the end of the week.

Benhur Arcayan/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

It's been almost 30 years since Lidia Guerrero last embraced her son in Argentina. Back then, her teenager Victor Saldano was a teenager. He left home, telling her "he wanted to see the world."

Seton Healthcare Family and Dr. Mateo ZIu

When Pope Francis gives a speech to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday, an Austin doctor will be listening from nearby.

The Seton network of hospitals has chosen a group of locals to watch the televised speech on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. One of the locals is Dr. Mateo Ziu. He got a call from a Seton official about a week ago with the good news. 

Catholic Church of England and Wales/flickr

From Texas Standard:

One of the first things we do each morning – in the wee small hours – is check in on the top stories our colleagues are talking about here in Texas, across the country, and around the world. 

KUT News

More people in Texas had health insurance in 2014 than 2013 – the number of insured Texans went up by more than 700,000 people.

Still, according to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday, Texas had the highest rate of uninsured people in the U.S. in 2014. And now, it has the highest number of uninsured people, too. 

Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard

An estimated 20,000 people packed into the American Airlines Center Monday night to see Donald Trump live in Dallas, Texas.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

The way people in Texas define sexual assault has broadened quite a lot over the last ten years. Texas law prohibits not only physical sexual assault, but also forcing someone to participate in photos or movies and unwanted sexual experiences while intoxicated and unable to consent.

According to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, sexual assault in Texas is much more common now than it was about 10 years ago.


It is Hispanic Heritage Month – a heritage that runs so deep in Texas that the original contracts of the first Anglo-American settlers who came to what would become the state of Texas were all handwritten in Spanish.