Government

Texas Public Schools
12:18 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Education Group Urges House Panel To Create Achievement District For Low-Rated Schools

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

The Texas House Committee on Public Education is looking at what can be done to improve low-rated school campuses.  

Texans for Education Reform, an education advocacy group that is spending heavily in 2014, told the committee on Tuesday that lawmakers need to create a special state district for school campuses are chronically underperforming; an achievement school district.

“We have to think about morally responsible timelines for intervention for low-performing schools,” said Julie Linn, executive director for Texans for Education Reform.

Read more
Criminal Justice
1:51 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Lawmakers Weighing Options With Mental Illness In Texas Prison Population

According to state officials, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice counts a large number of inmates with mental illness and drug addiction because the state lacks funding for their treatment. 

On Tuesday members of the House Corrections and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a special joint committee hearing to discuss the huge influx of mentally ill people who are being sent to prison.  

Read more
Criminal Justice
3:46 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

UT Law Clinic Study Shows Dangerous Conditions In Texas' Sweltering Prisons

Dr. Ariel Dulitsky, director of the Human Rights Clinic at the UT School of Law.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

The Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law released a report that shows the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is violating prisoners' human and constitutional rights by exposing them to high temperatures.

Read more
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.”  

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more

Pages