Government

2014 Governor's Race
2:57 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Abbott Campaign Enters The Era Of Virtual Currency, Will Accept Bitcoins

Credit Wikimedia Commons user CASASCIUS / cc

Greg Abbott’s campaign announced last week it would begin accepting bitcoin contributions, but with the fluctuating value of the currency many political experts see the move as more of a way for Abbott to attract a certain type of supporter.

Abbott wrote in a memo:

“The spirit of Bitcoin embodies the free market principles that make Texas a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.”  

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Health Care
1:29 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Texas Still Negotiating Federal Block Grant For Medicaid Expansion

Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Dr. Kyle Janek said he’s negotiating a waiver with federal officials that gives the state permission to obtain a federal block grant to expand Medicaid, but people within HHS said they haven’t even completed the application.

In mid-September 2013 Janek received his last instructions from the governor’s office on the terms of what that federal block grant should look like. He was asked last week where the state was in the process of securing federal dollars to design a state program to expand Medicaid.

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Election Campaigns
10:06 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Part Of Dewhurst Attack Ad On Patrick Is Untrue, But Will It Pay Off Anyway?

Fact checkers have revealed the attack ad by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst alleging Dan Patrick changed his name in the mid 1980s to avoid creditors is untrue.

At the tail end of last week, Dewhurst’s campaign released what political scholars are calling a “nuclear” attack against Patrick, his primary runoff opponent in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.

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Abortion In Texas
5:00 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

North Texas Abortion Doctors Sue Hospital Over Revoked Admitting Privileges

Two North Texas doctors have sued University General Hospital Dallas after receiving a letter that announced their admitting privileges were revoked because they perform abortions at a separate facility.

Dr. Lamar Robinson and another doctor not wanting to be identified filed a lawsuit in a Dallas County courtroom after the public hospital, University General Hospital Dallas, sent a letter to the two physicians  stating that they were revoking their admitting rights. 

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City Government
11:33 am
Thu April 17, 2014

City Council Pushes Plastic Bag Ban Discussion To May

Flickr user Trisha Weir cc

A plastic bag ban is getting closer to becoming reality in San Antonio. Wednesday, the City Council's Governance Committee forwarded the item to a full city council briefing session in May.

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Gun Control
5:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Texas Group Part Of $50 Million Bloomberg Gun Regulation Effort

Kelly Burke, president of Texas chapter of Mom's Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

Former-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he is bringing his existing gun-regulation groups under one umbrella organization to widen each group's reach.

Bloomberg has provided $50 million to establish Every Town Demands Action, a nationwide effort to advocate for gun control. One of those groups is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Kelly Burke, who is the president of Texas chapter, describes her group as a startup without any capital.

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Texas Politics
10:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Castro And Patrick Spar Over Immigration, Build Political Capital For The Future

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro speaks to the press after the immigration debate at the Univision41 studios.
Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

While Congress is showing no signs of moving forward on passing comprehensive immigration reform, the complicated issue was spotlighted Tuesday night in a heated debate between state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.

Patrick and Castro aren’t running against each other for political office; Castro isn’t running for anything right now.

Patrick is running for what many call the most powerful job in Texas, lieutenant governor, and he’s doing it with ads like this:

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Law
11:17 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Grand Jury Named In Perry Coercion Trial

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Senior State Judge Bert Richardson from San Antonio has helped select 12 jurors in Travis County and two alternates to preside over a special grand jury tasked with determining whether to indict Gov. Rick Perry on criminal charges. 

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Chemical Regulations
3:22 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

One Year After West Explosion, State Still Has Dozens Of "At-Risk" Plants Operating

In August 2013, West High School was picking up and getting ready for the school year to start.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

House lawmakers charged with investigating what went wrong during the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas heard from state officials this week that 46 “at-risk” chemical facilities similar to the one in West are still operating.

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Same-Sex Marriage
3:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Attorney In Texas Same-Sex Marriage Challenge Looks For Signs In Utah Case

*States in purple have made same-sex marriage legal, states marked in yellow have bans against such marriages and states marked in green represent new developments or legal proceedings working through federal court.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

Late last week attorneys for same-sex couples and the State of Utah delivered oral arguments in the case challenging a Utah law that bans same-sex marriage.

Here in Texas, San Antonio attorney Neel Lane, who represents two couples challenging the Texas ban on same-sex marriage, watched the proceedings and said one of the turning points was a concession made by the Utah attorney general’s office.

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